"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


The soldier wakes up while darkness reigns, a black-ops mission ahead of him. He and his teammates run the final inspection on their gear and stow it for the day’s stealthy trek. A familiar voice from the darkness orders the soldier to point position. He grimaces and complies without hesitation or comment, knowing when people start dying he’ll be the first. Though each step forward is cautious, the soldier’s foot slips into an unseen pit and gravity sucks him into the mortal void. His face registers surprise a moment before the sharpened bamboo drains his life away.
The commuter twists her car’s ignition key a quarter-turn to the right, and the engine produces the expected vibration that tells her she’s on her way. Make-up in place, hair just so, she carefully backs out of her driveway and heads toward another day at work. When her mobile’s ring tone serenades her, she reaches to the passenger seat to grab her purse—but it’s slipped to the floor. With traffic light, she carefully leans over to retrieve it. A moment later, unexpected movement grabs her attention to the truck’s grille mere inches from her car’s left-front quarter. She hears, more than feels, the impact launching her upper body out her door at a precarious angle. Her face registers surprise in the split-second before she is mortally pinned between the two vehicles.
The young concert-goer stands and vacates his arena seat, his tall beer having already traveled through his body. Hard rock floods his senses as he sidesteps to the aisle, climbs to the next tier and the restroom that promises relief. Already reaching for his fly, he halts in the restroom entrance, just as startled as the doper and his dealer doing business inside. The young man stumbles back into the arena, and holding his stomach, he flops back into his seat beside his friend. Surprise etches his face as his life drains onto the beer and peanut-shell encrusted floor.
The soldier knew his life was at risk, but surprise still seized him with his death. The commuter had heard of traffic fatalities, but she’d never seen one, never anticipated her surprise when death overtook her. The rock fan had looked forward to his fun evening listening to his favorite group with his best friend. Did he realize as he sat bleeding to musical accompaniment that his last heartbeat drew near?
Three young people with plans and dreams that would never be realized, who would never again hear of God’s offer of eternal salvation, never enjoy another opportunity to accept God’s love, began their last day perfectly unaware of their impending fate.
Surprise, surprise, surprise!

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