Dear Sean

I have no answers. And I don’t want any. Because people who are fortunate enough to know it all tend to act like it.

DEAR SEAN:

I’m not certain where you stand with Jesus Christ, and that concerns me. I read the things you write and I hear you say things about God, but then you say things about dying and coming back to earth as a squirrel? Uh, what?

That is paganism, sir, and mistaken beliefs like that tell me that we probably aren’t going to spend eternity together. I know where I’m going, do you?

If you’ve got questions, I want you to know I have the answers that your heart is searching for.

I HOPE SEAN OF THE SOUTH REPENTS

DEAR I HOPE:

This comes as no surprise to me. I’ve always suspected I’d be going to hell.

The first time I realized this, I was working part-time in a Southern Baptist church—long ago.

I spent my days doing construction. On Sundays, I helped lead singing at church.

One Sunday, I brought three of my Mexican coworkers to service. Let’s call them Shadrach, Meshach, and Vincente Fernández.

The boys wore tattered jeans and paint-splattered T-shirts. They sat front row, watching me sing.

After service, the pastor asked me not to let those boys sit up front again—he thought their appearance was disrupting.

I never sang in that church again.

I’ve got missionary friends, too. My missionary compadres spent three years on a Native American reservation. My friend was there to help a poverty-stricken, heathen tribe.

He was a seminary grad, with answers—all twenty-nine years of accumulated wisdom.

His first weeks, the elders of the tribe showered him and his wife with gifts.

The women brought hot breakfasts, homemade casseroles, fresh vegetables. They brought handmade jewelry, blankets, clothing.

My friend asked the elders why they were being so gracious.

The elders said, “Because we want you to know we love you, even though you tell us we are going to hell.”

I know a man named Jim. He’s almost eighty-three today. He’s been attending A.A. meetings since 1976—he’s been sober for that long.

He once met a man at a group meeting—a young pastor.

One night, Jim found the pastor in a drunken stupor before a meeting. He sponsored the man.

And when the fertilizer hit the fan, Jim was there to make sure the pastor didn’t go hungry or homeless.

One night, Jim rescued the man from a beer joint across county lines. The young Baptist was facedown in his own vomit.

The intoxicated man said, “Jim, why’re you helping me, you aren’t even a Christian.”

Jim answered, “Because someone did the same thing for me once.”

That minister has been wearing a sobriety ring for twenty-two years.

So thanks for the letter. I’m glad you have answers.

I have no answers. And I don’t want any. Because people who are fortunate enough to know it all tend to act like it.

Subsequently, I think you might be right about my eternal destination.

I might not end up sitting in the front pews of a clean, white afterlife.

And I wouldn’t want to, either. I want to eat at an eternal potluck table with the unkempt, the lonely, the shut-ins, the meek, the tax-collectors, recovering drunks, A.A. sponsors, prostitutes, Mexicans in ratty clothes, and a carpenter who was kind enough to invite them all to supper.

That is…

Unless I come back as a squirrel.

165 comments

  1. Sandra - October 12, 2017 4:37 pm

    Awesome response!

    Reply
  2. Lisa - October 12, 2017 4:38 pm

    AMEN! Hope I get to join your potluck as I am sure Jesus will be there and will probably be serving!!

    Reply
  3. CS Hartman - October 12, 2017 4:39 pm

    Perfect !!!

    Reply
  4. Sandy - October 12, 2017 4:41 pm

    I love this one! You put a smile on my face every time.

    Reply
  5. jnearen - October 12, 2017 4:42 pm

    Bravo, Sean. Btw. I believe in Jesus and sometimes I wonder if people study what he did or how he lived versus what they think he did or how he lived (or who he associated with). Seems to me he’s likely to be at that potluck in old jeans and shirt.

    Reply
  6. Kathy Kelley - October 12, 2017 4:42 pm

    Thank you so much.

    Reply
  7. Melissa - October 12, 2017 4:42 pm

    Oh my gosh… I just love you. You are so funny! In my opinion, “heaven” is for all those who have spent their days trying to be a good person according to what their understanding of “good” is. We don’t have to complicate it too much… just try to love and help people and do the best you can with what you’ve been given. Love your posts… generally they either make me laugh or cry… sometimes both.

    Reply
  8. Fran Dean - October 12, 2017 4:43 pm

    You go, Sean!

    Reply
  9. Cheryl Leatherwood - October 12, 2017 4:44 pm

    Thank you fire saying what I don’t often have the courage to say.

    Reply
  10. Bobbie - October 12, 2017 4:44 pm

    Amen, Sean, Amen!

    Reply
  11. Kat Dalton - October 12, 2017 4:46 pm

    That response is extremely impressive! ( as well as all your stories),

    Reply
  12. Patsy - October 12, 2017 4:47 pm

    I would like to join you in that place👍

    Reply
  13. Judy - October 12, 2017 4:47 pm

    Oh Sean… in spite of the disappointments many of us “Holier than Thou” “know it alls” have dished out… there will be plenty of “the unkempt, the lonely, the shut-ins, the meek, the tax-collectors, recovering drunks, A.A. sponsors, prostitutes, Mexicans in ratty clothes, and a carpenter who was kind enough to invite them all to supper” at The Wedding Feast that will beat any feast offered elsewhere. The thing is, we all fall short, but Jesus pulls us up if we will just take His hand. You display Grace – you know Grace – but it is up to each of us to simply accept His Grace. Because we all fall short…

    Reply
    • Jean H. Mitchell - October 12, 2017 7:52 pm

      Thank you . That was wonderfully put!

