Saturday, June 03, 2006

HOPE: Where would you be without it?

HOPE RELEASED: [1 Timothy 2:13, 14]
For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.
In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. Zeus (Greek supreme god) ordered her creation as vengeance on man and his benefactor, Prometheus, to whose brother Epimetheus he sent her. Later, Zeus sent Mercury with a box for Pandora.

Zeus forbade her to open the box; Pandora disobeyed and out came all the world's evils, only hope remained in the box. Pandora said, “Oh well! What the heck!” She again opened the lid, and out came hope which soothed man’s griefs and suffering.

The first Adam was also given a woman, but this woman was from the one, true God, Jehovah. Likewise, this woman was commanded not to do something, she too disobeyed. But God had hope remaining, so He sent His Son to release it from the hearts of man to soothe the pangs of suffering eternal damnation.

TWO OPTIONS: [John 6:37; other topics - Aging, hopelessness, kindness, Memorial Day, respect, seniors, veterans, WWII]
They called him Pops around the Butte County, California, jail. However, his real name was Coval Russell. He was 92 years-old and serving 14 months for trying to kill his 70-year-old landlord over a petty dispute.

The report in The Los Angeles Times [July 11, 2002] claimed his year in jail was the best year of his nine decades long life; evidently, Russell had few positive life encounters prior to incarceration.

Yet, jailers and inmates alike befriended their senior citizen neighbor. His new family tried to make the tall, lanky Oklahoma native as comfortable as possible; they provided an extra mattress, first spot in the chow line, extra television time, even additional outside calls for medications (he had prostrate cancer). The younger men considered themselves his grandkids.

Upon serving his term, Russell petitioned the judge to be allowed to remain in jail. He told the jurist the people in jail treated him with more respect than those on the outside. “They treat me like a human being in there.” He supposedly said. His appeal was rejected.

As a result, the distraught man told friends he had but two options – either to violate his parole in order to return to jail or to take his own life. On Wednesday, 11 July 2002, Coval Russell, the WWII veteran, who risked his life for his fellow Americans, jumped from a bridge over the Feather River, to his death.

People (family, friends, and neighbors) who should have and could have given him a third option, didn’t; people who had little to give and little power to give at all, gave all they had. They gave him what they thought he needed but missed the mark by a light-year.

What Coval Russell really wanted and needed was hope, and hope is what a man gets when he has a right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He was abandoned and disrespected by a callused and indifferent world. Christ, the lover of his soul, would never abandon him and would give him all the respect a man could imagine.

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