Worse Than Drowning

May 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

He gazed down at the ocean below. Normally, the beauty of the water would transfix him. Never would he have imagined it would be his fate. The helicopter blades thudded above him like a firing squad. The cold clamp pinched around his neck shallowing his breaths. The weight of the anvil pulled at his head pinching nerves in his back. Nothing hurt though. Nothing mattered. The watery grave didn’t seem so bad.

He remembered the moment his life ended. The judge’s gavel fell. “For teaching 4-year-old Gavin to swear, I sentence you to death.”

He closed his eyes and prepared as best as possible for the fatal plunge. The guard grabbed his arms and cackled in his ear. “You think this is how we plan to end your life? Really? This is way too easy.”

The helicopter jerked to the left, speeding up. Land appeared over the horizon. His wrists tied behind his back now began to ache. Eyes fixed ahead. He’d been ready for death. He’d been prepared. But now he was afraid. Afraid of the unknown. They landed on a volcanic island still hot from a recent lava flow. The guard shoved him out of the vehicle. The weight of the anvil pulled his face into the blazing coals. Pain never before felt burned through his body like a raging furnace.

The man yelled at him above the roar of the blades. “Your punishment is not drowning. You will lay facedown here and slowly burn.”

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“No,” was all the criminal could muster before the helicopter lifted and left him there alone.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

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