The Only Difference
I had an appointment with death,
And without my permission, we met.
It was time for me, before my judge, to stand.
I stood alone; no reassuring hand.
I saw before me multitudes in line.
Each had come from different dates in time.
Up ahead stood Pilate, Washington, Churchill, Beethoven, Hitler;
Muhammad, Pope Benedict, Monroe, Franklin, and Luther.
There was Lincoln, Goliath, Keller, and Augustine;
Bunyan, Michael Jackson, Columbus, and Einstein.
Together now the sands of time had fallen –
Stripped of all they had, and who they’d been.
Though each had lived in different times and cultures,
We stood before our Creator complete equals.
We had thought the moral standard of our generation,
Would surely justify our deeds; bring acceptation.
Yet we stood this day judged by God’s one law.
No way to change the past; no escape we saw.
I looked behind, the line continued on –
Pharaoh, Newton, Reagan, Poe, Saint John.
Each had lived their life, and chosen their ways.
And I saw in their eyes reflections of their days:
Some o’erwhelmed with shame, and many with fear;
Some still shrouded with evil; but some wiped guilty tears.
Some stood bewildered, unwarned that this judgment would come.
Some swollen with pride – sure their good works had won.
And yet there were some robed in peace.
Their sin was atoned; their life-long struggle ceased.
These looked with anticipation to the One who would judge from the throne.
For it was He who had taken their place, and made heaven their home.
But what makes the difference – each soul’s fate to tell,
Whether judgment would send them to heaven or hell?
What each did with Jesus before their last breath was drawn,
When all’s stripped away…was the only thing left to stand on.