The Man that Was_A Short Story
A man walked a long distance in worn out clothes. His suit was dusty and the edges were frayed. As for his skin, it was blackened by direct contact with the heat of the sun. His lips were cracked and bleeding.
The man walked as if with purpose. He seemed to have a destination in mind as he confidently put one foot in front of the other. The sack he carried on his back weighed little, but as each day passed, it felt like it weighed a ton. In it were all his possessions. There was nothing he had outside of them.
This man with parched lips had a straw hat that was barely any use. He wore it all the time – it was better than nothing. He was nameless as far as it concerns us. Who would stop such a pitiful stranger to ask for his name?
He collapsed on his journey finally one day, exhausted to wordless groans under the passing heat of the afternoon. He took off his worn-out shoes. His feet often protruded from them when he was walking. He examined his swollen and cut feet and ached for something to soothe the pain.
Back in his earth life he was living very well. He was eating, drinking and making merry. There was nothing a man could possess that he didn’t have.
As he groaned wordlessly on the beaten path, he heard echoes from his earth life. “God,” he begged in painful whispers, “please open my eyes to see my wretchedness.” Even when he uttered these words, he cried in despair. He wasn’t certain that his inward whispers would ever cross the threshold to reach him on the other side, where he ate and drank and made merry and starved his spirit to death.
He could hear his Maker thunder words of doom to his earth self, “Fool, tonight your soul is required of you…” “Oh no,” he cried, for he knew where this was going. His living soul had doomed him, body, soul, and spirit to eternal death.
On the earth side, his name was Joshua. He had a wife and four grown children, multiple mistresses, and wealth that threatened to spill over at the seams. He had heard the truth that it was better to singularly seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, but he had chosen to believe that God willed him to have everything he wanted. He called it prosperity and dulled his conscience. He starved his inner man until the cries of his spirit could no longer be heard. Joshua gave up his soul to gain the whole world. He did not heed the words of Christ that said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?” He believed he could circumvent the warning. He could have it all he thought, ‘a sure ticket to heaven and all the world’.
He forgot the cross.