A Very
Short Story
. . . with Long Lasting Implications

Hank looked out the window, not liking what he saw - more snow!
   "When is it going to stop?" he said, loud enough for his wife, Aileen, to hear
   from the kitchen.   "This winter is barely two weeks old and already I've had
to shovel that stupid driveway nine times."

   Aileen quietly peeled her carrots and shook her head.   She knew from thirty-
three years of marriage: don't add fuel to the fire.
   "AILEEN!"   Hank poked his head in the kitchen.   "Did you know it was snowing

   Aileen nodded.   It wasn't wise to ignore him, either.   He continued his ranting.
   "Snow!   That's all it's been doing!   Snow, snow, snow!"   He pulled the kitchen
curtain aside.   "And now, believe it or not - MORE SNOW!"   He turned to her and
paused.   "What are you doing?"
   "Preparing lunch," she said.   "It should be ready in twenty minutes.   Michelle is
dropping by."
   "Oh."   He glanced out the window again.   "Well, I might as well get the shovel and
clear the driveway for her.   I hope she doesn't get on her hobby horse when she's

   Hank started from the street and worked his way toward the house.   I'm getting
too old for this
, he thought, slowing down with every shovel-full.   Halfway up the
driveway he stopped, figuring she had enough room to park.   He shook his fist at the
snowflakes as they gently came down.
   "You don't fool me!" he said.   "You're not as pretty as some idiots think you
   From the kitchen window, Aileen watched his outburst.   She shook her head
and smiled over his foolish obsession with the snow.   At that instant, Michelle turned
into the driveway and pulled up behind him.
   "Hi, Daddy," she said, getting out of the car carrying a covered pan.   "Who are
you talking to?"
   "ALL THIS!"   He pointed at his front yard.   "Look at it!"
   "You mean the snow?"
   He paused to look at the pan.   "What do you got there?"
   "Dessert," she said.   "And no peaking, it's a surprise."

   Later that afternoon, toward the end of the meal, Michelle turned to her father
and asked, "Daddy, did you enjoy the card I sent?"
   "Card?" Hank said, polishing off the last slice of ham.
   "Let's try that dessert you brought," Aileen quickly interjected, trying
desperately to prevent a fire from starting.

   "OH!   You mean that card."   Hank stood up to fetch the pile of Christmas cards laying on
the living room coffee table.
   Michelle looked at her mother.   "Is something wrong?"
   "Your father didn't particularly like . . ."
   Hank returned, sat down, and began to sift through the cards, occasionally peeking at
Michelle over the top of his reading glasses.
   "Michelle, could you help me with these dishes. . . in the kitchen?"
   "STAY PUT, both of you!" Hank said, finally locating the card Michelle had sent.   "The
card itself was okay."   Hank opened the card.   "But inside, there was this tasteless little
   Michelle, wide eyed, leaned back into her chair.
   Hank began to read from it: "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and
seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.   And he cried and said, Father
Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in
water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."
  (Luke 16:23-24)
   "Now what kind of thing is this to send your parents on Christmas!" Hank said, shaking
the brochure in Michelle's direction.
   "That's what Christmas is all about," Michelle slowly replied.   "Jesus Christ was born to
die for our sins so we won't have to spend eternity in a place like that . . ."
   "And you think your mother and I are two sinful heathens?"
   "Now, Hank, you've gone too far," Aileen said, laying her hand on Michelle's shoulder.
   "Oh!   So maybe you don't mind being treated like some sinner," Hank said.
   "We're all sinners, Daddy.   The Bible says: ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God;’
(Rom. 3:23)."
   Hank took off his reading glasses.   "Okay, Miss Bible Verse, then face your mother and
tell her she's a sinner!"
   "Mom . . . you're a sinner."
   Hank pounded the table hard enough to rattle the silverware.   "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU
DID THAT!   How can you call your mother, this wingless angel, a sinner?"
   Michelle frowned as her voice went up an octave.   "God says she's one. . . and. . . and so
are you!"
   "Young lady, I'll have you know that I've always tried to do what's right and . . ."
   "That's self-righteousness, Daddy!   And Jesus said: ‘except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
  (Luke 13:3)"
   Aileen quietly stood up and headed for the kitchen.
   "And where, pray-tell, are you going?" Hank said.
   "To get the dessert."
   "But Aileen, we're in the middle of a . . ."

   "Daddy, please listen.   You can't trust self- righteousness to get you to Heaven.   You
need to see yourself as God sees you - a condemned sinner in need of a Saviour.   That's why,
‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’   (Rom. 5:8)   He, ‘died for our sins’ (1 Cor.
15:3).   You have to repent and trust Him, and Him alone, to save you.   The Bible says, ‘That if
thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
[TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved ... For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
  (Rom. 10:9-13)"
   Michelle could see her words bouncing off him.   She braced herself for his reply, but was
spared by Aileen's timely arrival with dessert.   Aileen opened the pan, immediately displaying
its contents to Hank in an effort to pacify him.
   "It's your favorite . . . chocolate cake," Michelle quickly added.   "I put powered sugar on
top.   Isn't it neat . . . kinda looks like snow!"
   Hank's eyes flared up as he bolted from the room, mumbling something under his
   Aileen looked at Michelle.   "Don't worry, Honey.   He'll get over all this . . . eventually."

   Leaving the two women to themselves, Hank went outside to take his anger out on the
   "Ever since she started thumping that Bible, she's been a royal pain!" he said out-loud,
not caring who heard him.   He thrust the shovel hard into the snow.   "Stupid snow!"   He
heaved a shovel-full to the side.
   "Why doesn't she keep it to herself?"   He thrust the shovel again, harder.   "And why
doesn't this stuff stay up there?"   He heaved another shovel-full.
   "She just doesn't know when to quit."   He paused to place his hand on his chest.   "Now
look what she did. . . I've got gas pains."
   He thrust the shovel once more, but stopped as the pain intensified.   "This snow doesn't
know when to quit either," he said, breathing harder.
   Looking upward, he shook one fist toward the sky, while gripping his chest tight with the
other hand.   "If I ever see another stupid snowflake again, it'll . . ."

   Aileen and Michelle were washing dishes when Aileen glanced out the window at Hank.   He
just stood there, motionless.   With his shovel jammed vertically in the snow, he looked like
he was taking a break by propping himself up against the handle, except that both arms
were hanging down - limp.
   After staring long enough to realize what had happened - she screamed . . .

   And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and cried for some snow that it may
cool his tongue; for he was tormented in the flame . . .

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
and them which do iniquity
And shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth."
  Mat. 13:41-42

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
  Eph. 2:8-9   Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the
, the truth, and the life: no man
unto the Father, but by me."

(John 14:6)   THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."

(Rom. 5:8-9)   THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself.   And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
[REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
[TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
  Rom. 10:9

P.O. Box 815
Fargo, ND 58107

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]