Thursday, February 21, 2013

Signing the Petitions

Signing The Petitions

                One day a man went to visit his neighbor,  Joe the contractor.  The contractor was sawing boards for a few benches and his adult son was visiting and helping out.  The man asked Joe if he would sign his petitions for tougher laws in the town.  Joe was a decent and well-respected man who’s name carried weight, so, wanting to please his neighbour, he asked “Well, what kind of laws?”

                 The man took out a piece of paper and said “I heard that a lot of the army guys have male servants that keep their beds warm at night, if you know what I mean.   We should pass a law against that.”

                Just then, a young man with long hair and fine features came by to talk to the contractor’s son, thanking him for something or other. (1) The son smiled and said “I’m just happy you are well.  Give my regards to the commander when you see him tonight.”

                Joe said he was glad that the visiting soldiers weren’t trying to marry his daughters and take them away to an unhappy life in some faraway barracks, so kept sawing and didn’t sign.

                The man had another paper.  “Well, we have entirely too many people living together without being married… and you know what they are up to with that, don’t you?” the man said.

                Just then a middle-aged woman of a different race walked up to the contractor’s son and said that she and her live-in boyfriend would be at his next meeting.(2)  The son smiled and said “I’ll see you there if I don’t see you at the old well first.”

                Joe said he was an old married guy so he really didn’t care what the young people were doing these days, so he kept sawing and didn’t sign.

The man showed another paper.  “I’ve heard that a lady has opened up a… you know, house of ill repute on the outskirts of town, so we should pass a by-law against it.”

                Just then, a lady strolled up to Joe’s son.  The man didn’t hear what she was thanking him for as he was busy checking out the outfit she was wearing.(3)   The son said “Be sure to be careful walking home.”

                Joe said he was unsure if by-laws could cover the outskirts of town since he seldom got out that way, so he kept sawing and didn’t sign. 

                The neighbour was frustrated with Joe.  “You don’t care about the problems of the world,” he yelled and stomped off.

                Josh helped stack the wood Joe had cut.  Joe said “It’s sometimes hard having him for a neighbour – all he wants to talk about is sex.”

                Josh looked down the street.  “I hope he’s a fair minded man.  I see my friend Zach from the Revenue Department (4) heading to his house now.”


1 - Matthew 8:5-13

2-John 4:4-26

3-John 7:53-8:11

4-Luke 19:1-10

Monday, February 11, 2013

There was a judge

I wrote this after a bad spell of anxiety and doubt but am happy to be through it.

                There was a judge who was from a state where the law and belief in justice was supreme, and he was the upholder of it.  He judged fairly and impartially and rendered the appropriate sentences as he saw fit.  His verdicts filled textbooks for the next generation of lawyers coming in. 

                As all men do, he died.  Being of strong rational mind, he was pleasantly surprised to find himself outside of his body, looking down at his form in the bedroom. “My earthly spacesuit seems to have worn out” was his amused observation before the room faded and he was in a huge courtroom, with only a brightly shining figure on a rainbow throne presiding.  Due to custom, he bowed and greeted the figure with “Your Honor.”

                The figure said “I am pleased to see you, as you were known as a fair judge on Earth.  I require your assistance.  I will take a break for a time and you may adjudicate the next group of souls my bailiff Death will bring in.  Have them stand next to the appropriate door until my return.  The door to the left leads to Torment, the door to the right leads to Paradise.”

                The judge of course agreed and the shining figure exited, leaving the rainbow throne empty.  The judge took his place and a tiny soul appeared.  The first soul was a hard working woman who had little opportunities in life – the book in front of the judge had all her information – and though he scarcely thought she deserved it, he asked her to stand at the Paradise door.  The next was a boy from a poor country who had starved to death after being beaten for trying to steal some bread.  Although the judge had prided himself on his anti-stealing stance, he decided the Paradise door was fitting as well. 

The souls seemed to become larger, stronger, and of a more sinister nature as the time went on.  Many others appeared, and while many had done evil things, he found himself always wishing them to find Paradise.  One giant soul was of a warlord who’d killed many people in his land, a land the judge remembered he had forgotten to send a donation to decades ago, so, although he felt the soul deserved punishment, the idea of Torment would play on his guilty mind for his failings, so he allowed him to the Paradise door, although many of the other smaller souls there seemed nervous at the prospect.  One harsh-looking soul was of the girl who poured the coffee at the local restaurant who had always been rude to him, but the book said that her attitude had inspired a friend to change his behaviour for the better, so he allowed her to the Paradise door. 

The last soul was particularly huge and scary, larger than the warlord even, and the record showed it was of the drunk driver who had killed the judge's wife and children many years ago. He had escaped justice on earth and now his fate was in his hands.  The soul was even angrier than on earth, recognizing the judge, and yelling at him to “DO YOUR WORST!” 

The shining figure returned to the courtroom and admonished the judge.  “Do you call this fair?  The Paradise side is crowded, no one stands at the Torment door at all!  Are you soft on sin?”

The judge fell to his knees, explaining the good of each person and his reasons for not condemning them forever, not even the man who killed his family.  “Please, let them all into Paradise and I cannot stand over any more trials.”

The shining figure said “You have chosen very wisely.  Whomever you would place at the door of Paradise will pull for you to their side, whomever you would place at the door of Torment would pull at you with them into their fate.  The only trial here was YOURS.“