The young man’s twisted body lay on the hard ground in the aspen grove. He stared with unblinking eyes at the early morning sun light filtering through the canopy of golden yellow leaves. A crimson pool of blood had spread out staining the ground around his torso. A numbing cold was replaced the searing pain.

He had made a dumb mistake trying to climb through the barbed wire fence with a loaded shotgun. Climbing through while watching intently the four-point buck running through the grove, reached back to pull the gun to him. A loose piece of barbed wire caught on the trigger. Then an ear-splitting roar and a punch that hurtled him through the air to crash into a dead tree. Now there were no responses from anywhere in his whole body to commands from his brain. Calling for help produced only silence. The cell phone was buzzing in his backpack. He tried to shout but only an ugly rattling sound came from his throat with each breath.

In his mind he could hear his Dad “preaching” to him last night that safety was a moment-by-moment conscious act…that a split second careless act could be fatal. Why had he been in such a hurry?

He had felt so grown up this morning leaving the house before dawn. His Mom had gotten up when she heard him showering and fixed breakfast for him. She had talked to him again about giving his heart to Jesus…that God had placed Eternity in his heart. “Mom, I have my whole life ahead of me…later…I’m going to be late.” He saw his mom’s eyes fill with tears and he felt a pang of remorse. He knew she loved him but his life was just starting and he wanted to be his own man. Looking away, he finished his breakfast, got up and gave her a hug. “I’m almost grown now, Mom. I can take care of myself.” He squeezed her hand, grabbed his coat and backpack and left.

Tears formed in his eyes as he realized she could not help him now. He sensed he would never see her again.

The rays of the sun seemed to be darkening. Was it getting cloudy?

His body jerked. Where was he? Had he drifted off to sleep? And what was that unnerving noise? It was unbearable screaming, wailing…voices of agony. It was so dark. He could see nothing even when he put his hand before his eyes. Had he gone blind? Was this some sort of cruel trick of God? Did He turn him blind while freeing up his body to move? He swings his arms in a wide circle, but still could not feel anything. He rubbed his eyes but could not feel them. What was wrong? He could tell he had a body but he could not feel it. The voices he heard of people sounded very close to him but there was nobody to touch.

“Mom!” he shouted instinctively. No answer. Only the incessant scream of pain. Where had they taken him? Then he knew. A flash of recognition. He was in Eternity.

“Lord, Oh God! I gave some money to the crippled man. I gave some money to the church when I had extra! I am not that bad. I’m just a kid!”

“Yes, you did. And yes, you are. My Son gave His all for you and you continually turned your back on Him.” Responded a Voice that was full of sorrow.

He cried out for just a drop of water to moisten his tongue…

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