      Reply
  14. Bob Hubbard - October 12, 2017 4:48 pm

    Sean, you might be surprised at how many squirrels you can meet at a pot luck dinner with a Carpenter…..

    Reply
  15. Sharon Hand - October 12, 2017 4:48 pm

    There is only one way to heaven. If anyone tells you different ,they are wrong . John14:6

    Reply
    • Jean H. Mitchell - October 12, 2017 7:54 pm

      Amen, Sharon!

      Reply
  16. Roxanne - October 12, 2017 4:48 pm

    Jesus came to seek and save the lost. And the point is that we are all lost without Jesus. Paint splattered, vomit covered, dusty, nasty, unclean. . .everyone of us needs him every hour or every day. And I think God has a sense of humor and would think someone coming back as a squirrel would be pretty funny even though it’s just rabbit chasing–after all, God made squirrels. And rabbits too. And the ability to chase them. He also made red-headed writer-musicians who have a soft spot for hard working women, down on their luck men, sunsets, and boiled peanuts.

    Reply
  17. Charlene Davis - October 12, 2017 4:50 pm

    Absolutely, positively, unequivocally THE BEST DARN RESPONSE I have ever heard in my life to anyone who holds himself that high! Makes me wish I could write like you. At least talk that way. Being a squirrel might be cool. After all, they are God’s creatures too!!

    Reply
  18. Toni Alphord - October 12, 2017 4:51 pm

    I was at a Pot Luck with you last night! I’m not too worried about your salvation! Your welcome in Dothan, Alabama anytime!

    Reply
  19. Kathy Burgess - October 12, 2017 4:52 pm

    Sean, as a Pentecostal tongue talker, I would like to say that I love you just as you are..

    Reply
  20. Gwen McGill - October 12, 2017 4:53 pm

    Oh boy, where do I start? I am the daughter of a Baptist preacher. I was raised by a very strict, harsh father. I rebelled, ran away from home, did drugs, then God rescued me from all of that. I am a Jesus follower now. I have forgiven my Dad for the past. I know that when he went to heaven he learned all about Grace. He demanded perfection from me and everyone else but also he demanded it from himself. He suffered from depression because he could not be perfect. Jesus called Matthew to follow him while Matthew was a tax collector. The lowest of the low, a sinner, a traitor to his fellow Jewish people. Matthew followed Jesus and then it says that Jesus went to dinner at Matthew’s house with all of Matthew’s tax collector (scum of the earth) friends. That is the Jesus I believe in. Son of God, Messiah, my rescuer who died on the cross for my sins. I am forgiven now and forever because Jesus loved me and died for me so I could have a relationship with God the Father and Him. We can’t ever be good enough to get to heaven but we can be “forgiven” enough by simple faith in Jesus. I go to a non-denominational church but we prefer to call it a Jesus church. Jesus hangs out with the likes of me and Matthew and drunks and drug addicts. He would not want to spend much time in churches that don’t show love and welcome everyone. Ok, I am done.

    Reply
    • Jean H. Mitchell - October 12, 2017 7:56 pm

      Beautiful!!!

      Reply
  21. Cynthia - October 12, 2017 4:53 pm

    So glad you said this. I have often wondered how to reply to such people that claim to be Christian but clearly are being judgmental. Your story tells it perfectly. BTW, I’m sure you will come back as a rich man’s lap dog.

    Reply
  22. Michelle - October 12, 2017 4:56 pm

    If “I Have Answers” would be the typical resident of Heaven (which I seriously doubt), I’d rather be a squirrel.

    Reply
    • Jean - October 12, 2017 5:03 pm

      Me too!

      Reply
  23. Elizabeth A Greenway - October 12, 2017 4:57 pm

    Amen

    Reply
  24. Jean - October 12, 2017 4:59 pm

    Your best post yet!! Amen!!!

    Reply
  25. Rebecca Spann - October 12, 2017 5:01 pm

    Thank you Sean for this post. I am so glad to hear about others who try to do the right thing, believe in God, and help others rather than criticize their fellow humans who don’t act exactly the way they perceive Christianity to look. What does a christian look like? The person sitting next to you who does without to help others, who volunteers to help others, those that live a Christ-like existence and not someone who wears faith on their shirtsleeve.

    Reply
  26. Jack North - October 12, 2017 5:04 pm

    Sean, this is why I read you every day!!

    Reply
  27. Betty Frankl - October 12, 2017 5:09 pm

    Just a perfect reply in an imperfect world! I only hope, through Grace, to be at that table! Something about all having fallen short comes to mind. Thanks for the uplifting thoughts. Acts seem to be a bit more important than words;.

    Reply
  28. Laurie - October 12, 2017 5:11 pm

    Oh Sean, as a child of the proper church-going type, I have come to the same conclusion. There is NO black and white, NO simple right and wrong. God looks at the heart — not his outsides! This is what I believe.

    Reply
  29. Liz - October 12, 2017 5:11 pm

    Jesus and St. Peter were walking around heaven one day. Jesus looked at a group of scary looking people and said to St. Peter, “How did they get in here?” St. Peter said, “I turn them away at the front door but your mother lets them in the back.” There is love all over the place!

    Reply
  30. Kay Paul - October 12, 2017 5:12 pm

    If the Carpenter is sitting at the table, it WILL be heaven, my friend. I’ll see you there some day. Since I’m older than you are, I’ll save you and your sweet wife a couple of seats.

