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During our vacation this past week, husband John and I arrived at the Canadian border, wanting to head over to the “big” Niagara Falls.
We handed our passports to a nice-looking young man in a booth, who looked them over and asked if we had “anything to declare,” such as guns, knives or pets. When we answered “no,” and then told him we just wanted to sightsee in his country, he allowed us through.
On the way back, we stopped at the United States border and were met by a frowny-faced young fellow. Even though we gave him our passports, he proceeded to ask each of us what country we were from. Assuming the guy really meant “state,” John answered, “North Carolina.”
“When did North Carolina become a state?” the man asked, not too kindly.
He then proceeded to ask us why we had been to Canada. Finally, he decided it was OK to let us ruffians in. By then I was ready to kiss the American soil.
Similarly, but not biblical, here’s another story: When a man dies and meets St. Peter at the pearly gates, St. Peter tells him he needs 100 points to get into heaven, each earthly good deed earning so many points.
The man tells St. Peter about going to church every Sunday.
“Two points,” St. Peter responds.
“Tithing,” the man says.
“Another two points,” St. Peter notes.
“Starting a soup kitchen and working with the homeless.”
“One point,” St. Peter says. “That’s all great, but what else?”
“I was married to my wife for 50 years and was always faithful,” the man reports.
“Three points,” St. Peter replies.
“That’s all the points I get?!” the man exclaims. “At this rate, the only way I can get into heaven is by the grace of God!”
At that, St. Peter says. “Come on in!”
As Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace that you have been saved — through faith — it is the gift of God.”
That’s how we get to the other side!
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.