The Journey of a Corpse
What is life?
I asked the Lord to direct my steps this morning and I went out with the intention of introducing Jesus to someone today. Instead, I met a corpse and I received a sermon I will never forget.
The stench hit me before I saw it. Someone (or something) who once was a man.
Go with me on a journey: sometime ago, a family (probably) received the best news at that time - they had a male child who had just been born into the family. In Nigeria (until just recently) male children are considered the wealth of a family while the female children were not deemed as important as the male children. In the Eastern part of the Country, the people believe that any wife who cannot give birth to a male child is useless and not worth keeping in the home. Woe betide her if she becomes a widow without a male child! Her husband's brothers turn into wolves and confiscate their dead brother's property turning the wife into a destitute. I know of a woman who had five daughters for her husband (the husband loved his daughters immeasurably) and unfortunately, he died and his brothers took everything from the wife and drove her and her children away. In another case, the man always embarrassed his wife from the hospital if the baby she gave birth to was female (the couple are still living today) and after 3 daughters, she finally gave birth to a son and her husband turned the hospital into a party scene and gave his wife a royal treatment (because she had a son).
Now, you understand what a male child meant to the people in this Country! And this corpse was a male.
As I walked past the corpse lying at the bus stop, I realised he probably might have been sent to a school and had friends growing up; he might have been brilliant and touted as one for the future. He might also have fallen in love in his teens (as young people sometimes do) and he might have had little trysts with girls his age.
I took another look at the bloated body that someone sometime ago once held to her breast to suckle, to rock and to put to sleep. Someone loved the person lying there and probably someone was missing him.
I noticed the bulging eyes and the rubbery skin which had broken somewhere and the putrid liquid was flowing from the body. I wondered where the authorities responsible for cleanliness were because from the looks of him, he had been dead for days. For him, time on earth had stopped but around him, activities were going on as usual and except for the reaction of passers-by to the stench, one would not know that the corpse ever lived as a man deserving of attention.
I wondered at the complexities and vicissitudes of life! And it was as though I heard the Lord in my spirit telling me how the world and some of its people stink to high heavens! Some people are already corpses that stink because they have turned their backs on the Way, the Truth and THE LIFE! When one turns away from life, it means one has chosen death because death is the opposite of life and in matters that deal with destiny and life, there is no sitting on the fence.
Let me continue my tale: Maybe, this middle aged man once had a family, maybe he married a wife and time and chance happened to him and maybe he lost everything. He did not look like someone who committed suicide. Neither did he look like someone who was murdered. He was a destitute and in my Country, nobody looks twice at a destitute or a lunatic - they roam the streets at will and sometimes are victims of circumstances beyond their control. He looked like he just laid down and died.
Many Christians today do not feel the pains of the wandering lost souls around them. Some of us Christians are quick to judge and condemn, while we live in our spiritual cocoons, waiting for rapture for ourselves and our loved ones.
What about them? What about those who come from broken homes and are already broken personalities with broken psyches and all they need is a little love from those who claim to know the Saviour of ALL MANKIND.
If He is the Savioiur of ALL MANKIND as we Christians claim, why are we not out there helping the rest of mankind to know Him and His finished work on their behalf? I grieve deeply for the souls already lost - like my dear rotting corpse. I weep that the harvest truly is ripe but the LABOURERS are few. We have many people claiming to work in the Vineyard yet the labourers are few. Where are the labourers?
Where is hope?
I looked at the corpse and it seemed to cry out at me: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED SOMEBODY TO EASE MY PAIN WITH A SOOTHING WORD, A LOVING EMBRACE AND A CARING HAND? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I LET GO OF THE LAST VESTIGES OF HOPE AND LAID DOWN AND DIED? WHERE WERE YOU?!!!
I sincerely want us to look again at those for whom Christ died and pity the soul that is headed for doom. There before you is a potential corpse - will he have the dignity of a coffin, surrounded by loving family and a Priest offering prayer because you cared enough?
Or will he suffer the ignominy of dying in a place where he would rot before his loved one would have the opportunity of giving him the honour he deserves?
THERE IS A CORPSE AND HIS NAME IS WELL KNOWN TO YOU - WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO? LOVE HIM TO LIFE OR LEAVE HIM TO DIE?
IT IS UP TO US!!!