December 19th, 2011
My wife has not been able to blog due to no consistent electricity, internet connection, or time, but hopefully soon she will do many blog updates. For now, this one is from me-
Today, while on a long walk looking for a Christmas present for Holly, I came upon the dead body of a murdered man, lying in the street, covered with a sheet. I could not resist to look under it & be certain as we had recently perhaps helped save the life of an unconscious & bleeding boy presumed dead on the street by getting a nurse to him & her getting him to a hospital. When I removed the sheet, I was unprepared for what I saw. His open & partially melted eyes may stick with me forever, as it was clear that he had been burned up while still alive.
Surprisingly, I was not scared or even aghast at the sight, though something like CSI turns my stomach & I won't even watch those shows. Yet, as time went by today, I felt more & more haunted inside by the man, like Jacob Marley, screaming out from his hellish chains, repent & change your life for like me, you too will die & sooner than you think.
If there is nothing after death, life is meaningless. But if there is a life after that, and there is, nothing else matters but to live for that other life, as this one is just a vapor that comes for a time & then vanishes away. The day before, he was enjoying some food, thinking of a woman perhaps, deciding what he wanted to buy next perhaps as a Christmas present, dreaming of the pleasures of this life as if it would go on forever, but it didn't. What would he have done if he had known it would be his last day on earth? What would what he would have done differently have mattered unless it was before God alone? Might this be your last day, or mine?
We hide death in America so no one will be reminded of their own mortality, as that isn't a pleasant thought. The dead are enbalmed & made to look as much as possible like they did when they were alive, so we never fully see the change, the finality of death, the true ugliness & decay of it. We bury the dead in caskets so their bodies will be "preserved", so the fact never fully hits us as it did me today, that we are all going to die & these bodies are but a patheticly fragile shell.
I hear him crying out what is written on a tombstone in Scottsville, "AS YOU PASS BY, REMEMBER THAT, AS YOU ARE, SO ONCE WAS I, AND AS I AM, YOU SOON WILL BE, PREPARE YOURSELF TO FOLLOW ME." I have heard of a response written on a tombstone with the same message elsewhere, "To follow you, I'll not consent, Until I know, just where you went!" No one knows where he went but God. There was no one to remember him & no one even knew his name, but he is alive somewhere, in heaven or in hell. If it had been you, where would you be now?
Are you trusting you will go to heaven because you think you are a good person? That won't even get you into France to live, much less heaven, as God knows every sin you have ever committed, for example, every lie you have ever told. Scripture tells us that every liar will have part in the lake of fire & that no liar will enter heaven. Are you trusting you would be in heaven because you believe the same thing every devil believes, that Jesus died & rose from the dead but also like them, you live a life of continual sin, unsubmitted to God? I beg you to believe in Jesus & also to surrender your entire life to God, with nothing held back & then pray for me, that I will continue in the same path. For there are greater eyes staring into the depths of my soul than the dead man's.
Let Christmas bring a true spiritual change for us all, knowing how, not merely to keep Christmas in our hearts as Scrooge did, but to keep Christ in the center of our hearts & lives. Chris Wood
P.S. I have a video of the man (covered) on our translator's phone, if I can figure out how to get it off of it.