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.
Unless I come back as a squirrel.
Sandra - October 12, 2017 4:37 pm
Tammi - November 16, 2017 11:05 am
Awesome response!!! A man that sees so much good and beauty in this world and helps people like me see it too has to be a man of God. Most of us think you have to be like (US) to go to Heaven. I believe the Bible says we have to be like Jesus, repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness. If you live like you write no doubt you are trying to be like Jesus. And just so you know, I’m gonna be in that imperfect part of Heaven too if I can make it. Hope I get to sit at the same table with you if we get there…
CarolynC - November 16, 2017 6:59 pm
Rebecca Kinard - January 7, 2019 8:57 am
I love your response, hope I come back as a squirrel too cause i know I’m going to hell.
Melissa Ford Thornton - November 16, 2017 3:39 pm
Dane - January 7, 2019 11:12 pm
I mean … Huge swaths of Christianity are pagan in origin…
Leslie Hollis - January 8, 2019 3:23 pm
This reply is responding to your letter of reply to that nice Christian man who was concerned for your salvation.
I want you to know that the thought of going to heaven and being forced to be on this side of eternity with some of the enlightened folks I have encountered through the years makes me not want to go.
But the thing that gives me hope is that verse that says He is preparing a place for us. I hope you will be my neighbor up there, Sean. You can stop by and sit on my front porch, have a 6 1/2 ounce coke in a glass bottle and watch squirrels with me. Those other folks will probably be sitting on a special hard bench and getting screamed at so they will feel at home. The Lord knows best!
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!!
Brad Tucker - November 16, 2017 3:00 pm
I don’t know what happens after we die, but it has been an amazing journey on this earth.
For me, I’m content to let the mystery be.
CS Hartman - October 12, 2017 4:39 pm
Sandy - October 12, 2017 4:41 pm
I love this one! You put a smile on my face every time.
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.
Rebecca - January 7, 2019 12:45 pm
Jesus ate with “sinners” and “tax collectors”…and was condemned for it. He spoke of a parable of a rich man who could not get his rich friends to attend the feast he’d prepared…so he sent his servants into the streets and byways to gather all the n’er-do-wells to fill his celebration table. That’s every poor person, ill-dressed beggar, prostitute, thief and so on…to the King’s table. The Invitation (Gospel) today should go out just as Jesus told it…to ALL people…and speak of the Love and fulfilled Justice of the GOD of the Universe; Creator of all. God will do the rest. This response was well said…and should strike at the heart of every Christian religionist…and call even stronger to those who are real Christ-followers. My prayer is that Sean will not lump all Christians under one umbrella…and realize that, though none of us have “all the answers”, we DO have the One Answer…Jesus…Yeshua the Messiah. In His very capable hands do I leave all the mysteries of my life.
Maggie aka April - January 10, 2019 11:07 pm
Rebecca – yes, yes, and yes to Jesus!
Gabriel Valoff Jr - November 14, 2022 10:03 pm
Christianity is not a RELIGION it’s a RELATIONSHIP
Kathy Kelley - October 12, 2017 4:42 pm
Thank you so much.
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.
Fran Dean - October 12, 2017 4:43 pm
You go, Sean!
Cheryl Leatherwood - October 12, 2017 4:44 pm
Thank you fire saying what I don’t often have the courage to say.
Bobbie - October 12, 2017 4:44 pm
Amen, Sean, Amen!
Kat Dalton - October 12, 2017 4:46 pm
That response is extremely impressive! ( as well as all your stories),
Patsy - October 12, 2017 4:47 pm
I would like to join you in that place?
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…
Jean H. Mitchell - October 12, 2017 7:52 pm
Thank you . That was wonderfully put!
Jill - November 16, 2017 11:12 am
Well said, Judy.
Shelly - November 16, 2017 11:54 am
Thank you – we al do fall short but He still loves us.
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…..
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
Jean H. Mitchell - October 12, 2017 7:54 pm
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.
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!!
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!
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..
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.
Jean H. Mitchell - October 12, 2017 7:56 pm
Kim - November 16, 2017 2:53 pm
I agree with you wholeheartedly! (Don’t think I’ve ever used that word before) Jesus lowered himself so he could identify with us lowly sinners. He hung out with the worse in society. The pharasees were like the guys Sean described, but God loves them too and extends his mercy just the same-to all, the pious, judgmental Christians, prostitutes, drunks, prisoners, etc. We ALL need his love and mercy, just as we should extend mercy to others. Some Christians do have difficulty with extending that mercy and that is their sin, so this is proof we all are the same-sinners in need of the sacrificial, merciful love of God! So thankful!!
