“If you died today, Berthella,” asked Evart Gordon, the teacher in her adult Sunday school class at Oak Grove Church, “do you know where you’d spend tomorrow?”
“Of course I do,” replied Mom with her chin held high and a slight frown. If there was one thing Mom was confident about it was her knowledge of the Bible and God’s plan for humanity.
“Well, where would that be?” Evart pressed.
“If I died today,” replied Mom, “tomorrow I’d be at Huff Funeral Home in Bremen.”
After a stunned silence, chuckles of humor and disbelief sloshed around the class room like waves in a pool. They subsided quickly, though, when Mom pointedly challenged Evart, “Do you know where you’d go?”
The question I imagine Evart posed is a classic query for some Christians and central to Mom’s essence. Traditionally, in the Monopoly game of eternity you either land on “Free Parking,” or you “Go Directly to Jail.” But Mom grew up with the teachings of the late Pastor Russell and did not share this conventional vision of the Christian afterlife. Russell referred to traditional views as muddy waters to be washed away. With the “belt of truth” buckled tightly around her waist, Mom was prepared to enlighten anyone whose beliefs fell short… creating more animosity than disciples.