Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)
TITLE: Nothing but the Blood
By Venice Kichura
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For years, Jerald had saved his money for world travel. He was the first Dalton to go to college and step foot out of the deep south.
He’d taught college for 35 years, relieved to be away from those ignorant Bible-thumpin’ Jesus freaks back in Alabama. He’d found a more sensible theology than the cross---the goodness and brotherhood of man. He’d even become an active parishioner at a local New England Unitarian Church.
His family back home told him they were praying for him. But he felt praying was a waste of time. It’s what you do for others that counts, he believed.
“Next.” The US/Canadian border patrol guard motioned for Jerald to drive his car to the patrol booth.
“Here you are, sir,” Jerald said, handing over his birth certificate and driver’s license. When he saw the patrol guard shaking his head, he suspected there was a problem.
“I’m sorry, but this won’t do,” the patrol said, looking up over his thick bifocals. “This doesn’t have a raised seal,” he said, pointing to the document. “It’s not a certified birth certificate.“ He handed the useless birth certificate back to Jerald.
“You mean I can’t cross over?”
“Not today, sir. Call your town hall in Union, Alabama and have them send you a certified birth certificate with a raised seal. And, once you get your certified copy, it’d be a good idea to go to your local Post Office and get your passport. You’ll need it next year to cross even the Canadian border.”
Filled with disappointment, Jerald turned around and headed back home to Massachusetts.
Why didn’t anyone warn me? He promised himself that he’d be sure to warn others that they needed an official raised seal on their birth certificate.
Still upset, he flipped on the radio, hoping to find a stimulating talk show. However, the dial was stuck. The gospel singer blared out the words of a familiar childhood hymn. “What can keep me free from sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
“I thought I was out of the Bible belt,” he fumed. Preoccupied with the radio, he took his eyes off the road.
His car slid off the highway, crashing, head on, into a telephone pole.
Knocked unconscious, the next thing he remembered was floating out of his body, which laid on a white, sterile table. He was vacuumed through a long, dark tunnel, and then ushered into a brilliant white light. There, on a great white throne, sat the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He took his place at the end of a long winding line of people. A gate of shiny white pearls stood in front of them.
Many of them, after approaching the great white throne were forced to turn around and go back, wailing, “Why didn’t anyone warn me?”
Then, when it was his turn to approach the great white throne, he fell on his face and cried, “pleeeease let me enter. I was a good person--- gave to the poor and sang in the church choir.”
The King looked at him. With sorrow in his eyes, replied, “I’m sorry; Jerald, but I don’t see the raised seal.”
“”Raised seal?” Not again, he thought.
“The seal of my blood, ” he said. “It’s only by my shed blood, my arising from death and the grave, that anyone can enter through these gates.”
Jerald cried, “Please, I beg you, give me another chance!”
Then he opened his eyes where he looked up at half a dozen faces, all staring down on him with thankful smiles of relief.
“He’s back!” The head surgeon exclaimed. “You’ve been in a bad accident and have had an intensive heart operation. We thought we lost you for a few moments. But with blood transfusions you’re going to make it,” he said.
Nothing but the blood,” Jerald faintly sung. “Nothing but the blood of Jesus. That’s my seal, my passport to heaven.”
Jerald recovered and immediately got his eternal passport. He’s ready for heaven now and warning others to be sure and get theirs.
However he never went to Canada or overseas.--never got his US passport to travel abroad.
But his intercessory prayers have traveled all over the world.
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