By Dr. Mel Waldman

War is near to Perdition

     The soldier trudged through the deep snow, trying to find his way back to the others. But he was lost and separated from his battalion.

     The sergeant had sent him on an important mission hours ago. Or was it yesterday? Only a kid, about 18 or 19, the disoriented soldier wandered through the white landscape. Delirious and running a high fever, he could not recall the nature of his mission. But he KNEW the enemy was OUT THERE. He clutched his slick black gun.

     Blinded by the hopeless blizzard, he continued to trek aimlessly across the deep snow, constantly changing directions as the wild wind drove him away from the intuitive path he had chosen. In the tortuous, twisted moment in which he existed, chance was his master.

     Eventually the whirling wind drove him to a white wall of snow. He imagined it was fifteen feet high and as wide as a football field. Yet perhaps it was only a six foot mound of snow that he could walk around. But he was delirious. Exhausted and defeated, he sat at the foot of the wall, closed his eyes, and waited to die.

     Then he heard a distant voice in his head. It said, “Dig a hole in the wall and climb through to the other side. Heaven is waiting for you.”

     He opened his eyes and started digging with his hands. At first the snow seemed hard and impenetrable. But he punched a few small holes in it. When he had created a large opening, he crawled through.

     On the other side, he was still lost in the blinding storm.  Once more he seemed to wander across the white landscape—and yet he was guided by a faint voice in his head that showed him THE WAY.

     Following the mysterious path, he headed south and discovered a small town about half a mile away.

     After staggering across main street, he realized the town was only a block long. It was just a couple of shacks with metal doors. Clutching his gun, he knocked on each door. No one responded. Desperate, he turned each knob. All the doors were locked except the last one.

     He entered the thirteenth door and collapsed on the floor. The place was dark and wasn’t Heaven, but it was shelter from the storm.

     He sat in the pitch black darkness and tried to warm up. The shack was not warm but it was not brutally cold. Outside, he was almost hypothermic. Here, he was coming back to life.

     He closed his eyes and dozed off until he was awakened by shrill sounds that drilled a gaping hole in his soul. “Who’s there?” he cried out.

     No one answered. The cutting, piercing sounds grew louder and louder.  Soon they encircled him.

     “Who’s there?” he screamed, his body shaking violently, and his hands trembling as he gripped his dark weapon. “Identify yourself or I shall kill you!” But no one spoke and the harrowing cries were now unbearable shrieks in the darkness.

     The frenzied soldier emptied six rounds of ammunition into the pitch black miasma surrounding him.  Then he listened to a long, foul echo that lingered in the room, clinging to the silence like the stench of carrion. From this point on, the shrieks never ceased, but grew wildly and deeply into his soul. “Stop!” he cried out.  But the ululations swept across his psyche, evoking ancient memories of all the sins he had committed in his short life.

     Now his soul was on fire as he witnessed the heinous crimes he had committed against humanity. HERE, he would never forget his sins. But could he find redemption or forgiveness?

     He howled on this infinite NIGHT OF JUDGMENT. His trial had just begun and could last for eternity.