Fit For the Kingdom
In political seasons, we are bombarded by ads about those seeking to become the candidate for their party for an elected position. Depending on how close the race, the ads begin to become more personal and often, very negative about an opponent’s actions both “in and out” of office. It has been said more than once that if half of what is said about candidates seeking to be chosen for an elected position is true, all of them should be arrested. I don’t know that I would go that far, but clearly, the mud-slinging is severe enough that we sometimes feel we need a slicker to watch the campaign ads during the season of campaigns.
Elected officials are just like us. They are men and women with convictions that want to see their viewpoint become the daily routine of the area they are hoping to be elected to serve. All of them are willing to serve, but at the end of the day, they realize that they will not get everything done they had hoped because of folks “across the aisle” seeking to get a different set of items approved during their term of office. We are fascinated when we read of those in Congress doing things for common people in their area of jurisdiction.
Dr. Arthur Talmadge Abernathy in his book, Center Shots at Sin tells about the Vice President of the Confederacy. He says: “I was a small boy in Atlanta when Alexander H. Stephens died. Stephens was Vice President of the Confederacy. He opposed secession and fought with all his power against it. His oration before the Georgia Secession Convention will last as long as history. Stephens was a cripple and died shortly after becoming governor of Georgia. When it became known that he was soon to die, that the physicians had no hope of prolonging his days, the great men of state crowded his bedroom and besought him to sign important documents. But Stephens waved them away and called for his private secretary—and told him to bring out of his desk an old, faded paper. The secretary found it. It was the petition of an old humble woman back in the hills seeking the pardon of her sinful son in the penitentiary.
“With the great state officials begging Stephens to lay it aside and take up weightier matters, he replied: ‘No. I am going to sign this. The great matters will take care of themselves.’ And, being propped on his pillow, Governor Stephens took the yellow, faded appeal of the heart-broken mother who had no other intercessor at the governor’s mansion. He dipped the pen in the ink, and across the appeal he wrote ‘P-A-R-D-O-N-E-D.’ Underneath he scrawled his name, ‘Alexander H. Stephens, Governor.’ Very shortly thereafter, he was dead.”
Dr. Abernathy goes on with these words: “On the high hill of Calvary the Son of God was dying. All the sins of the world were upon Him. At His side a thief and murderer, an outcast, hung suspended between time and eternity. He was unfitted to go into eternity, and he was being forced out of the era of time. He cried out: ‘Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom.’ From the bruised lips of the Christ came the answer that has echoed down the corridors of the ages: ‘Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” The man adjudged unfit to live with men was made suitable to live forever with Jesus.” (Copied).