The officer was not going to change his mind. “The rules are the rules, Torres.” He explained, “I don’t make them, just enforce them.”
I did my best to diplomatically explain I didn’t frequent the medication line, so I was not aware of the clothing rule. But he didn’t care for my plea, so I changed tactics.
I began to explain how much in need I was of my migraine medication, and asked if he could allow me to approach the medication window without wearing my full state Blues, just this once.
The answer was a solid, cold, “No.”
I didn’t want to, but I was being forced to pull out the biggest reason of them all that would give me clearance to approach the medication window without wearing my full state Blues: the “I work in medical” card.
“You know, Officer Gatekeeper,” I began. “I work for the medical clinic, back in dental.” I think I even stood a bit straighter, and felt very proud of my statement.
“So what.” he said, “I work for Jerry Brown.”
As my ego deflated into thin air, I knew that I now would have to walk all the way back to my cell to put on my state Blues. Before I turned back, I begged one last time, but this time with my tail between my legs.
“Are there any other options?” I was sincere.
I wasn’t too sure if Officer Gatekeeper heard me at first. It felt like it took five minutes for him to answer, but it really wasn’t that long. “You see those bins of clothing by the laundry building?”
“Yeah,” I answered as I turned to look.
“There should be a few sets of Blues there. Put a set on. Go get your meds. Then put the set back. Are we clear?” he asked, not really wanting an answer.
I quickly made my way to the bin and pulled out the first set I saw. The set was two sizes too small, but I didn’t mind. I rocked the extra-tight blue shirt and blue skinny jeans all the way to the medication window. I might have looked like a Hipster, but I didn’t care.
When I was done I returned the set of Blues back to the bin, and Officer Gatekeeper nodded his head in approval.
Now, I may be stretching it a bit, but my situation reminded me of what Christ did for me – for us – on the cross.
Humanity had a big problem. Sin had entered and caused a deep, dark gap between the Creator and His creation. The debt was big – uncountable. The rules – commandments – were unchangeable, clear, written in stone.
Eternal hell was certain. No amount of ignorance or excuses could keep us from it. In order to get into Heaven, the opposite and much greater place than hell, one would have to be clothed in sinlessness.
Ignorance of the rules would not be accepted. Wanting and needing to enter into Heaven – with all its good intentions – will not be enough. Working for it, or knowing influential people, will not swing open Heaven’s gates.
The rules are the rules. As long as we are dressed in sin, we will not enter Heaven, and will be given eternal hell.
So how? Could there be another way?
Officer Gatekeeper had to enforce the rules that had been set. But nothing kept him from providing me with a set of Blues himself, allowing me to approach the medication window without breaking the rule.
God, Who enforces the Heavenly rules He set, could not allow Himself to break them (for He cannot lie.) Sin and Light could just not be together. The rules are the rules. However, nothing kept Him from providing a Way. His Son. Love.
Every single day I’m amazed that God would make a Way into Heaven just for me (okay, and you, too!) For without it I would still be lost, in sin, and on my way to hell.
Thank you, Abba Father, for loving me and giving me a Way into heaven. Amen.
……remembering to put on my state Blues