October 29, 1999
The first time I heard our daughter yell at me in anger, there was nothing to do but laugh. At that early age when children are learning language, our kids were prone to grab at words and try them out.
With all the rage a three-year-old could muster, she pulled herself up by her shoulders, squeezed her eyes tightly and shouted, “I don’t blame you!” It was not what I expected. If her words missed the mark, her body said it all…”I don’t like you! I don’t love you! I don’t want you!”
So much like us grown-ups, her explosion of anger was raw and honest, still untamed by adult civilities to be learned. Riling against a big person who thwarted her demands, she was so very much like us grown humans, civilized, but rebellious underneath our good manners, people who harden our hearts, clench our fists and rebel against God:
I don’t blame you!
I don’t love you!
I don’t believe in you!
But our rebellion is a human contrivance, fed by pride and ultimately irrelevant in determining the truth of our existence. As we are made in God’s image, it is impossible to pass through eternity forever refusing to know God. He listens and watches us. He holds the ultimate knowledge as our parent that we will soon return to Him and we will know Him!
The path to either our Heaven or our Hell is a single earthly trail, a journey that depends on our willingness to submit as a child to the surrounding world of mystery and the Eternal Love that desires to possess us. In finally arriving at the door on the other side of our journey, we will have eyes to see Him…to know Him…and we will be fully able to remember our earthly choices, knowing at once the depth of our sin.
Hell is our own creation made when we choose separation from our Creator, and thus from our own creation. The ultimate separation is a hard refusal to know Him, refusing to open our hearts and minds to an Existence beyond our control. I don’t know you! I don’t want you! This is the ultimate hell at the end of a chosen path of rebellion.
We are not gods. We are children.
We will either reach out for our Father’s hand, or we will wander aimlessly and eternally, lost in a solitude of our own making.
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