Laura Goslee - November 16, 2017 5:50 pm
Such a beautiful testimony of saving grace for your heart and life. Thank you for sharing Gwen.
His heart and live is so deep wide and vast we can hardly conceive it, so glad you felt His love’s touch in Your life! I did too.
Karen - November 16, 2017 8:09 pm
Love you Gwen! Yes, to all. You can’t be ‘good’ enough. I’ve secured my soul for all eternity in heaven by asking Him to forgive my sinful heart and I accept Jesus as my savior. Being broken in who I am and restored to His likeness daily..makes me forever HIS child. So thankful nothing can separate us from the love of God!
Susan Parker - November 17, 2017 9:18 am
Absolutely true, Gwen!!
Carolyn Skelton - January 13, 2019 10:48 pm
Well said!! See you on the other side!!
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.
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.
Jean - October 12, 2017 5:03 pm
Elizabeth A Greenway - October 12, 2017 4:57 pm
Jean - October 12, 2017 4:59 pm
Your best post yet!! Amen!!!
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.
Jack North - October 12, 2017 5:04 pm
Sean, this is why I read you every day!!
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;.
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.
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!
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.
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.
James (Jim) Jewell - October 12, 2017 5:14 pm
A perfect response. Thanks.
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.
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.
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
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. ?
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.
Jacque Kochak - October 12, 2017 5:20 pm
And this is why we love you.
Lauren Ulrich - October 12, 2017 5:22 pm
You tell ‘im, Sean! Hope to see you there, too~
Ann Cunningham - October 12, 2017 5:28 pm
Well said sir!!!
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.
Lisa Bowman - October 12, 2017 6:05 pm
I think, maybe, you took this too literal….
david sheffield - October 16, 2017 8:55 pm
Thank you Buck!
Robert Lee - November 16, 2017 8:32 pm
Preach brother Buck.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - October 12, 2017 5:45 pm
You told him, didn’t you?
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!
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.
Mike McDonald - October 12, 2017 5:56 pm
“Believe those who are
seeking the truth;
doubt those who find it.”
JACQUI ODELL - October 12, 2017 6:00 pm
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
Lisa Bowman - October 12, 2017 6:02 pm
Pam Bishop - October 12, 2017 6:03 pm
Thank you…love this one.
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.
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.
Robert Lee - November 16, 2017 8:35 pm
But don’t the mormons teach Joseph Smith is equel to jesus…..that classifies as a cult according g to my bible
Teresa Terry - October 12, 2017 6:09 pm
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.
Robert Lee - November 16, 2017 8:37 pm
100 percent true
muthahun - October 12, 2017 6:14 pm
A-freakin’-men, honey. Pass the nuts.
Beki - October 13, 2017 5:08 am
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.
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.
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.
Darby - October 12, 2017 6:25 pm
Thank you for this. I’ll save you a seat!
lindasafford - October 12, 2017 6:36 pm
Amen, Sean, amen!
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.
Lois Young - October 12, 2017 6:39 pm
This has to be my favorite to date. Thank you.
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.
cinclo - October 12, 2017 6:42 pm
Sooooooooo wonderful! Thank you for making my day (again)!!!
Augusta Jones - October 12, 2017 6:42 pm
Perfect answer. No judgement comment from here
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.
A Christian and friend of Bill W.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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
Mary - October 12, 2017 7:26 pm
I’ll be sitting right beside you.
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!
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.
Ione - October 12, 2017 7:38 pm
Preach on, Sean !!
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!
Charmed Chaos - October 12, 2017 7:48 pm
BRAVO Sean!!! Well said.
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!
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.
Sharon - October 12, 2017 8:07 pm
Right on Sean!!! Save me a seat please!
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!
Ari - October 12, 2017 8:20 pm
Amen! Pls save me a seat beside you.
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.
Pam Tricquet - October 12, 2017 8:40 pm
I’m with you!!
René Hodges - October 12, 2017 8:43 pm
You hit the nail right on the head! Best yet.
Barbara McGinnis - October 12, 2017 8:45 pm
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.
Suzanne Jackson - October 12, 2017 9:18 pm
This is one of your best! And one of the best commentaries I’ve ever read!
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!
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?
