If Heaven Went By Merit

"If heaven went by merit, you'd stay out and your dog would go in."

Mark Twain


Smokey was my dog when I was a kid. My home was at a church complex and gentle Smokey was accustomed to constant attention by many people. "Even their dog is saved," somebody had said.

But even lovable Smokey did things that weren't heavenly. I knew. It was my responsibility to bury the rotting, maggot infested groundhog carcasses he'd regularly bring to the back yard. One day, I witnessed my dog killing a groundhog - killing it slowly: shaking it until all of its bones must have basically rattled apart from each other, then taunting it, then shaking it again, and repeating.

The worst of what an animal does is because it is driven by instincts. Still, this absolutely pales in comparison to the evil that people do for no reason other than sin.

I'm glad that heaven doesn't go by merit.