“To The Uttermost”

As I pushed the rusty vine covered gate open enough to let me pass I could have been in a Faulkner novel approaching a southern gothic house uncared for since the Civil War.  Bric-a-brac still clung to the eaves cloaking human secrets behind webbed windows. The sagging wooden steps creaked as I mounted the porch guarded by an old cat quite unhappy to have me trespass into his vermin infested world.   A Dickensian door knocker snarled at me as I rapped once then twice before a raspy voice called, “It ain’t locked.”  The heavy door pushed back as I put my shoulder to it only to be greeted by an ungodly stench.  To the left of the once elegant vestibule a door opened to something from a Stephen King novel.  A skin-covered skeleton of a man lay on a sheetless filth encrusted pad.  Water stained wallpaper hung by who knows what from the ceiling and walls.  Carefully I kicked beer cans out of the way and reticently accepted his invitation to sit on a filthy chair by his cot.

For the next hour we spoke of wives, children, jobs and unfulfilled dreams.  Upon his insistence I mixed rubbing alcohol into what appeared to be a glass quarter-filled with water.  I literally gasped as he downed it with a gulp.  The intervening years have dulled my memory of his name but not his dark blood-filled eyes.  I still gag as I remember the smell more rank than any outhouse.  Though I tried to visit again he would not see me.  I guess I wasn’t the best of company.

I was wondering about his salvation and I remembered Hebrews 7:25.  “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”  I wonder if in the eyes of a holy God if I am much different.

Written by Roger Bothwell on February 16, 2016