    Reply
  31. Shelley Sperka - October 12, 2017 5:12 pm

    Thank you so very much for this latest post. Sometimes I worry that there be no one left to challenge folks who let the unimportant stuff drown out what is really important. “in as much as you have done this to the least of these, you have done it to me.” I will never not need to be reminded.

    Reply
  32. James (Jim) Jewell - October 12, 2017 5:14 pm

    A perfect response. Thanks.

    Reply
  33. gingembre - October 12, 2017 5:14 pm

    I love this post! You really struck a chord with those of us who have also been turned off by holier-than-thou words and actions.

    Reply
  34. Connie - October 12, 2017 5:14 pm

    Love love love this. Your response to that sanctimonious jerk was perfectly on point. Anyone who thinks they have all the answers is certainly missing more than a few experiences.

    Reply
  35. Beverly Wynn Bua - October 12, 2017 5:17 pm

    Well said, Sean… Amazing response …, finally no tears when reading one of your stories, I laughrd out loud…. still smiling. Thanks

    Reply
  36. Cathi Russell - October 12, 2017 5:18 pm

    Sean, your answer was perfect. And please don’t come back as a squirrel. Heaven is perfect so all my dogs are there…and none of them enjoyed squirrels, except for chasing them. 😉

    Reply
  37. paula jones - October 12, 2017 5:19 pm

    I know you can’t see this standing ovation while sitting at your key-board, but know that it’s happening. It took this recovering know-it-all preacher decades to learn the truth that no one knows it all. And those who think they do know it all are only reading half of their Bible. They tend to ignore or avoid the parts that make them uncomfortable. God also uses the MOST unlikely characters to get his work done––even squirrels.

    Reply
  38. Jacque Kochak - October 12, 2017 5:20 pm

    And this is why we love you.

    Reply
  39. Lauren Ulrich - October 12, 2017 5:22 pm

    You tell ‘im, Sean! Hope to see you there, too~

    Reply
  40. Ann Cunningham - October 12, 2017 5:28 pm

    Well said sir!!!

    Reply
  41. Buck Godwin - October 12, 2017 5:30 pm

    Sean, you seem to be confusing church, pastors, Christians and singing hymns with Salvation. Salvation does not require that you have contact or
    participate in ANY of these sin filled, manmade worldly conventions. Salvation is PERSONAL, between you and God. I think that you already have that personal relationship but you are muddying the waters of your faith with your reference to things like reincarnation.

    Please get out your Bible and read up on the words of Jesus Christ for clarification on all your thoughts on Eternity. I really don’t think you should be thinking lightly on the existence of Hell and the prospect of spending eternity in such a place.

    Sean, you are a good man. You seem to be in touch with our Lord, you just need to search the Scriptures a bit more, perhaps.

    God Bless you Sean, we all love you very much.

    Buck Godwin

    Reply
    • Lisa Bowman - October 12, 2017 6:05 pm

      I think, maybe, you took this too literal….

      Reply
    • david sheffield - October 16, 2017 8:55 pm

      Thank you Buck!

      Reply
  42. Newell Gay - October 12, 2017 5:38 pm

    Love your response, I wish i was smart enough to give such a very good answer. Love everything you write so far.
    Love,
    Newell

    Reply
  43. LARRY WALL - October 12, 2017 5:38 pm

    HaHa A great post. I loved the humor of this story but loved the very real message of what Jesus truly taught. We are all HIS sheep regardless of our station in life. We must do our best not to judge others and pay attention to our own actions.

    Reply
  44. Su-Su - October 12, 2017 5:41 pm

    Sean, you reach more people each and every day with The Good Word than many (most/all) of the holiest. You rock on – loving and living in ways that encourage the rest of us sinners who want to be a light lake you. “Do for one what you wish you could do for many.” – A Stanley

    Reply
  45. Michelle - October 12, 2017 5:43 pm

    Consider the platypus. God has a sense of humor. So many people need to cultivate their own. Yes, Salvation and relationship with God is important and serious. So is laughter. God gave us a spirit of joy, don’t lose it by weighting yourself down with the attitude of a Pharisee.

    Reply
  46. Ann - October 12, 2017 5:43 pm

    Thank you so much for this splendid reply to that heathen jerk who is so concerned about your afterlife. I hope you and I don’t go to hell Sean because it will be overrun by jerks like that “Christian” and I believe we have served our time in hell having to put up with those hypocrites while we are here on earth. They and their “religion” are what are wrong with our world today.

    Reply
  47. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - October 12, 2017 5:45 pm

    You told him, didn’t you?

    Reply
  48. Sheila - October 12, 2017 5:48 pm

    Sean this is the best response EVER. And just so you know you make my life better. I look forward to waking up and looking in my inbox for your next musing every day. You say what I feel and haven’t the gift to put into words. I look forward to breaking bread with you at a very long and full table wherever we end up next, unless I’m lucky enough to come back as a nut that your squirrel self finds!

    Reply
  49. Lisa - October 12, 2017 5:54 pm

    You always know just what to say to the critical, self-righteous and unkind, without being defensive and unkind back. I don’t want to go to the same Heaven as many people who profess to be Christians.

    Reply
  50. Mike McDonald - October 12, 2017 5:56 pm

    “Believe those who are
    seeking the truth;
    doubt those who find it.”
    Andre Gide

    Reply
  51. JACQUI ODELL - October 12, 2017 6:00 pm

    PERFECT!!!

