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Greedy Ah Wanna SEE Yew Part Two
by Patricia Backora
06/29/05
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Greedy, Ah Wanna SEE Yew! Part Two
By Patricia Backora, author of the book
Tough Love in Christ’s Millennium
Which you can order online from: http://www.publishamerica.com

What happened after long-suffering Buck got sick of Duncan Greedy’s meanness, threw down his paint brush and quit?

Within the next couple of days, the long-standing prayer of Brother Wayne’s wife was answered. Every day upon Wayne’s arrival home she’d asked him : “Have you quit your job yet?”

Now Duncan had no crew left. He just scratched his head and said, “Why’s everybody mad at me, anyway? Why’d Buck bless me out like that? They’re the ones who were goofin’ off on the job, and slothfulness is a sin. Aw...to heck with ‘em all! I can do just fine without ‘em, and I won’t have to pay no wages, neither!”

Well, y’all can guess real quick how that plan panned out. In short order Splatter Brothers Paint Company went belly up.

At church, Pearl tried to apologize to one sister she’d been close to in earlier years. She found it awkward, as if the words stuck in her throat, as if it were agonizing to mention the upheaval caused by her husband. Her eyes were poignant with fathomless pain. But it was not she who should be blamed. It was Duncan’s duty to own up to his sins, which he was much too proud to do.

Forgiveness must sometimes be conditional. Jesus said in Luke 17:3: If (thy brother) repent, forgive him. In no case should we stop loving the other person, but true reconciliation is a two-way transaction. If the rascal is determined not to ask forgiveness, maintaining genuine fellowship with him is impossible.

So what if your “brother” refuses to listen to reason? Remember, Duncan had defrauded a church elder too. Wayne was such a sweet, patient saint, who daily lived what he preached. Duncan didn’t care where his affluence came from, even if it came out of other men’s mouths. Jesus instructed His disciples to deal this way with church members who sin against you: First, discuss the matter only between him and you. If he will not reconcile with you, then bring with you one or two others from the church to try to reason with him. If he won’t listen to them, tell the matter to the congregation. If the erring brother will not listen to the church, then he is to be treated no longer as a brother in Christ, but as a sinner (Matthew 18:15-17).

I honestly believe the pastor was patient with Duncan because Pearl had always been one of the saintliest pillars of our church, and he didn’t want to hurt her. She had quite enough to bear, living with that man. If it weren’t for the beautiful children she had, she might have wished she could go back to her former life as a poorer woman who had to depend solely on her holy, harmless Saviour.

Not content with the unrepented-of discord he sowed among the brethren, dastardly Duncan concocted an even more brilliant scheme several years later: quit working to support his big family and go back to college. Poor Pearl was up to her neck in diapers and dishes and had four children under the age of six.

“So what do you think of goin’ back to work so I can study to be a history prof?” Duncan proposed to her. “It’d only be temporary, of course; that is, unless you really enjoy the job and want to keep on workin’.”

There were practical considerations. Her mouth quivered with strain. How, she asked, could they possibly afford child care for four small children? That alone would eat up all her take-home pay.

“Oh, you’ll think of somethin’,” he breezily said. “You’re a smart gal. But my dream will never come true without your help. If you truly love Jesus, you’ll submit. Remember how Brother Barry said a good wife would even jump off a cliff if her husband told her to.”

Pearl knew only God could deliver her from having to leave her family in day care they could never afford. Her little babies needed her. She prayed her heart out for a miracle.

Will God give poor Pearl a miracle in time? Stay tuned for Greedy, I Wanna SEE Yew! Part II.

The good Lord works in mysterious ways. It wasn’t long Duncan’s uncle went to his eternal reward. Even before the body was cold the will was read, and guess who got a big slab of the pie? Problem solved. Pearl could stay home with the kids, and Duncan could be a schoolboy again.

At the graveside service, Duncan hid his face behind his sleeve. “He’s breaking down,” whispered one of the mourners, “and he’s just too dignified to let us see him cry.”

Once the minister finished his long-winded eulogy and committed the departed’s soul to God, Duncan hasted away to be alone with his thoughts. “This really hit him hard,” said his elderly aunt. I never realized Duncan and Lester were that close.”

Pearl caught up with Duncan. Instead of tears, she saw a grin as wide as the state of Texas. “You look so peaceful, Duncan,” she said. “You must be happy for Uncle Lester, just knowing his sufferings are over, and he’s with Jesus now.”

