Sunday, April 23, 2006

A New Heaven, But The Same Old Earth

I saw this gospel quote on the blog maintained by "Spoke" today. It struck a chord, as it addresses all those good actions we do to try and make things right (read: the way we want them to turn out).

People with "holy" words want to try and judge us every day, individually and corporately. "Do this, do that. If you do it wrong, go to Hell... Do not pass go and do not collect $200.00. I followed the outline and I'm gonna be ok. Ok?"

A Bit of Matthew 7, from The Message:
21"Knowing the correct password--saying "Master, Master,' for instance--isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience--doing what my Father wills. 22I can see it now--at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, "Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' 23And do you know what I am going to say? "You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'

Mr. Leghorn put me in a biblical mood with his recent comment. Then Spoke hit me too. I guess. It's Sunday. I wore black. God is good, all the time.
In my last year at Ohio University, I met a black preacher, Xavier Jones from Cleveland. He was a very decent man and an excellent voice in the pulpit; I heard him once. He frequently hit me up for donations toward a small group home that he administrated off-campus. We became friends, and he was so likeable that it was nearly impossible for me to say no to him. At least once we went to the grocery together to get food for his group home clients.

One time at the group home, we were preparing a meal when he mentioned that he had children that he was supporting. I heard the word "mothers" come out of his mouth, and I repeated it: "Mothers?" Without flinching, he looked at me and very humbly and soberly said, "That's right. Mothers." A tone of voice can tell alot about a man who has a repentent heart.

A few minutes later, Xavier put me in charge of frying some potatoes. I was handling the job poorly, and the fries were at risk of becoming overcooked.

Xavier chided me:

"Tay-ed! It's a good thing you're not God. We'd ALL burn up!"

He flashed me his incredible grin and I knew all was right with the world.

And the potatoes were saved.
So true, my new friends. The potatoes were saved, as were the animals on the ark.
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