    Reply
  52. Susan Carlson - October 12, 2017 6:01 pm

    You’re the reason I check my emails every day…except when I don’t…and today’s paragraph that ended with “…and the carpenter who was kind enough to invite them all to supper.” was a brilliant way to finish your comments. It is a gift to be so Masterful (get it?…Master full)…at story telling. I am sure the Lord laughed today…after all, He’s the One Who told us to remove the log from our eyes before we should attempt to remove the splinter from someone else’s. Now that’s a funny picture…someone trying to move close to someone else’s eyes with a log sticking out of his own.

    Thank you for being content to be you and sharing the gifts you’ve been given…freely received and freely given.

    P.S. You just HAD to remark about coming back as a squirrel! ; D

    Reply
  53. Lisa Bowman - October 12, 2017 6:02 pm

    Awesome!

    Reply
  54. Pam Bishop - October 12, 2017 6:03 pm

    Thank you…love this one.

    Reply
  55. Sue Cronkite - October 12, 2017 6:03 pm

    Well said. I feel your head is in the right place and your soul is pleasing to the Heavenly Father. Keep being kind to the friendless and helpful to those in need. If you do come back as a squirrel, leave a few pecans under the tree for the humans.

    Reply
  56. Sarah Jackson - October 12, 2017 6:06 pm

    Sean, I go to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints in Bonifay, Florida. Sacrament Meeting starts at 9am CST on Northride Lane off of Hwy 77, south of I-10
    Please bring whoever you want. We would love for you and your friends to attend our services.

    Reply
  57. Teresa Terry - October 12, 2017 6:09 pm

    Well said!

    Reply
  58. David Wright - October 12, 2017 6:12 pm

    I sang in church choirs for almost thirty years. I saw how the “church business” works. The preacher goes to Sunday dinner at the country club with the rich folks, but never shares a meal down in the trailer park. I know Jesus loves me but I’m not sure about a lot of the “so called” Christians.

    Reply
  59. muthahun - October 12, 2017 6:14 pm

    A-freakin’-men, honey. Pass the nuts.

    Reply
    • Beki - October 13, 2017 5:08 am

      Yes!! Muthahun!!!

      Reply
  60. Catherine - October 12, 2017 6:16 pm

    I do believe in God, Heaven and Hell. I believe that Jesus died for me and all the other low life sinners of the world. I believe He has prepared a place for me, at the pot luck table. I am not worthy to sit with the sinless, so I’ll be there with the crazy people who act like me, and sometimes like squirrels. Thanking God for you, Sean.

    Reply
  61. Maria - October 12, 2017 6:21 pm

    God bless your reply Sean!
    It’s the many Christians that tout they are righteous and squeaky clean that you have to question for sure.

    We are ALL God’s children- faults and all.

    Reply
  62. Norma williams - October 12, 2017 6:24 pm

    I, Sir have no doubt about your personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. I see your heart every day in the things you write, and the heart is what God searches for your intent. Your humor makes your writings entertaining, but your message comes from a Christian heart. Your subjects reach out to us who have found peace in our life as well as those who are still searching for answers. Thank God, He is still working on you and me and we stand where we can reach out a hand and ask someone to come join us in learning to live more like Him. May God bless you to continue your testimony, I love it just as you dish it out, Amen.

    Reply
  63. Darby - October 12, 2017 6:25 pm

    Sean,

    Thank you for this. I’ll save you a seat!

    God Bless!

    Reply
  64. lindasafford - October 12, 2017 6:36 pm

    Amen, Sean, amen!

    Reply
  65. Ron Carter - October 12, 2017 6:38 pm

    Sean, I’ve been to those churches. Now I am fortunate to be a part of the daily at Hunter Hills- on I-65 in Prattville. You and you Mexican friend would be welcome, as would anyone from AA. Why we even have folks who woul take in a homeless squirrel! God Bless.

    Reply
  66. Lois Young - October 12, 2017 6:39 pm

    This has to be my favorite to date. Thank you.

    Reply
  67. Mary - October 12, 2017 6:40 pm

    Gotta say Amen to this. And agree with other commenters. I want to spend eternity with people like you.

    Reply
  68. cinclo - October 12, 2017 6:42 pm

    Sooooooooo wonderful! Thank you for making my day (again)!!!

    Reply
  69. Augusta Jones - October 12, 2017 6:42 pm

    Perfect answer. No judgement comment from here

    Reply
  70. Joey - October 12, 2017 6:43 pm

    This was good. You definitely know God and you love him by all the good you’re pouring into others, his children. It’s obvious.

    Thanks for all the wisdom, and perspective.

    Sincerely,
    A Christian and friend of Bill W.

    Reply
  71. pyarbrough - October 12, 2017 6:48 pm

    That is the type of person who gives Christianity a bad name. He needs to read the part in the Bible where Christ contrasted the prayer of the self-righteous Pharisee, standing on one corner, with at that of the sinner’s, standing on the other corner, and then ask himself which type of prayer pleased God.

    Reply
  72. Lynda - October 12, 2017 6:53 pm

    If there are any ministers reading your column today, I hope they include it in next Sunday’s message. I know in my church you would never be asked the question, and those dressed “unusually” are always welcomed. This person’s comment gives Christians a bad name.

