The Final Inspection

 

 

Dedicated to the soldiers who are serving or have served in the United States Military.


The soldier stood and faced his God, which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now you soldier, how shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To my church have you been true?”

The soldier squared his shoulders and said, “No, LordI guess I ain’t, because those of us who carry guns, can’t always be a saint. I have had to work most Sundays, and at times my talk was tough, and sometimes I had to be violent, because the world is awfully rough. But I never took a penny that wasn’t mine to keep, though I worked a lot of overtime when the bills just got to steep. I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear, and sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here; they never wanted me around too much, except to calm their fears. If you’ve a place for me, Lord, it needn’t be so grand, I never expected or had too much, but, if you don’t, I’ll understand”

There was a silence all around the throne, where the saints had often trod, as the soldier waited quietly, for the judgment of his god.

“Step forward now, you soldier, you’ve borne your burdens well, walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, you’ve done your time in hell.”