“Oh, it ain’t just that,” Duncan sniffed. “That ol’ guy taught me more about love in the cemetery than I learned in the seminary. Greater love hath no uncle than this, than that he lay down his life savings for dear ol’ Duncan.”

The End? No way. In the long run, sinners can’t be winners. If Greedy’s still alive and kickin’ at the time of the Rapture, there are only two possible outcomes for him, depending on whether or not his attitude changes:

1. Greedy grabs his last chance to escape hell by the skin of his teeth.
2. Greedy’s still as stubborn as a mule, and hang the consequences.

Option One:

GREEDY SEES THE LIGHT (FINALLY)

“Worst message I ever heard,” sighed Duncan, as he and Pearl turned in for the night. “We must’a been crazy to go with Jim and Julie to that tent meetin’. That preacher hollerin’ about how easy it is to lose your salvation, and my word, sayin’ there’s only one load goin’ up in the Rapture.”

“He did have a zeal for holiness,” said Pearl. “But it’s also important to be grounded in the grace of God.”

“The way I see it, Pearl, my Bible says: ‘God is Love’. Once saved, always saved. Sure, I’ve made a few human mistakes, but that’s all water under the bridge. How long’s it been, now? Forty years? I know God don’t hold grudges. There just wasn’t enough love in that preacher, or he wouldn’t’a been so hard on us.”

Pearl winced, as if the memory were a recent one. “Did you ever make things right with any of those brothers you painted with, Duncan?”

“Shoot, no. After the church broke up, all of us scattered to the four winds. They all knew I was only kiddin’.”

“Did you ever ask Jesus to forgive you?”

“What for? Things were real tight in them days, and a guy had to make a decent livin’. Jesus understands, and if He doesn’t, my theology’s gone haywire somewhere.”

Pearl sighed, but said nothing. She knew how useless it was to reason with old Duncan. He was just too set in his ways.

“I better get some shut-eye, Pearl. We’ve got a big day tomorrow. We’ve got a whole passel of grandkids comin’ to spend the day.”

“How wonderful,” Pearl smiled, “but we’d better get all rested up for that.”

“Good night, Pearl.”

“Good night, Duncan.”

The lights went out.

Next morning Duncan’s eyes opened with a start. Hard sheets of rain were splattering the windows, and the thunder was making a mighty commotion. Oddly enough, it was almost dark outside, though it was 9 a.m. Funny, Duncan thought, squinting and focusing on his alarm clock, which was on Pearl’s empty side of the bed. Pearl should’a woke me up too. I was gonna take the whole gang out to the zoo, but they’ll probably decide not to come over today. Weird weather. It was bright as a bell yesterday. Hey, where’s she at anyhow? I’m hungry. Even a retired teacher gets hungry as a bear...

Yawning, he got out of bed and put on his slippers. He called down the stairs: “Pearl? Pearl, honey, have you got breakfast goin’ yet? I hope you’re makin’ them buttermilk biscuits! M-m-m-m! With golden honey, but nothin’s as sweet as you!”

Silence.

“Where is that gal anyway?” muttered Duncan, stumbling down the stairs. He took a big whiff. “Burnin’ bacon. That ain’t like her to burn my breakfast. But why won’t she answer?” He hurried to go see what was cooking.

Black smoke drifted through the kitchen shutters over the buffet counter. “Oh, my lord!” Duncan hollered. “Somethin’s on fire!”

He raced to the stove and threw water on the grease fire in the bacon skillet. It only made it worse. “No, no no!” he shouted. “Wait! You throw a blanket on a grease fire! That’s it!”

He looked round, but there wasn’t a big enough piece of cloth. It was then he glanced down and saw Pearl’s crumpled bathrobe. Not stopping to think, he used it to extinguish the blaze.

Finally he could draw a breath of relief and let himself wonder why it had been lying on the floor in the first place. That wasn’t all. Her pajamas were down there too. It hit him.

“Pearl!” he called crossly. “This ain’t funny now! It ain’t like you to pull pranks, and it ain’t even April Fool’s day! Where’re you at, anyway?”

It was unearthly quiet. Heart pounding, Duncan went to the living room and flicked on the TV to the News Network.

A special bulletin was in progress. A news correspondent stood in the middle of a street, where two cars were burning, and people were running amok. He was hardly able to talk straight, and appeared to be in tears. People were running wild, calling out a cacophony of names. One man rushed past the reporter, carrying a computer looted from a shop whose owner had disappeared. “Were they abducted by terrorists using some secret weapon unknown to all of humankind except a handful of conspirators?” wondered the reporter.