    Reply
  73. Pamela McEachern - October 12, 2017 7:03 pm

    What class you have Sean, this person is so rigid he can’t see the forest for the trees. I am sorry for that post, I am sure you will be with the rest of us in our final resting place, how I know that is your daily messages of love you send to us all. Everyday you share the Golden Rule in your stories and to me that is your Godly message.
    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  74. Jan Hammac - October 12, 2017 7:06 pm

    Reading your posts is one of the highlights of my day. Your response today has broken my heart. We cannot be naive enough to base our personal eternal decision based on the poor choices of others. Eternity is a reality for each of us. I beg you to seek a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. He will never disappoint you, my friend.

    Reply
  75. Kristin White - October 12, 2017 7:09 pm

    I’ve never read one of your posts that I didn’t like and this one is definitely one of my favorites! Thank you for making my day brighter!

    Reply
  76. Ava - October 12, 2017 7:24 pm

    I am afraid that a lot of church goers will miss the boat. They are too busy patting themselves on the back for being so good, that they forget the part about loving your neighbor. Neighbors come in all colors and backgrounds.

    Reply
  77. Mona Ann Ponder - October 12, 2017 7:25 pm

    I always tell my friends that God didn’t sent me across their path to condemn them but to love them. And I constantly pray for more love to show them and a big smile I am enjoying your blogs please keep writing

    Reply
  78. Mary - October 12, 2017 7:26 pm

    I’ll be sitting right beside you.

    Reply
  79. Candee - October 12, 2017 7:29 pm

    Yo, Mr. Peacher, are you sure you have been reading Sean’s words. Live your life like the good man I know you probably are, but look in the mirror every day, and ask yourself if you a bit pompous. Guidance with love and understanding is what makes a good person, not wagging your finger in their face.

    Sean, I think you are the Bees Knees!

    Reply
  80. Tim Vaught - October 12, 2017 7:31 pm

    I’m planting 4 extra pecan trees to make sure all the squirrels in my yard got a good supper every night. I DONT WANT YOU TO GO HUNGRY.

    Reply
  81. Ione - October 12, 2017 7:38 pm

    Preach on, Sean !!

    Reply
  82. Jan - October 12, 2017 7:44 pm

    Amen, Sean! I have no answers either, but Jesus does. His answers look a lot like the last paragraph you wrote and shared with us today!

    Reply
  83. Charmed Chaos - October 12, 2017 7:48 pm

    BRAVO Sean!!! Well said.

    Reply
  84. Kellie Moore - October 12, 2017 7:52 pm

    Well said. I continue to love receiving your stories in my emails everyday. As for the one that asked the question your being judgemental!

    Reply
  85. Paul Till - October 12, 2017 7:57 pm

    I love your writing but this one makes me sad. Anyone who doesn’t believe in , or treats hell so flippantly, sadly probably will wind up there. I invite you to read more on the subject from the Bible. And then read on Heaven and how to get there. We do have a choice. I pray that you will eventually choose Heaven.

    Reply
  86. Sharon - October 12, 2017 8:07 pm

    Right on Sean!!! Save me a seat please!

    Reply
  87. Karen - October 12, 2017 8:15 pm

    This is a wonderful reply!!! We are all God’s children and he is waiting on us as we are. He has never told us that we have to wear the “right” clothes or be a certain way……HE washed away all the stains with HIS blood! Keep up the good work. I love reading your stories and words of wisdom! Thank you for using your God given talent to reach out to others!

    Reply
  88. Ari - October 12, 2017 8:20 pm

    Amen! Pls save me a seat beside you.

    Reply
  89. revbigbaldguy - October 12, 2017 8:20 pm

    I want sit at your table, Sean. I’m trying my best to accept all invitations sent to me by the carpenter. I will see you at supper time if not before…..unless you come back as a squirrel, of course.

    Reply
  90. Pam Tricquet - October 12, 2017 8:40 pm

    I’m with you!!

    Reply
  91. René Hodges - October 12, 2017 8:43 pm

    You hit the nail right on the head! Best yet.

    Reply
  92. Barbara McGinnis - October 12, 2017 8:45 pm

    👏👏👏

    Reply
  93. Ben Gaines - October 12, 2017 8:50 pm

    Sean. You walk the walk and talk the talk. Those of us that have responded have done so hoping that your detractors will read our comments. Oh, they won’t because they are nameless sinners like us without a clue as to what true redemption is. THEY can’t understand what being grateful means because THEY have all the answers. God Bless You Sean. He has and you’ve acknowledged it.

    Reply
  94. Suzanne Jackson - October 12, 2017 9:18 pm

    This is one of your best! And one of the best commentaries I’ve ever read!

    Reply
  95. Karen - October 12, 2017 9:26 pm

    Wonderful letter and response. We are not to judge others.. We must only look at ourselves. When pointing fingers, there are always 3 pointing back at ya. I want to sit at the same table you are sitting at. I want to sit where God asks me to sit and I will be tickled…Thank you for your wise words and honesty!

    Reply
  96. teachenglish67 - October 12, 2017 9:29 pm

    Hello Sean! I have learned that when I think I know a lot, I find out I don’t know much. I would not profess to know it all because when one thinks they know it all, they lose out on knowing more and being able to share it with others. I’ve known people who THINK they know it all, and in the course of a conversation or meeting with another they find out they really don’t know about the important things in life. About you going to hell….well, just remember you’ll have friends in both places…..that’s the way I think when someone tells me I’m going to hell. They NEVER say, “in a hand basket” because at my size they know I wouldn’t fit.
    Smiles and blessings to you. By the way, do you read the responses from your readers?

    Reply
  97. Darlene - October 12, 2017 9:38 pm

    One word sums it up to me…Amen!