Darlene - October 12, 2017 9:38 pm
One word sums it up to me…Amen!
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. ?
Beth Thrift - October 12, 2017 9:50 pm
This is my favorite column yet. I agree with you about people with all the answers. Keep ’em coming, and blessings!
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! )
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!!
candyalso - October 12, 2017 10:45 pm
Dearest Sean, please take me with you, wherever you end up!
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.
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!
Gale Smith - January 7, 2019 8:27 am
Sean, I am so proud of you. You just keep getting better at your craft. I had read exactly 2 of your columns when I learned you were to speak at the college in Andalusia. I took a friend who is learning-disabled and cannot read or write. I had read both of your columns to her, so when I asked her if she wanted to go, she was thrilled. We laughed and cried and thoroughly enjoyed listening to you. I told you that you were a combination of my two favorite columnists: Lewis Grizzard and Jim Bishop. Most people will not remember Jim, but even now some of his best stuff gets recycled on fb, Etc. He had one where an old priest dreamed he died and went to heaven. St Peter took him first to the outer chamber of hell. There was a long room with a long table. Placed every few feet on the table were big pots of the old priest’s favorite food, beef stew. People sat on both sides of the table, and they each had long spoons attached to their hands. They could get spoons full of the delicious meal but the spoons were too long to get the food to their mouths. The cries of the starving people were so pitiful, the old priest begged to be taken away. St Peter said ok, we will now go to the outer chamber of heaven. There was a long room with long tables and big pots of beef stew up and down the table. Again, the people on each side of the table had the long spoons attached to their hands. But everyone was smiling and well-fed. They were filling the spoons and feeding each other.
I first read that in 1971 or 72 in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. I never missed a Jim Bishop column and he had many similar in theme. So Sean, it was very high praise to compare you to him and to Lewis Grizzard. I believe you are their equal, and probably even superior to them. Keep doing what you do best: singing the unsung heroes among us, drawing us up short when we get too full of ourselves, and showing us how beautiful even a small spark of light can be in a dark world. We need you.
(Those of you worried that Sean is into reincarnation and being an afterlife squirrel….look up ironic humor in an old lit book).
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.❤️
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.
Candy Clark - October 13, 2017 12:58 am
Absolutely Priceless!! I want to sit at your table in the afterlife!
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”
Jacque Kochak - October 13, 2017 2:22 pm
Philip – that’s the hardest thing, isn’t it?
Steve Vaughan - October 13, 2017 1:03 am
Praise da LORD
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
Janne Swearengen - October 13, 2017 1:19 am
Joan - October 13, 2017 2:09 am
Amen and right on!!!
Elizabeth May - October 13, 2017 2:07 am
AHA! WELL SAID, SIR!!!!!
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!
Lisbeth Garecht - October 13, 2017 2:19 am
Michael Hawke - October 13, 2017 2:19 am
May God bless you.
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!
Jack Quanstrum - October 13, 2017 5:30 am
Amen to that!
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…
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.
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.
Judy Miller - October 13, 2017 3:55 am
You’re a Methodist! “Open Door, Open Heart, Open Minds”. 🙂
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!
Melanie Tighe - October 13, 2017 12:31 pm
I’m with you Sean.
Melanie Tighe - October 13, 2017 12:38 pm
p.s. ‘muthahun’ is now one of my favorite people 🙂
Arlene Pergamit - October 13, 2017 1:16 pm
I like squirrels.
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.
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.
Debra Evans - October 13, 2017 1:53 pm
Tears of joy, laughing so hard. Thanks, Sean!
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.
Sandy Smith - October 13, 2017 2:58 pm
Best ” Come to Jesus” I’ve heard yet !
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
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.
Marsha - October 13, 2017 3:59 pm
You, Sir, will not be in hell.
Georgianna - October 13, 2017 6:08 pm
Amen! I hope to see you there, as well!
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!!
Patrick - October 13, 2017 6:57 pm
Lovely essay. Thank you.
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
Patricia - October 13, 2017 8:02 pm
I hope I’m the fox playing with squirrel you.
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.
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.
Mama Lisa - October 14, 2017 11:56 pm
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.
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
cat718 - October 14, 2017 7:08 am
You are His Hands and Feet, no doubt.
Melanie Howell - October 14, 2017 10:34 am
Best one yet!!!! Thank you!
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.
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.
Harriett - October 15, 2017 12:55 am
Amen and Amen!!!
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)
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.
