The Appomattox Courthouse
Most of the commercials on TV have always dealt with our sense of vanity and our appearance in the presence of others.
We have to drive the right vehicle and wear the most recent, fashion-correct clothing. We don’t seem to fit in if our waistline is a little larger than others or we have a little less hair than everyone else. Heaven forbid if we don’t smell right or display a few wrinkles here and there. And if you don’t know exactly how to correct all your flaws, simply, “ask your doctor,” who probably can prescribe a pill you can take.
We are so self-conscious and spoiled in this country even our leaders and representatives in government can’t tell the difference between wants and needs, image and thrift. Our blatant waste of money is about to take us down and it doesn’t seem like we can get our vanity out from in front of our eyes to see it coming. I think our rags-to-riches greedy society is about to return to rags again.
A woman went to the police station, with her next-door neighbor in tow, to report her husband missing. The policeman asked for a description. She said, “He’s 35 years old; 6 foot 4; dark eyes; dark wavy hair; an athletic build; weighs 185 pounds; is soft-spoken, and is good with the kids.”
The neighbor protested, “Your husband is 5 foot 4, chubby, bald-headed, loud-mouthed, and is mean to your children!”
The wife replied, “Yes, but who wants him back?”
Marriage Counselor: “Please remember, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, that there are always two sides to every story.”
Mrs. Brown: “Fine! I’ll tell you my side of the story first. Then, I’m going to tell you his side of the story!”
On Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, Gen. Grant and Gen. Lee met at the home of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse, Va., to discuss the surrender of Lee and his army bringing the Civil War to a conclusion.
The contrast between the two commanders was striking. Grant was 42 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a full head of hair and beard, without a trace of gray. He wore a single-breasted, unbuttoned, dark-blue flannel blouse, ordinary top-boots with his trousers inside and without spurs. The boots and portions of his clothes were spattered with mud. He had no sword and a pair of shoulder-straps was all there was about him to designate his rank. In fact, aside from this, his uniform was that of a private soldier.
Lee, on the other hand, was six feet in height and 16 years senior to Grant. His hair and full beard were silver-gray. He wore a new uniform of Confederate gray, buttoned up to the throat, and at his side he carried a long sword of exceedingly fine workmanship, the hilt studded with jewels. His top-boots, fairly new, were clean and shown ornamental red-silk stitching. He also wore a felt hat that closely matched the color of his uniform.
Grant had walked in off the battlefield and Lee had had time to clean up to present himself in defeat to the world, sitting erect, awaiting his position in history.
(Hebrews 4: 12-13) When Jesus returned to heaven fresh off the battlefield, He looked like He had been in a battle. I’ll bet that same day, even though defeated, Satan was all dressed up in his finest, ready to make history.
There is coming a day when we will all have our Appomattox meeting. How will you appear to God on that day? Will you be coming fresh off the spiritual battlefield, tired and worn, or will you look like you’ve been hanging out with Satan and the world? What will you gain if you lose your soul?
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. This column will be available in the Wilson County News when space is available. Readers can also find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com .
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