    Reply
  98. Deborah Phillips - October 12, 2017 9:43 pm

    Dearest Sean, you can’t snow the snowman, er, woman. By your last comment, I surmise that you do know Our Lord, who was raised a carpenter (as you referenced). Everything you write has Christian and love of your fellow man overtones.
    What I think you AREN’T, is religious. I once heard a most insightful pastor give a sermon called, “God Hates Religion”. In his words he told how often churchgoers – notice he did NOT say Christians – act in such a manner that people who might not know Christ as Lord and Savior think that’s how Christianity goes and want NO part of it.
    If I’m not wrong about you, please do come see me. I DO NOT have all the answers, but I can tell you with all humility and gratitude about My Jesus.
    I love you in a most Christian and chaste manner. I’m too old for you anyway. 😉

    Reply
  99. Beth Thrift - October 12, 2017 9:50 pm

    Dear Sean,
    This is my favorite column yet. I agree with you about people with all the answers. Keep ’em coming, and blessings!
    Beth Thrift

    Reply
  100. Sue Tait - October 12, 2017 9:50 pm

    Ohhhhhh, Sean, THIS one went right to the TOP of my list of favorite articles written by You…
    (you are Just like the old Mastercard commercial said, ~~~~ PRICELESS! )

    Reply
  101. Tommie Jordan - October 12, 2017 10:29 pm

    Wow, I just love those “holier than thou” people. Guess they forget a lot of that carpenter’s teachings. Oh well, we will all be gathering at table..hope to see you there!!

    Reply
  102. candyalso - October 12, 2017 10:45 pm

    Dearest Sean, please take me with you, wherever you end up!

    Reply
  103. kathi hill - October 12, 2017 10:54 pm

    Ah, talking about people in church is very different than talking about the Christ. I don’t know what the person’s motives were behind their letter, and maybe they were just being high and mighty. But those people you described there at the last – the tax collectors, etc. Those are the ones Jesus came to save – oh, and me, too. I don’t think He cares if we have on jeans or an Easter dress. I think he cares what’s in our heart. In fact, I think that’s the only thing He does care about. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, that carpenter is my best friend. I hope he’s yours too.

    Reply
  104. Anita - October 12, 2017 11:35 pm

    Pass some of that potluck down this end of the table. And thank you for knowing how to say stuff!

    Reply
  105. Cyndia - October 12, 2017 11:55 pm

    I don’t think I could possibly love you more than I do this very minute. Just please don’t come back as a chipmunk. I’ve got one chattering outside my window right now, and he is driving me nuts.

    Reply
  106. kitsambler - October 13, 2017 12:06 am

    An amazing and insightful response. There seem to be two entirely different religions: they worship different Deities, they read different Scriptures, they have different values – but they wear the same label.

    Reply
  107. Pat Byers - October 13, 2017 12:14 am

    don’t you just love the holier than you people who wear their religion on their sleeve for all to see and admire, that ASSUME you are not heaven worthy ? NOT. those are the very people who are driving people away from religion. And yes, religion IS personal. It is between you and God.
    Good response to the writer who clearly intended to ‘save’ you.

    Reply
  108. Suzanne Rainey - October 13, 2017 12:17 am

    If you come back as a squirrel, I want to be a squirrel too!!!
    Today has been a VERY difficult day for me and my daughter.
    This! Reading this will help me rest easier, and hopefully sleep Tonight!!
    Thank you for putting moments into words and paragraphs. You have no idea how much it helps!!
    Sean, you make such an awesome difference in my life!!
    Thank you.

    Reply
  109. Donna - October 13, 2017 12:38 am

    God doesn’t care what you wear. And he doesn’t care how much money you have. He also doesn’t care if you are mean, silly, ugly, or indifferent. But people do sometimes, and sometimes they don’t know how to say what they really mean. John 3:16. Read it and believe it in your heart. That’s all you have to do, and then we will all be at the same table for sure.❤️

    Reply
  110. Perri Geaux Tigers Williamson - October 13, 2017 12:40 am

    You DO beat all Sean of the South. Just when I don’t think you can outdo yourself…well….you DO. I wish I could say we were personal friends instead of me just being a reader and fan. Certainly it would make me SEEM smarter than I actually am. Now…let’s see you top this piece. It will be a difficult task, but I’m sure you will! Keep it coming. Your bit is a slice of the sweetest, calorie-free pie I’ve ever tasted.

    Reply
  111. Candy Clark - October 13, 2017 12:58 am

    Absolutely Priceless!! I want to sit at your table in the afterlife!

    Reply
    • Philip - October 13, 2017 1:23 am

      Well, as my nature goes, I have to play devils advocate a little. One thing, I think all you have to realize is that the person who sent the original letter isn’t necessarily a bad person. In fact, what he/she was trying to do was do what they think to be the most loving thing, which is provide sean here with a way to avoid eternally surfing. My point here is not to say they were wrong or right, but to say that even the Pharisees need Grace and love, just like the drunks, adulterors, etc…. maybe those of us who understand grace should show a little, even to the “religious”

      Reply
      • Jacque Kochak - October 13, 2017 2:22 pm

        Philip – that’s the hardest thing, isn’t it?

        Reply
  112. Steve Vaughan - October 13, 2017 1:03 am

    Praise da LORD

    Reply
  113. J. F. Holloway - October 13, 2017 1:06 am

    not to be judgmental, but quite a lot of people in church every time the doors opens, needs to read this. I do enjoy your writings. God Bless you
    l

    Reply
  114. Janne Swearengen - October 13, 2017 1:19 am

    Best EVER

    Reply
    • Joan - October 13, 2017 2:09 am

      Amen and right on!!!