Duncan needed no further convincing. He sank to his knees. “Oh, Lord Jesus, it’s happened! Brother Parsons was right after all! He wasn’t the crazy one, it was all those others who told me I’d get to heaven no matter what! But what he said was true! Without holiness no man shall see the Lord, and no covetous man hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of God! I’ve lied to myself all these years about the grace of God!” He began to weep.

Duncan finally confessed those sins he’d hung onto for so many years. He barely made it through half the Great Tribulation before he was martyred by agents of Antichrist for his faith.

In heaven he reconciled with saints he knew long ago, and wondered why he hadn’t repented of his wicked ways decades before. It was then he grasped the true meaning of agape love.


Option Two:

GREEDY GOES TO HELL

“Glad we decided not to go,” said Duncan, as he and Pearl turned in for the night. “We would’a been crazy to go with Jim and Julie to that tent meetin’. That preacher thinks it’s real easy lose your salvation, somebody said, and he thinks there’s only one load goin’ up in the Rapture.”

“He must have a zeal for holiness,” said Pearl. “But it’s also important to be grounded in the grace of God.”

“The way I see it, Pearl, my Bible says: ‘God is Love’. Once saved, always saved. Sure, I’ve made a few human mistakes, but that’s all water under the bridge. How long’s it been, now? Forty years? I know God don’t hold grudges. There just ain’t no love in a preacher who hollers hellfire and damnation. That’s verbal abuse and politically incorrect, you know.”

Pearl winced, as if the memory were a recent one. “Did you ever make things right with any of those brothers you painted with, Duncan?”

“Shoot, no. After the church broke up, all of us scattered to the four winds. They all knew I was only kiddin’.”

“Did you ever ask Jesus to forgive you?”

“What for? Things were real tight in them days, and a guy had to make a decent livin’. Jesus understands, and if He doesn’t, He’s never walked a mile in my shoes.”

Pearl sighed, but said nothing. She knew how useless it was to reason with old Duncan. He was just too set in his ways.

“I better get some shut-eye, Pearl. We’ve got a big day tomorrow. We’ve got a big passel of grandkids comin’ to spend the day.”

“How wonderful,” Pearl smiled, “but we’d better get all rested up for that.”

“Good night, Pearl.”

“Good night, Duncan.”

The lights went out.

Next morning Duncan’s eyes opened with a start. Hard sheets of rain were splattering the windows,and the thunder was making a mighty commotion. Oddly enough, it was almost dark outside, though it was 9 a.m. Funny, Duncan thought, squinting and focusing on his alarm clock, which was on Pearl’s empty side of the bed. Pearl should’a woke me up too. I was gonna take the whole gang out to the zoo, but they’ll probably decide not to come over today. Weird weather. It was bright as a bell yesterday. Hey, where’s she at anyhow? I’m hungry. Even a retired teacher gets hungry as a bear...

Yawning, he got out of bed and put on his slippers. He called down the stairs: “Pearl? Pearl, honey, have you got breakfast goin’ yet? I hope you’re makin’ them buttermilk biscuits! M-m-m-m! With golden honey, but nothin’s as sweet as you!”

Silence.

“Where is that gal anyway?” muttered Duncan, stumbling down the stairs. He took a big whiff. “Burnin’ bacon. That ain’t like her to burn my breakfast. But why won’t she answer?” He hurried to go see what was cooking.

Black smoke drifted through the kitchen shutters over the buffet counter. “Oh, my lord!” Duncan hollered. “Somethin’s on fire!”

He raced to the stove and threw water on the grease fire in the bacon skillet. It only made it worse. “No, no no!” he shouted. “Wait! You throw a blanket on a grease fire! That’s it!”

He looked round, but there wasn’t a big enough piece of cloth. It was then he glanced down and saw Pearl’s crumpled bathrobe. Not stopping to think, he used it to extinguish the blaze.

Finally he could draw a breath of relief and let himself wonder why it had been lying on the floor in the first place. That wasn’t all. Her pajamas were down there too. It hit him.

“Pearl!” he called crossly. “This ain’t funny now! It ain’t like you to pull pranks, and it ain’t even April Fool’s day! Where’re you at, anyway?”

It was unearthly quiet. Heart pounding, Duncan went to the living room and flicked on the TV to the News Network.

