Thursday, August 21, 2014


by Sam J Christopher

"Life is all about your choices,
 with free-will to ride your own horses” 

That old song was blaring over the speakers as I had a whale of a time. In the cesspool. The cesspool here is the perfect choice for a fun-house paradise. Lazing in the slime, wallowing in the filth, tasting the stinky goo, as waves of frothy pleasure massage me all over. Spoilt for choice! What else could I want in life? A life of the free-will enterprise.

Until I feel myself being pulled up by the collar and slowly dragged out of the cesspool. 

What the….! 

I peer through my mud-caked eyes at the man as he sets me down on a big rock with a long shepherd’s crook. 

Who are you? Can’t you just mind your own business? Do I look like a lousy lost sheep to you? Would it kill you to just leave me alone? I’m enjoying myself here okay? 

He remains silent as I flail my arms at his face and struggle violently to escape his warm embrace. 

Let me go. I want my cesspool. It’s my life, my my free-will choice. Don’t you know the song?

Then he reaches out a hand and wipes away the filth from my eyes, my ears, my mouth. Such a soothing touch. It seems to melt away all that weighed me down in the cesspool. Then I notice something odd. His hand is injured. Horribly injured. The blood is oozing down his fingers as he continues to wipe the muck and slime off my face and hands. Where is this guy from? Look, even his back is ripped up. Some nasty devil of an animal must have jumped him. 

So what’s with you, man? You look like you have been through hell yourself. Why are you disturbing my bliss? Don’t you have some other bloke to attend to? 

Piece by piece he removes the remains of my mucky clothes. I’m now naked. NAKED!! 

What the…! 

As I stand up to take a swing at the stranger, he drapes the most luxurious linen robe around me. Stooping, he fits my feet into shiny white shoes. I look down at myself and tears well up in my eyes. Is this really me? I never imagined myself like this! Surely this can’t be real? Even if it is, this not really me. Surely it’s not going to last? 

Hey mister, thank you. But why? I never asked for any of this. How much is all this going to cost…..? 

He puts a finger to his lips and stretches his hands out to me. And then I see a grotesque gash under his ribs – just before he engulfs me in the most amazingly glorious embrace. As blood from his side-wound seeps through to me, I am bathed in an indescribable sense of belonging, of being deemed precious, of a firm security and one-ness with him. I close my eyes and savour the sweet moment that seems to go on for an eternity. The cesspool never gave me these overpowering emotions. Who IS this man? 

Then I hear happily chattering voices. I look up and there is this small crowd of people, all dressed clean and bright like me. They too are all lost in total adoration of this man, like sheep following their shepherd. I traipse along with them and follow after him as he leads us towards lush greenery watered by crystal clear waters. 

Waters! Suddenly a familiar stinking odour wafts across my nostrils. The cesspool! Where is that old cesspool? Life had been good there too. That was the life of my free-will choice. Maybe that’s where I’m destined to be? Why am I following someone? Surely I have the free-will to decide my own destiny? I’m no follower. And then a gentle call echoes in my ear. I turn around and there is that man again, right beside me, his hand gripping mine tightly. As he smiles, I can see his lips are cut and bleeding. Did I actually punch him earlier? Oh no, How could I have done that? Not to him, of all people! God, I’m so, so sorry! Teary-eyed, I reach out tenderly to touch his torn lips. 

Why? Why do you keep coming for me? Why do you care about where I go and what I do with my life? 

He puts his arm around me and kisses away the tear running down my cheek. We walk in slow measured steps as he begins to tell me his story. A story that begins long ago, in a garden called Eden…. the Greatest Story ever told! 

What’s that now? Free-will, you say? Fiddlesticks. It was free-will that got me into the cesspool in the first place. And free-will that kept me trapped there. You can keep your free-will, thank you. See that man? I didn’t call him. Yet he came looking for me, in spite of my condition (or his, for that matter). That man’s got my free-will wrapped around his finger. Only he can get me dancing to his tune. And boy, am I glad he did, THANK GOD! That man, and Only THAT man, has what it takes to free-willy me OUT of my freely-willed cesspool trap. And keep me out. EVERYTIME! 

Free-will? Pheesh!

“The gospel is always counter-cultural. It always runs against that with which man wants to be satisfied and pleased with.” - Pastor Steve Camp.

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