On the Last Day
The First Man
“Lord,” he said, “I memorized your Word and tried to act accordingly. You told me not to give up meeting together with others, so I went to church every Sunday. You told me not to let any unwholesome talk come from my mouth, so I was slow to speak. You told me to be slow to anger, so I showed mercy to my oppressors. You told me to be quick to listen, so I listened to sermon upon sermon to understand you more. I was not perfect, but I tried to obey you.”
“Son,” replied the King, “do you love me?”
The man looked up a bit higher, still staring at the ground. “Lord, I did these things for you. You know I love you,” he mumbled.
“Son,” said the King, “you know my Word. Why did I often withdraw?”
“To pray, Lord.”
“You fear him whom you do not know. You know my Words, but you have not known me. Go and pray.”
The man looked up at the King and took in his glory. Walking into the city, the man sat under a tree and began to pray.
“Lord,” she declared, “you know how much I love you! Daily I prayed to you. I prayed in secret languages to you. I often withdrew to pray. I sung songs to you. I wrote poems to you. I obsessed over you. I spent restless nights listening for your voice and calling out your name. I healed the sick and the weak in your name. You are everything to me.”
“Daughter,” replied the King, “when did you recite the Creeds?”
“I didn’t,” replied the woman. “You were my creed.”
“Daughter, when did you read my Word?”
“My love, you are the Word. What else do I have need of?”
“Daughter, you love me, but you ignored your past in your passion for the present. Go and learn of the saints who came before you.”
The woman walked into the city, met with her brothers and sisters, and listened to their accounts of their lives.
“Son,” projected the King, “you shared my name, you told of my glory, you prayed often, and you danced before me, but when did you feed the poor?”
“My Lord, I prayed for them daily. Tears were my food.”
“Son, go and feed the hungry.”
The man walked to a tree near the river, gathered fruit, and walked throughout the city feeding the hungry.
“I was not perfect. Not at all. I failed daily at being good. Only you are good. Despite my failures, I clung to your promise of forgiveness. I remembered the cross.”
“My daughter,” replied the King, “what did you do with my forgiveness?”
“I shared it with others. I told my story. Even though I’m not perfect, you are. Even though we’re all not perfect, you still love us.”
“My daughter, do you think that I am weak?”
“No Lord, you are the King of kings.”
“Go then, and be perfect.”
The woman walked into the city and obeyed the King.