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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In the blink of an eye

It’s late. You’re driving home listening to your favorite radio station thinking about what you have to do tomorrow. Your nose itches. You wonder why they keep playing this song; it’s so old. You need to get gas in the morning. A bright light, a surge of adrenaline. Then... nothing.

Death doesn’t come in a black robe, he drives a truck.

A friend of my brother was killed in a head-on collision two days ago. Her car was hit by an old man who veered into her lane. She died instantly. Her name was Allyson. I knew her only by reputation, by stories, by the snapshots frozen in time, images caught on little pieces of paper. These are all that remain of her in life. I am told she was awesome to be around, a personality that brightens the entire room. Now she is gone. Her name was Allyson.

Though I never met her, I was saddened by her loss. What saddens me most is that I do not know where she is now. I did not know her heart, only what others told me of her. Will she spend eternity praising God with the angels? Has she been reconciled to God by his grace? Does she know Jesus as savior? These are questions to which I may never know the answer.

About a month ago Saddam Hussein was executed. He died instantly. As he fell from the gallows he chanted his profession of faith to the god of Islam. I can say with near certainty where he is now. Being guilty of the murder of hundreds, maybe thousands of people, directly or by their sanction, Saddam fell to his death by man’s justice. Saddam will endure God’s justice for eternity. Even a man who committed such atrocities, even for him I was saddened, because I know that apart from the grace of God I am guilty of every sin under the sun and entitled to the same.

I ‘know’ where Saddam is, but where is Allyson? How great a tragedy to not know. We are told to repent because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. I think it’s closer than we all would like to admit. One second you’re the most powerful man in your country, the next you are standing atop the gallows. One moment you are a twenty-year-old girl with you’re entire life ahead of you, driving home, thinking about trivial matters, then time stops and eternity stretches out before you as you stand before the judgment seat of God.

During a recent conversation with a friend we discussed why we feel so motivated to strive to share the gospel when you’re on a mission trip. Simply, time is short. You know that soon you will have to return home and these people may never have another opportunity to receive salvation. Yet when we return to our ‘normal’ lives we settle into the mundane, the ordinary, forgetting that people of the Spirit are never to be classified as ordinary. We forget that time is short! So much shorter than we think. Soon we will leave this place, we will return home. Will our friends, our families, meet us there? Are they there waiting for us now? Jesus said he is the only way to the Father. How will they know if they never hear? How can we sit by as those we love perish? So often heaven and hell seem so far away. Yet here I find them revealed for what they are, the eternal outcome that is both real and immediate.

Her name was Allyson.

2 Comments:

Blogger April said...

My thoughts and prayers will be for Alyson and her family. Please pass this on to Jarrod as I have lost a friend in the past and all the prayers everyone said for me, my friend and their family helped.

1/23/2007 3:50 PM  
Blogger Tommy said...

Her memory lives.

Her name was Allyson.

3/11/2007 5:34 PM  

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