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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Message on the Wall

It wasn't what you would typically expect to find hanging on a wall in the ladies' room of a department store. There was no nasty, explicit, un-repeatable message scribbled in pencil with an unsteady hand. In fact, it wasn't even written at all. It was typed. About ten lines of various lengh, leading to one simple message, typed in small print on a tiny business card.
But there it was. Someone, whether she was married to the leader of a church, in a crisis herself, or just a thoughtful person trying to do something, anything, to help someone else, left this card:

You can get to Heaven without a job,
Without ever owning a home,
Without expensive clothes,
With no money in the bank,
No shoes on your feet,
Never earning a college degree,
Without getting married,
Or having power and influence,
You can get to Heaven without a million other things.
You cannot get to Heaven without Christ.

That was the message. No rhyming words, or church logos, or even an illustration. Just that plain, simple, pure message. It was directly in the line of vision of anyone that dried their hands, being tacked to the wall beside the paper towel dispenser. If you could read, you could not avoid it.
Those words are true. In the Bible, Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can enter the kingdom of God except through Me."
No matter what happens in our lives, if we have faith in God and His son Jesus Christ, we are saved. We know where we'll go when we're gone, what to expect when this world ends, and what really matters in life. Faith. Hope. Love.
Truthfully, I don't know what happened to that card, or even if it had much effect on others who read it. It was years ago that I saw it, yet I remember.
My guess is that, after a week or so, someone that could not understand and had not accepted the message, took down the card. It was most likely thrown in the overflowing waste-basket below. They were most likely outraged, and felt like in choosing another religion, they had been denied something. And they were right.
I also look at it like this: that card is still remembered. A single moment spent tacking a little piece of paper to a bathroom wall caused a memory that has lasted in my mind for years. I know those words are true. Whoever put the card on the wall believed them, cherished them, and tried to do good through them.
And what about the person that did away with the card? Where they ever saved? That I don't know. Only they, God, and maybe a few of their friends, will ever know. But think about this. They saw those words. They had to read those words. Instead of accepting the message, they became enraged and tossed them away. But they did read them. They had to think of them. And they too, may remember them.
Reading turns into thought, thought to wonder, and wondering, sometimes, to accepting. Even if recalling them in hatred, that woman thought about those words, turned them over in her mind, and they aroused something in her.
And if she, or anyone else that read that card, is still alive, then there is still time for them to listen, to hear, and to understand, the message on the wall.