Thursday, March 27, 2014

Question answered: is hell real?


Just a brief stop at the church after a day of the never ending job of trying to get the apartment together…looking for window treatments…with Dan home for spring break…then off to New Brunswick to teach.


I look up. Takes me a minute to recognize him. OK, this is not one who asks for money, this is one who asks me random theological questions.

Pastor, let me ask you a question.

All right…

Is Hell real?

What do you mean by that?

Oh, you know, some people say Jesus was just a good man…some people, an they ordained,and I say, how can you be a minister and…

You want to know if hell is real?


OK, here’s the answer. Yes. He looks at me quizzically. Look, if hell is separating your self from God, from others, then if you’ve done that you’ve already created hell. Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man? And the rich man thinks even after death, he cam get Lazarus to serve him and there’s an abyss he can’t get across? If you’ve chosen to break your connection to others, you’ve broken your connection to God. And that’s hell. That’s all you need to know. Does that answer your question?

He nods. Tips his hat. Thank you, Pastor. And makes his way out the door.

I’m in the middle of a conversation and Nan drops by to deliver a piece of mail delivered to SPSA where we haven’t been for 3 years but I think just to check out how we’re doing. While I’m now having two conversations, Rudolfo starts to come in.

Rudolfo, un momento por favor. Estoy en la medua d’una conversacion.

He backs away, then comes forward again, sad eyes, palm extended. Un peso, he says.
Un peso?

Si, me quiero un peso, Quiero cafĂ©, muy cara…un peso…

So I reach in my pocket, find a dollar give it to him.

Gracias, padre.

Coje lo suave, Rudolfo.

And then finish my conversation.
Pat O has come to help me sort through all the swirling thoughts in my head as I try and come up with a strategy to share with my people. One without white knights. Soon enough, ideas start coming together.

Daniel arrives. Soon we need to head home to meet the man who will be measuring our windows.
Mario comes in to wait for Andre who is coming in to met with him. I introduce him to Pat O and Daniel.

Mario steps out and soon enough Andre is here. He goes into the sanctuary with his companion. Dan goes in to talk with him. A while later, Mario is back. So he never came?

No, he’s right in the sanctuary, waiting. And Mario smiles. Dan and I head home to deal with blinds.

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