Patricia Gibson - October 17, 2017 1:44 am
Mary Paine - October 17, 2017 4:16 pm
Sean – 1
I Hope – 0
Anne Trawick - October 18, 2017 4:16 am
No doubt about it. Best ever.
bob baggott - October 19, 2017 9:09 pm
More Christ like spirit in these words than 20,000 road signs claiming eternal judgment, 15,000 bumper stickers warning of the rapture, 10,000 church signs asking if you need a faith lift, 150 afro colored hair religious sign holders at the super bowl and all past reruns of the PTL club combined. Just sayin!
Cindy - October 22, 2017 10:05 pm
If I didn’t love Jesus I would hate Christians. A many a Christian almost kept me out of heaven. You can’t fool a sinner but church folks are sure fooling themselves and one another. Your love for others shows the world what love looks like…By the way, I might come back as a coon hound, they love better than a lot of folks.
Linda Carullo - November 16, 2017 10:29 am
I guess it still all boils down to – Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated….
Thanks for reminding us of this every day by letting us “see” the acts of kindness you witness in your life, Sean….
Leza - November 16, 2017 11:04 am
What the letter writer did is pure blasphemy; claiming to know what’s in your heart he is saying he is the equivalent to God. He needs to worry about the “tree” in his eye before judging anyone. That said, your response was perfection!
SmartmouthSLP - November 16, 2017 2:35 pm
He came for the sick and the broken, thank goodness. I’ll save you a seat at the table.
Lois M Cockerill - November 16, 2017 2:40 pm
Sean, I am sorry you had to hear what that preacher said so long ago. I know those kind are out there for I see them often even now. But Jesus saw the heart and soul of all the downtrodden and met them in their place. I believe you do the same with your generous heart that reaches out to the ones who can’t always reach back. I love your heart, a lot of other people love you and I know without a doubt that Jesus loves you.
You are actually a better witness for Him than you will ever realize. Keep it up, brother Sean of the South.
Vickie the retired RN - November 16, 2017 3:06 pm
from one outcast to another….I think you are the cheese!
Mark - November 16, 2017 3:39 pm
I never respond but this is great.
Matt - November 16, 2017 5:00 pm
You do know people (like me) hunt squirrels? Loving Him and Loving others is about as simple as it can get yet we screw even that up and try to make it complicated. If we would all just keep it between those two lines how much better off would we be. Hawks eat squirrels. Better keep your head on a swivel.
Pam Fowler - November 16, 2017 8:28 pm
Love you Sean, leave the self-righteous to their judgmental ways… you are much better at tact and diplomacy than I… I would have peeled the skin off their eyes with my response
Jan - November 16, 2017 10:00 pm
Sean, the love you have for your fellow humans fairly sings from your writing!!!! That anyone could read you and not hear that boggles my mind!!! I, for one, have no doubt about your heart, and we’ll just leave the rest to God.
Peggy - November 16, 2017 10:47 pm
Awesome response I want to be at that same dinner because I believe that’s where my Jesus will be
Brad - November 17, 2017 12:55 am
Colorful but intellectually vacant premise, to directly or indirectly indict Christianity because you encountered adherents who fall short…you might as well slam math because some people are bad at it….this view is ironically the modern church’s fault, they have made their focus on self help rather than a biblical Christ. If churches & this auther focused on that they would see that it’s not about us, never was.
Carolyn K - January 7, 2019 11:03 am
Well said is all I can say ❤️ What does bible say about judging others ?
Janet - January 7, 2019 1:04 pm
I once taught childrens Sunday School at a small Evangelical Methodist Church. When we were planning our Vacation Bible School, we discussed sending a van out to a poor neighborhood to pick up kids for VBS. The board members were against the idea because of some issues in the past. I argued in favor of it until finally one board member turned to me and said, “you don’t understand, these children are “unchurched”. I responded, that those were exactly the children I wanted. I didn’t win that one and I didn’t stay at that church long. I don’t know how the message of Jesus gets lost on some “christians” but I do think we will be surprised at who we meet in heaven and even more so, by who we don’t. Until then, I’ll keep trying my best not to run over any squirrels. If you do come back as one, please try not to zig when you should zag when darting across the street.
Steve Winfield - January 7, 2019 1:19 pm
Amazing comments. I believe with all my heart that Jesus is the son of God. Romans 10 vs 9 & 10 says I’m good.
I’m ignorant about many things but I believe God uses you to make people feel better and also to open our eyes about people we might otherwise overlook. I only know you from these things you write but to me you act “Christ-like”.
