|River of Life, Revelation 22:1|
Forgive me, brethren, but back to the topic, is it my parish, or my club, or my cohort or my family that is my world, and let all outsiders stay away, or is it that daring opposite, the world my…? For the second is to have your door blown off in a hurricane and possibly even your house blown down or carried away in the whirlwind, but hey! didn't Elijah leave mother earth in just that way? For to shut your door and bolt it tight is the magnification of what you're doing to your heart, and that open door, if you unwisely keep it unlocked or even wide open, will attract all kinds of unsavory types. Welcome, for all decent people, consists in showing hospitality to your relatives and friends, but as for the others? How could you? You never know who the wind just might blow in. You have only one life to live, so why not stick close to your kith and kin. Let the other guy welcome angels who might possibly be Christ in disguise—but probably aren't, since that only happens in fairytales—while you smile on the deserving.
We worked together, and we probably learned a lot from each other, woodworkers as we were, though he would never admit it. I learned a lot from him, of course. It all happened while he carefully tried to polish me up to his standards of Christianity, but he was unsuccessful and finally gave up with a shrug. But I never seemed to learn enough. The thing that irked him most about me was how I kept welcoming people and including them in my life, as promiscuously and shamelessly as a common prostitute or sinner. Of course I didn't 'fool around' with anyone, but I didn't seem to understand that not everyone can be trusted, and I recklessly let people get to know me, and even invited them to my home and church. I didn't seem to know where to draw the line, and lines must be drawn, or else we'll get dragged down the slopes with those galloping pigs. Drowning in a lake may be too good for them, but Christ shows mercy even to demon-filled hogs.
'Enter into the joy of your Lord…' Who knows, maybe I'll be let in too, as his stray dog.
This is my experience of the world. When I wrote, our lives are nearly over, I meant, from man's point of view, I've done what was expected, and my friend has too. Now we can rest, he on his laurels, me, well, on my futon. The only laurel leaves I have are tucked in the pages of my bible where I use them as book marks. I picked them up off the floor of Hades after they showered down on the Son of God to celebrate His victory over sin, death and hell, as He was emptying the place. I hope that when it's my turn to go down below, I'll be turned away at the door by a sign that says, 'Sorry, hell is too small for you. Please see the Receptionist at Gate 22.' I see those laurel leaves and the flower petals whenever I read the psalms, and I remember all the blossoms that the Lord showered down on me in my long life, all the wonderful human souls whom I tried to make welcome and who welcomed me. Nothing virtuous on my part. I just read what the Lord says, 'Make peace with your adversary while you are on the way with him to the court,' and that's what I did. It's not hard to follow instructions when it's a matter of life and death, and especially when you know that life is with your brother, and death being without him.
Come, brethren, let us drink from that new river…