A Life Sentence

I don’t think I’ll get an argument from anyone that we aren’t living in “troubled times”. Whats that you say? That it’s all about money and that rich people have it made…That must be why celebrities are so happy then, they’re rich and famous! I felt so badly today when I heard about Patrick Swayze’s death. And while of course I don’t know him personally, the few times I’ve seen him and his wife Lisa together on television I could see how much in love they appeared to be.

210402109_db19ffe16f Photo credit Alan Light

I live pretty far off of the beaten track,  my yard is a community of animals! Dogs, cats, chickens, and a few others that are thankfully only visitors like the skunks. Among all of those animals I have my favorites. I have a kitten who gives me such enjoyment to watch him play that he’s found favor in my eye’s. I feed him before I feed any of the others, I let him in the house, I look after his needs especially among all of the others.


Yesterday, one of my other cats gave birth to three kittens and it appears as though she has abandoned them. I feel badly about their inevitable death but at the same time I can’t justify an intervention on my part because I already have too many cats to feed. I guess that may seem cold hearted, but I just really can’t take on that commitment.


I also have a chicken that likes to jump up onto the window sill by where I write and boldly ask me for food in her own way. To me, there’s something about any created thing that has the courage to overcome it’s fears and stand up in a world it has very little understanding of to earnestly seek the fulfillment of  it’s individual needs.  I’m compelled to feed her simply because she’s come to the right place and has asked me…I’ll most generally feed that chicken whenever she does.

I don’t know what if anything all of these stories have in common. I wondered if maybe they were some kind of parable explaining  our lives or how God looks at us. Perhaps this, that death truly is the great equalizer, and life is for those who truly live it,  for those who will ask for what they need or want from whomever or whatever they feel is able to provide it.

All of us are here under a sentence, unfortunately its not a life sentence. I hate to spoil all of the cute animal stories and celebrity news but I’ve got bills to pay. Did you know that the wages of sin is still death? And that all of mankind is under the curse of that death sentence because of our sin?

Whoa,whoa, whoa, right there Alton…Easy killer, you kind of hit me over the head with that! I mean, one minute I’m sittin here reading your blog about your pets and that dirty dancin guy n’ the next minute you’re telling me that I’m cursed and that I’m gonna die…I suppose next you’ll also tell me that after I die, I’m going to go to…that place! won’t you?

I mean, what about all of that “God is love” stuff ?

You know, that’s what I don’t get about the whole “God thing”, He puts us here in this world and tells us how much He loves us, but what does it get us? sometimes it gets us abandoned to die like those kittens! Or we end up feeling that we’re not Gods favorite because otherwise He would’ve blessed us like He does others. This is a tough world that’s full of hurt and pain! And God has His nose all out of joint because we’re “sinners” give me a break…

Who does He think He is? oh, that’s right He is God.  Okay, wait a minute…So what your tryin’  to tell me is that just because He created everything in the whole universe, that He has the right to make all of the rules for everybody? I understand that He’s God and all but why can’t He just make a place for all of His children and a different place for everyone else where they don’t have to follow His rules? Yeah, I do remember we sort of covered that already…that’s the other place, that by refusing to choose what Christ did on the cross as being “for me personally and my sin’s” that people will go to on account of the wages of our sin still having to be paid by someone. Hmmm,  It’s starting to make more sense to me but I read it in the Bible where it says that God is no “respecter of persons”, but it’s kind of like that cat story you told, doesn’t God play favorites? I mean we all know that the Jewish people are “His People” It’s almost like it’s not a level playing field or like the rest of us don’t have the same opportunity to be blessed because they’re always up in the window gettin’ fed just like that chicken, So He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? I guess that makes sense too, Kinda like that kitten…you chose him because he was joyfully blessed by what you had already provided for him instead of just hanging around waiting on the next meal to be provided like the rest.

He’s a Holy Sovereign God, whose judgments are just and whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He has a personality and feelings, and He responds to people who reach out to Him in pain because He first reached out to each of us through the unthinkable sacrifice of His own Son here in this brutal and barbaric world so that you and I might have a hope of an eternity other than the “unthinkable” one we would be facing otherwise. Would you be so bound by our enemy here in this world and by your pride, your “intellect”, or by fear that you wouldn’t accept His offer of salvation? The ramifications of this one choice will echo in your mind through eternity weather it’s yea,or nay! You had the opportunity to respond either way, to choose a death sentence…OR

A Life Sentence…(need a minute?)