The Final Inspection

The sailor stood and faced his God which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining just as brightly as his brass. “Step forward now, you sailor, how shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?” The sailor squared his shoulders and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t, ’cause those of us who carry guns can’t always be a saint. I’ve had to work most Sundays and at times my talk was tough, and sometimes I’ve been violent because the world is awfully rough. I’ve never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear, and sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears. I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here, they never wanted me around except to calm their fears. If there’s a bunk for me in here, it needn’t be so grand, I never expected or had too much, so if you don’t, I’ll understand.” There was silence all around the throne where saints had often trod as the sailor waited quietly for the judgment of his God: “Step forward now, you sailor, you’ve borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets, you’ve done your time in Hell.”


Comments are closed.