A special bulletin was in progress. A news correspondent stood in the middle of a street, where two cars were burning, and people were running amok. He was hardly able to talk straight, and appeared to be in tears. People were running wild, calling out a cacophony of names. One man rushed past the reporter, carrying a computer looted from a shop whose owner had disappeared. “Were they abducted by terrorists using some secret weapon unknown to all of humankind except a handful of conspirators?” wondered the reporter.

Duncan needed no further convincing as to what had transpired. He turned red as a beet. “That’s a thankless way to treat me, God!” he shouted. “After all the years I studied at seminary, and never did get to pastor a church! After all the tithe money I dumped into offerin’ plates, and what I could’a done with it! All’a them clothes I donated to the Salvation Army, and I could’a sold ’em at a big yard sale! All the times I read Bible stories to four kids instead of watchin’ TV! All the long years I said ‘no’ to the devil and lived a decent life as a family man!”

“And why in blazes did You lead me on the way You did? My Uncle Lester died just so You could bless me and give me a new start in life! Didn’t You say: ‘The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just’? I know Uncle Lester was a churchgoer, but he chewed tobacco! He even lost his temper, just like Buck did! I sorta thought You were makin’ it up to me for the way Buck badmouthed me in front of those other guys!”

Duncan began to sob. “All these years I lived the good life! I taught history and retired with a good pension! Pearl and I went to church conventions, had lots of good friends! Both of us taught Sunday School! All of our kids had a happy life, and their kids too! Not once did You ever warn me I wasn’t good enough for the Rapture!”

Strangely enough, Duncan couldn’t stop thinking of Buck, a man he hadn’t seen in decades. “What would he know!” hollered Duncan. “Isn’t smokin’ and cussin’ a sin? If anything I did was all that bad, seems like You would’a kept me poor to teach me a lesson, or sent down an angel to warn me!”

Wild with fury, Duncan ran out in the rain. It was not the gentle, refreshing rain of past early autumn days, but a relentless, pounding rain driven by gale-force winds. Trash blew through Duncan’s back yard. He watched helplessly as the rain turned to tiny hailstones which pummeled his tomato plants. But despite the bad weather, people were pouring out of their houses and crying hysterically for missing loved ones; moaning in fathomless dread because they had been left behind to face earth’s most tragic period in history: the Great Tribulation.

Duncan stood under an oak tree, shaking his fist at the heavens, as sirens wailed in the neighborhood. His ears filled with the roars of a storm which had barely begun. His protestations to the Almighty grew ever more bitter, reflecting the stark tragedy spoken of by the Apostle Peter: The spiritual state of a hardened backslider turns out to be far worse than it was before his conversion. Such a one would have been far better off never to have known Christ’s Narrow Way to Life than to have renounced Christ’s Lordship and lose his own soul.

A heavy bough snapped off the old oak tree after a particularly nasty lightning strike. Duncan said no more. He blacked out.

Once again he smelled smoke. He felt himself being dragged down, down, down, beneath the surface of the earth until he reached a yawning black abyss. Someone was waiting for him at the entrance to a vast cavern, filled with leaping flames and indescribably terrifying apparitions.

How horrible, to hear that voice again: “GREEDY, AH WANNA SEE YEW!”

“Boy,” drawled a grumpy-looking old acquaintance, “ah got an old score to settle with yew.”

“Listen,” stuttered Duncan, “if it’s about my painting...”

“That’s the reason I’m down heah,” the spectre growled. “Because of what yew painted. When ah first met yew, yew tried to get me to visit at yore church. Said yew was a Christian and all. Well, ah got to talkin’ with muh buddy about yew, and he told me about that ol’ train station. Seems his boy was hangin’ around outside the depot that day yew told yore men how to do a quick slap-jack job and high-tail it with the cash befo’ anybody was the wiser. Ah heard other stories about yew, too.”

Greedy was really sweating now. “Like what?”

“About this gal who cried when yore cheap paint rinsed off in the rain.
Well, boy, you’ll NEVAH have to worry about rain washin’ yore slop off down HEAH! Ah shore do hate yore guts, Greedy.”

Duncan couldn’t duck out of that one. “But you could have accepted Christ, like anybody else,” he whimpered. “You know that.”

“Now yew see heah, Greedy. Yew told me Christ was the Lord of yore business, didn’t yew?”

“Uh...yeah, I did say that.”

“Well, after yew painted yore sorry picture of how a Christian operates, ah decided ah’d best take muh chances down heah.”


END OF GREEDY’S GRAVY TRAIN
















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