      Reply
  115. Elizabeth May - October 13, 2017 2:07 am

    AHA! WELL SAID, SIR!!!!!

    Reply
  116. Jack Quanstrum - October 13, 2017 2:16 am

    Great response, Sean! My smile on my face is so stout that maybe it will become permanent. Excellent comeback and I understand where your coming from. Peace be with you. Shalom!

    Reply
  117. Lisbeth Garecht - October 13, 2017 2:19 am

    Amen

    Reply
  118. Michael Hawke - October 13, 2017 2:19 am

    May God bless you.

    Reply
  119. Sylvia Williams - October 13, 2017 2:41 am

    Dear “I Hope Sean Repents”, Obviously you have not had the privileage of meeting Sean. Jesus loves everyone and walks among the least of us. Jesus cares for the broken hearted and the down and out. Jesus forgives the prostitute, drug addict and alcoholic. Jesus is kind with a gentle heart and a loving spirit. If I did not know better, Jesus is Sean of the South!

    Reply
  120. thoughtsfrommybedroomwindow - October 13, 2017 2:55 am

    I kinda think God moves and works in the energy of “I don’t know.” Can’t do much moving when we already know it all. This is one of my favorites in the Sean of the South library. Oh and what if heaven is right here…

    Reply
  121. Amanda Lee - October 13, 2017 3:10 am

    Sean, you are Episcopalian. You just don’t know it yet😉

    Bless the heart of the man that wrote that letter.

    Reply
  122. Ric - October 13, 2017 3:34 am

    A squirrel?! You could run fast. Just not in the Road. You could run along power lines. Just don’t twist your tail to close to other lines. Or be an angel. Then you could jump from cloud to cloud. With a lot of us other ex drunks sex addicts and drug addicts. Enjoyed your holier than thee answer to the good Christian. When I returned home from Drug sex alcohol rehab. We had to change churches. Had to find one where no one knew us.

    Reply
  123. Judy Miller - October 13, 2017 3:55 am

    You’re a Methodist! “Open Door, Open Heart, Open Minds”. 🙂

    Reply
  124. Gail - October 13, 2017 11:35 am

    Amen! You are a good human being, Sean. Not all can truthfully say that. Oh, and I love squirrels!

    Reply
  125. Melanie Tighe - October 13, 2017 12:31 pm

    I’m with you Sean.

    Reply
  126. Melanie Tighe - October 13, 2017 12:38 pm

    p.s. ‘muthahun’ is now one of my favorite people 🙂

    Reply
  127. Arlene Pergamit - October 13, 2017 1:16 pm

    I like squirrels.

    Reply
  128. Jill - October 13, 2017 1:29 pm

    Sean, you are so right. People will let you down. Friends will disappoint you. Even your loved ones will let you down. There is no one on this earth that won’t, but there are some very good people that would move Heaven and earth to help someone. As a Christian, I know I am not good enough. It’s through faith in Jesus Christ that I am saved. I can know without a doubt where I will spend eternity. You know, the people who have suffered the most tend to be the people who give and care the most. It’s because of this world’s suffering that makes us want to help others. You have a tremendous heart and mind for others. You want to illuminate what is good in a world full of sin. I am sorry for judgmental Christians who make people afraid of knowing Christ. Christians are just as messsed up as anyone else, if not more so when we are puffed up with pride. The difference is through God’s merciful love for us, God made a way for us to have our sins forgiven, once and for all who believe and put their trust and faith in Him! It’s that simple. When you have that kind of love, you have a desire to want to do better and serve others. You have that kind of love. Don’t doubt yourself or let others make you question your eternity.

    Reply
  129. Lisa - October 13, 2017 1:31 pm

    Dear Sweet Sean:
    This is what I believe and know to be true – since every is sharing religion with you today.
    Our God is LOVE. He sent His Son to teach us why and how to live our lives. He said to to follow His example:
    “Love one another as I have loved you.”
    That Son, Jesus Christ willingly died and rose again for the salvation of ALL MANKIND. All.
    Not just practicing Christians of all denominations, but ALL mankind.

    If we base our actions and words in unconditional love, we are the mouth and hands of Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit, still working among us. You tell us about these people every day.

    We are here for one another by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. ONE GOD and He is Love.

    No one can judge you but God, and He alone knows your heart.

    None of us are perfect. We are a work in progress. We try. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we fail. The time periods may be short and they may be long. But we are forgiven and we get up every day and keep trying.

    No one can judge you but God, and He alone knows your heart.

    I’m including the meditation from my morning devotional. I think it appropriate for this conversation.

    “One of the most formidable obstacles to the conversion of a soul is the fact that God is a hidden God: Deus absconditus. But God, in His goodness, reveals Himself, in a certain manner, through His saints, and even through fervent souls. In this way, the supernatural filters through and becomes visible to the faithful, who are thus able to apprehend something of the mystery of God . . . make no mistake, there is a sort of instinct by which souls, without clearly defining what it is they sense, are aware of this radiation of the supernatural.”
    — Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 124-5
    AN EXCERPT FROM
    Soul of the Apostolate

    Didn’t intend to get ‘all preachy’.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. No one can judge you but God, and He alone knows your heart. Wherever you find yourself, I would be honored to have a seat somewhere there, too.

    Reply
  130. Debra Evans - October 13, 2017 1:53 pm

    Tears of joy, laughing so hard. Thanks, Sean!

