SPIRITUAL STORIES ARCHIVE
ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DAMNATIONS
Fire and brimstone preacher Hezekiah Doubtworth preached it like he saw and he always saw it harsh. God was not an angry God he would often say, but he preached as if He was the next closest thing. He damned his country for not obeying God’s will; he damned the world society as a whole for the same thing. He was harsh when people went to the front to confess their sins. He believed in the judgement of mankind and was stuck on that one aspect of Truth like a broken record.
His main area of short sightedness was on redemption. He felt hurt when people did not follow his teachings and he took it personally. It was always “One day you will face the judgement of God” without offering the poor terrified souls in his congregation the opportunity to get their heart right without being publicly humiliated.
He drove home one evening after one of his best fiery sermons and was too caught up in thought to see a sign that read bridge out ahead. The roadblock had been removed by some teenage pranksters and he was the first car to travel that road since their deadly joke.
When he saw half the bridge missing, he put on his brakes hard and skid another ten feet until his car was half off the bridge and teetering ever so slightly back and forth. The slightest movement would send him to his death.
So he prayed, oh he prayed and prayed hard. He heard not a word or a sound in reply. Not even a feeling that God even heard him. He held his breath and hoped for a miracle. But miracles seemed to be in short supply, especially for a man without grace.
Time passed, minutes then hours until finally he was afraid and hurting from the sustained fear. “Oh God forgive me for my hard heart,” he cried out loud. Then, for the first time, he felt the presence of God and so he cried. He cried for a while and then he said, “If you want me to die, I’m all yours.”
Suddenly, the bridge side he was on moved when the pillar underneath it began to give way. He thought I’m dead, but because of the presence of God, he was no longer afraid. The pillar began to collapse, but for a brief moment, it rocked his car loose and it rolled backwards until it was off the bridge completely.
He was stunned! It took him an hour to come to grips with the miracle the Lord had done for him. He drove home and was glued to the bed for days, due to the paralyzing fear he had experienced.
The next Sunday, he resigned as pastor and began to feed the poor one person at a time. He realized he couldn’t preach again until his perspective on grace changed. He figured feeding a hundred and one thousand people would do it!
Copyright © 2008 Mark Edgemon
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