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An eternal sigh

I overheard a lady at a coffee shop telling the barista about her recent experience of shifting house. “Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” she said with a sigh. All those waiting for their coffees pursed their lips with a smile that was all too knowing. What a vexatious experience to endure, and what a forlorn sentence to express it. Yet it made me think that her expression might actually be a very apt portrait of hell.

St Peter in one of his letters spoke of heaven as a “home of righteousness”, which is a both a lovely expression and a lovely thought. A place where everything is right, and where everything is in its right place, and where “everything that could go right, does go right.” If such is the case, then surely hell must be the opposite: “a home of unrighteousness”. Where nothing works right. Where nothing ever works right.

What a forlorn thought. It’s one thing to survive an ordeal and to live to see another day. To recover from couches carried through the rain, and china cabinets chipped and scratched, and precious things carefully packed but now missing. But it’s quite another to think of a world that never works right. Where disarray and disorder are the laws of nature, and where disappointment is the both the rule and the exception. Surely of such a place, it can be truly said: Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

DM 27th August 2019

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