I’m familiar with the stories of two women who each lived what I would deem a “miserable” life.
Their husbands were the primary reason many days were spent in a living hell.
One had settled into her dutiful role as a wife decades before she, at last, stumbled into the great respite that is “Heaven.”
Her cooking was referred as “slop.” “Not fit for a pig,” she was told.
I saw no tears, only sadness as she would grab a hand towel and clean the meal off the floor which she had worked so hard to prepare.
She was told she was “stupid,” and “worthless.”
Heartbreaking, but she never left. I don’t know how much stock I put into this, to be honest, but she stated that, biblically, she had no grounds for divorce, since her husband was faithful to her.
Oh, I know she was RIGHT, I just don’t think I have the guts to endure such pain.
Day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade she endured.
The other woman tried to leave many times, but in the end would always come back.
She struggled, emotionally, but never quit.
Now both women and their husbands are reunited in Heaven, having passed through the veil of eternity.
“Wait, Heaven?” you ask.
“How do you know? You just said these men were monsters.”
First, as they say on “Jurassic World,” “monster” is a relative term. “To a canary, a cat is a monster,” it’s stated.
But allow me to explain.
After the first woman passed away, her husband spent his last years guilt-ridden. He never told me, but I could tell. He had a large picture of his wife on the living room wall in his assisted-living apartment, and he would talk to her often.
While I never heard him, I figured he asked her forgiveness hundreds of times.
He would get up at 4:00 a.m. to pray, and sometimes meditated and read the Bible for three or four hours a day.
No amount of praying and Bible reading could erase the horror, but he sure tried.
God is much more merciful than I, however, and if redemption was sought, I’m sure it was granted.
In the case of the second woman, both a pastor and I spoke to her husband before he died, and his soul was ready.
Where forgiveness is requested, salvation is granted.
That’s all I’m saying.
Such miserable lives, and I really struggled with this for months.
“God, what a waste!” I cried out one night, vehemently angry with the Lord.
“These were GOOD women, and their days were spent in depression and suffering. That isn’t fair!”
Well, after spending a few weeks in this “angry phase,” a revolutionary thought hit me:
“What if the ONLY reason their husbands sought and—I assume—obtained salvation was BECAUSE their wives never left?”
“What if each, upon losing the only stability in their listless, gloomy lives, would’ve grown angry and cold against God? What if they died in bitter, lonely dejection, crossing the threshold of forever, godless?”
That shook me, and I pushed it to the back of my mind.
What a terrible thought: one person has to live in HELL so they both can make HEAVEN?
But then another question rocked me:
“What is the worth of the human soul? If it’s worth dying for, as in the case of Jesus Christ shedding His blood for us, then is it worth a lifetime of suffering?”
“Is anything worth more than your soul? (Mark 8:37)”
Ask these couples in a hundred years whether it was worth it.
Ask them in a thousand years, and the answer will still be, “a thousand times, YES.”
That’s crazy, man, I gotta tell you. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing, and feel wholly confident that I wouldn’t put up with an emotionally and verbally abusive person for decades, as these brave women did.
So what’s the answer to the question: what is the worth of the human soul?
I have no answers, I’m just posing questions.
That’s the best I can do right now, and possibly will EVER do, until I see Jesus face-to-face. Of course, then, when I finally DO have the chance to ask Him, I won’t care.