God bless you & your family.
I love you a lot.
Roger Brothers - January 7, 2019 1:21 pm
Well to tell the truth Sean Dietrich I have always thought you were a little squirrely.
An Old Book I read a long time ago told me not to judge people but it also told me how to know people. Big differance in judging and knowing .
We are supposed to know people by their fruits. Not by what they say they are.
Marge Roberson - January 7, 2019 2:18 pm
Sean, I understand that hypocrisy in the church is a turn-off for basically all of us. I also know there aren’t any perfect Christians. However, being “good” won’t get us to heaven. It may make us feel better but it won’t get us anywhere. Mainly because there is no such thing. Believing God is exactly who He says He is and turning our lives (imperfect as they are) over to Him is what gets us there. So in the end it boils down to this: Is God really God, the creator of everything and do we believe Him? If so, what do we do with that information? The rest is smoke and mirrors. I don’t care if you go to church or particularly like other Christians, I just pray that you find Him as you travel this planet and know that He IS good and that He loves you beyond anything any of us could ever imagine. After all, He isn’t that hard to find – if you really look.
Margaret Cade - January 7, 2019 3:04 pm
I sincerely doubt that if The Carpenter had been sitting beside your Mexican friends in church that day he would have been welcome either. God bless you Sean.
Ceil44 - January 7, 2019 4:23 pm
Hope we done at the same table.
unkle Kenny - January 7, 2019 4:32 pm
Well here I sit on this beautiful morning re reading this delightful story . But I have a terrible confession Sean . Last nite for supper iI had delicious crispy fried squirrels! On the plus side I know that they defantley WERE NOT YOU . They were delicious, my granpa would have been proud to have joined in that meal . Oh well .
Emily Davis - January 7, 2019 6:27 pm
I’d be willing to guess which church tradition the writer comes from, as I grew up with the same narrow views. All I can say is that I think there will be a lot of surprised people in heaven when we see who is there that we didn’t think would make it!
Steve Liedy - January 7, 2019 7:43 pm
I really enjoy your stories. And I recall reading this blog when it first appeared. I have the same empty feeling now that I had then. No one should base what they believe or how they should live on the basis of other folks. We are all imperfect, and some are simply better than others. And please don’t trifle with hell by saying you’d rather this or that there than go to heaven. Fret not, both places will be filled with hypocrites and doers of all manner of bad behavior. Place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and no one else. Not that you don’t already know all of this.
Rene Youell - January 7, 2019 8:26 pm
Anyone who reads your works on a regular basis should clearly know that you are right where you need to be spiritually. I think Jesus has a big grin on his face each time he reads your stories. They are His stories. You talk about people when they are down, out and hopeless, but they find their way. You talk about people whose life purpose is to help someone. You talk about those who helped you and those that you have helped. You are a better ‘Christian’ than some who step behind a pulpit every Sunday. You are real, you are sincere and you love unconditionally. That is the truth of what Jesus is, love for one another.
Darrow Woods - January 7, 2019 9:51 pm
There could be a lot worse things than coming back as a squirrel. Like coming back as a closed minded church-goer!
Seriously, I have loved your writing since I learned about you from a pastor friend who served for a while in Dothan, Alabama.
I am also a pastor, and spend way too much of time explaining I am not one of “those” Christians.
Peace, and Happy New Year!
Peggy - January 8, 2019 12:51 am
They will know us by our love. John 13:35. Everyday you make me love you more ♥️
Kelley Varden - January 8, 2019 3:25 am
Bravo. You are my kind of Christian and the ones I hope I find in Heaven.
You and Casting Crowns say it well:
Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours
Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Make the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of thieves
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
No one knows what we’re for only against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did
William Bull - January 8, 2019 9:55 pm
I’m not going to pretend to know scripture or even the Bible that well but what you’re describing sounds far more”Christian” than than that guy who wrote in..
Carolyn Skelton - January 13, 2019 11:00 pm
Love you, Brother Sean!! Keep on keeping on!! You bring a lot of light into our lives with your humor.
Carolyn Matjasko - January 16, 2019 7:29 pm
Oh my Lord, that is such a great story. I will save you a seat, unless you and I are chasing each other up a tree just for fun! LOL! You just never know!
Harriet - December 15, 2019 1:52 pm
Going through your archives. This is great I love your response. I hope I eat pot luck with you and the others.