I hate staplers.
Yes, those everyday office wonder that binds sheets of paper together with a thin copper or steel wire. I don’t like them and would think twice of handling them.
My father used to operate an electronics repair shop in Makati. It was family business. My mother worked as the secretary and accountant. I was the mascot. I used to linger around the shop and earned lots of experience getting electrocuted there (but that’s totally another story). Other times, I would just wait for the next Family Computer or SNES from a customer to get fixed so I can test it.
One of those days I was playing with a stapler. I thought it was some sort of gun. While imitating those action stars on TV, I decided to conveniently use the part that shoots wire staplers as a trigger. Voila! A real gun and I just shot myself. My mom found me crying and bleeding. I stapled my thumb to my index finger.
More than the pain, it was my blood that really got me crying. The wound was deep. The cut in my pride was deeper.
Now I’d really hesitate to play with or even handle a stapler. I’ll use it and be done with it. I wouldn’t even think of tinkering with it even though I’ve been tinkering with other gadgets.
Call it trauma. Maybe it is.
Just don’t give me a stapler.
One day, his family visited some relatives. There, he met his uncle who told him some stories. He heard about some stories about what would happen when the world ended. Some things like persecution, death, destruction and, worst of all, hell. He went home shivering in fear. He could not get the imagery off his mind. He can’t bear to think of the destruction, the deaths and everything else. He was more afraid of hell that images haunted his dreams.
In panic, his mother called out our pastor for counseling and Bible study. I don’t know if the boy recovered.
Of course, a lot of people don’t like any talk of hell. They are so afraid of it, they seem to merge fantasy with what they have heard. Hence, there’s hordes of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic films that describe hell, the devil, and many other beings or events that will be seen when the world comes to an end.
Yet, some people don’t want to believe or know or have anything to do with heaven or hell.
After all, who in their right mind would like to talk about blazing fires hotter than the sun set to be kindled to sinners? Who would want to talk about a place where all of your deepest and darkest sins will be uncovered and duly punished? Even the idea of an angry god still scares albeit secretly even the most rational of us.
Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a sermon about fires in the Bible times. The pastor said that fire was depicted as three things in the Holy Book. First, it is a sign of purity or purification like purifier of silver (Malachi 3:3). Second, it is a sign of consecration as in the case of Isaiah when his tongue was singed by an angel in a vision (Isaiah 6). Third, fire is an indication of the presence of God as in the burning bush during Moses time (Exodus 3). The pastor didn’t elaborate it that much, but he stopped with just three which leads to the question: so where the hell is hell fire?
This probably invalidates hell. Maybe it is possible that the fires of hell are actually God trying to gather His people together. Him trying to hug all of us, but because of sin, most of us could not withstand his eternal glory. We cannot withstand perfection that it burns our sinful and imperfect body. We did not avail the robe of righteousness of Christ thus God’s embrace became deadly fires in to our body.
If that is the case, hell is nothing to be afraid of but something to look forward to.
Whether true or not, at least it’s fire and not wire staples.