Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Two Doors

Caution! Christian Content (I mean, more than usual)
 Judgment, sure
(by R.P.Edwards)

Sure as death
Judgment comes
Small and great
We all…succumb
Ushered, naked, to the seat
Creator, God, His will to mete
Gone! Excuses, fleshly tools
Gone! Denying words…of fools
Gone! The worthless, bribing gifts
None can span…the holy rift
And, with scepter, towards the pit
ALL are guilty!
All, unfit!
So to our doom, we justly go
The damned
Deserving…pain and woe
But wait!
A plan!
Compassion’s breath!
A way to garner, life, from death!
Though judgment due, is judgment done
A substitute!
The only…Son
And so Creator dons our skin
And on the cross
He bears “our” sin
Our just deserts
Through opened veins
For Him… “our” death
For us…His name
Then lifeless in the tomb he lies
But three days hence
He does arise!
A pardon bought, for all who seek
A gift received, by low…and meek
And though the reaper, hunts us still
The children, he, can never kill
But those who shun
Till dying breath
A judgment, sure
Then second…death

Jury duty.  Yeah, sure, my civil obligation.  A tiny sacrifice of my time and mind to participate in and contribute to our wonderful, constitutional system…of justice.  Honestly, I believe all that but for now, when my family still feels the effects of the great “layoff,” well, even though the company compensates me for the away time, it’s not the same coin as “doing the job.” 

Yes, I had been “summoned.” It was an official letter that had the power attached to divert my thinking…and my feet.  “Failure to obey this summons may be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.”  That’s what it said.  I believed it.  And I went; for half a day anyway.  Then I was booted.

Here‘s the gist:  I arrived a bit early.  The “invitation” said nine; I was perched by 8:30.  In through the glass door I go, only to be stopped at the “sifter.” You see, there was a narrowing and, in front, an all-encompassing metal detector and, to the left, an x-ray for carry-ons and, behind and about, three serious looking armed guards; the kind you don’t smile at lest they remove it with a “persuader.” “All metal must go,” they say.  Jewelry, watches, phones, coins, belt, heck! even my foil wrapped gum was suspect (no joke!).  I timidly walk through and (whew!) I’m clean.  Free to mill about until the jury thing starts.

Well, before I took my official seat I parked myself near the “Gate,” and observed.  Funny, no matter what their station in life, no matter their dress, no matter their age or infirmity; they all went through the “judgment” and, if there was the slightest violation…no entrance.  Not, at least, until the offensive “thing” was accounted for.  “Like judgment day,” thought I. “No sin will enter, and the scanner of souls bows to no man.” 

Then I noticed the “other” door.  Adjacent to the first, it was a simple hinged thing that let people in, and let people out.  But, unlike the other, no guards, no machine, no inspection, no…judgment.  And, the reason was clear enough.  This door was for those who worked here.  For those who had already passed the test; passed the screening; been deemed worthy.  And again I saw the parallel.  “Like those absolved from their sin through the sacrifice of Jesus.  He took, so we could book (old slang.  Meaning, “to go”).”

Finally I went for the pre-jury selection warm-up.  “Thanks for coming…You’re important…take this oath…watch this video…” It was about a half hour of prepping by some nice folk who understood who they were dealing with.  And, even here, there was a spiritual connection.  Two words stood out.  We were collectively instructed to judge according to the law without (now get this!) sympathy…or prejudice.  And I thought to myself if, in this imperfect human court, lawbreakers must be judged without sympathy, or prejudice, how much more will the Supreme Judge of the World (Declaration of Independence reference) how much more will He do the same?  And, since the scripture declares “all have sinned,” well, the verdict has to be…guilty.  That’s where that other door comes in.

Okay, so you might be wondering why I got booted.  Well, it turns out the trial I was being screened for had to do with a large corporation being sued by a loved one of a “no longer with us” spouse.  The allegation was that “safety” elements were not maintained, contributing to his death.  And, when I heard of the corporation, saw their high-dollar lawyers and had the safety thing mixed in, well, I kind of went into automatic.  You see, I’ve been around corporations for decades, and I‘ve heard their universal spiel before.  O yes, there’s a loud proclamation of how safety is number one! And, of course that‘s true; that is until profit or, incredibly, pride gets in the way.  And, since I‘ve also seen how some powerful corporate types have no problem (conscience, rather)  when it comes to cruelly grinding a man to dust (as an aside, one of my “brothers,” after being so treated, went home and sought relief…through suicide), well, I let the judge know that my frame of mind might not be best for this case.  He apparently agreed. “Recused…for cause” were his words; and off I went.

And so, dear reader.  On this Lord’s day.  Before we jump into another week’s doings; a simple reminder.  A reminder that each of us; whether we be a seven figured CEO, or a common working stiff such as I; each of us has a stalker.  And this fellows name…is death.  Rest assured…you cannot escape him.  And, close at his heels…comes sure judgment.  And, like the unforgiving apparatus at the courthouse, the smallest infraction prevents entrance.  And, since “all” are guilty; all must be punished.  However, there is another door.  And this one gives clear, unfettered access.  But, in order to enter this way, you must decide to humbly grasp the nail-scarred hand that beckons from there.  For he; he whose love compelled him to die in your stead; he alone can bring you in.  And, dear reader, this opportunity is only availed upon the living.  For, when death finally closes your eyes--and he soon will-- it will be…too late.

Stay safe.


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