    Reply
  131. Gloria - October 13, 2017 2:06 pm

    When we are sitting at that table in Heaven it may surprise some as to who may or may not be there. I just want to be helping Jesus serve that potluck supper.

    Reply
  132. Sandy Smith - October 13, 2017 2:58 pm

    Best ” Come to Jesus” I’ve heard yet !

    Reply
  133. Cathy - October 13, 2017 3:01 pm

    It doesn’t surprise or shock me that a “christian” ONLY saw the flaw in your writing in “their opinion” WHILST missing the entire point of what you wrote. Too many people today forget to humble themselves and embrace other’s points of view with grace and spirit…..I have been that person in the front row balling my eyes out and have the pastor/pastor wife ignore my needs but push for money to send them on vacation WOW…..no one approached me in the entire church to see if or what I needed…. Sean, you inspire, lift up and truly care and I see that and further….I would be honored to join you at your table with your guests. Thank you for inspiring me

    Reply
  134. Linda Chipman - October 13, 2017 3:43 pm

    Since a good friend introduced you to me, I have read your words every day. This is the best one yet! Wish everyone could read it and understand what it says.

    Reply
  135. Marsha - October 13, 2017 3:59 pm

    You, Sir, will not be in hell.

    Reply
  136. Georgianna - October 13, 2017 6:08 pm

    Amen! I hope to see you there, as well!

    Reply
  137. Gail - October 13, 2017 6:24 pm

    You, Sean, walk the walk. The Lord knows our hearts!!!! I observe the Lord’s love in your writings, and I assume your writings reflect your heart!!

    Reply
  138. Patrick - October 13, 2017 6:57 pm

    Lovely essay. Thank you.

    Reply
  139. Norma Herbols - October 13, 2017 7:56 pm

    I missed yesterday‘s essay as I was traveling to Canada to visit my adopted grandson. Your comment in today’s essay regarding the three young men you brought to church hit home with me. My grandchildren are Hispanic. They are the most loving people I have ever known. When I was fortunate enough to have them come in my life, it made me truly believe there is a higher power looking after me. Please know you are a light in my life. In this world we currently live in, I look forward to reading your essay each day. Thank you Sean

    Reply
  140. Patricia - October 13, 2017 8:02 pm

    I hope I’m the fox playing with squirrel you.

    Reply
  141. Andy - October 14, 2017 4:47 am

    Even the devil believes in Jesus and since he knows what hell is like he wants the most be there with him hoping he can lessen his state of torment. A man is as he thinks so if you think you are going to hell you’d better change your thinking. I pray for God to forgive you since you (and all in your potluck camp) do not know what you are doing. There IS probably a bad bad place in hell for those like you who candy coat subversion. Only way you’ll be toasted is well-done, crispy. It’s not too late while you have breath to come to Jesus. I pray you do.

    Reply
    • Gsil - October 14, 2017 10:02 pm

      Please, Andy, please don’t go down that road. I am a Christian, and I know God’s love. I sense that Sean has the love of the Lord in him, and it appears that he shows the Lord’s love to all he sees. Not all believers do things the same way. Terminology may be different. But Jesus looks at the heart. I was raised a Baptist, became Nondenominational, then Presbyterian, then Methodist, and finally Presbyterian again. What I know is that I am a believing, spirit-filled Christian and church names don’t matter, but Love and humility are necessary traits of a fruitful Christian.

      Reply
    • Mama Lisa - October 14, 2017 11:56 pm

      Andy:
      Only God knows your heart…I respect your beliefs, but actions speak louder than words. If Jesus came today, would we be in his following?
      I hope so. But I think he be amongst those we fail to see when we should.
      Be well. peace.

      Reply
    • Pamela McEachern - October 15, 2017 12:59 am

      I am proud to be part of the pot luck camp, I don’t understand what subversive posts you speak about, what I take away is let’s love one another and practice the Golden Rule. This is the message I’m getting, sorry you are so concerned about us all, but I’m good. God Bless you Andy

      Reply
  142. cat718 - October 14, 2017 7:08 am

    Sean,
    You are His Hands and Feet, no doubt.

    Reply
  143. Melanie Howell - October 14, 2017 10:34 am

    Best one yet!!!! Thank you!

    Reply
  144. Laura Heckert - October 14, 2017 12:12 pm

    MY FAVORITE POST. And, I love most of them. But, I will be sharing this one when people question my faith and how I’m raising my sons. Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  145. Patricia Keith - October 14, 2017 3:33 pm

    My sentiments exactly. Love you Sean. A 78 year old woman who has seen enough to believe you are totally right.

    Reply
  146. Harriett - October 15, 2017 12:55 am

    Amen and Amen!!!

    Reply
  147. f carpenter - October 15, 2017 7:37 pm

    many of my friends are baptists, but your being a southern baptist doesn’t work. be a methodist – we love everybody. we focus on heaven and not hell. (i love your writing)

    Reply
  148. Ken Burton - October 16, 2017 1:43 pm

    I am leery of anyone who has “all” of the answers. Sorry you took a lot of flack but my guess is that it wasn’t the first time nor will it be the last. I wasn’t familiar with your work until recently & now I am a big fan. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Patricia Gibson - October 17, 2017 1:44 am

      Good response!

      Reply
  149. Mary Paine - October 17, 2017 4:16 pm

    Sean – 1
    I Hope – 0

    Reply
  150. Anne Trawick - October 18, 2017 4:16 am

    No doubt about it. Best ever.

    Reply

Leave a Reply