The other evening, I happened upon the latest episode of NBC’s “Deal or no Deal” game show. One of the contestants was the sweetest, most vibrant women I had ever seen. She was just so nice. The kind of person you would want winning on one of these shows. She deserved it. She was middle aged, grandmotherly even. She moved and shook with all the excitemnt of an agitated terrier. For those who don’t know, the game is pretty simple. You start with a sum of money, something around $2 million as I recall. You pick from a series of numbered cases, each containing a dollar amount. That is the amount you lose. So this woman had with her a coffee can full of family photos. Each photo had a number on the back of it. This was to be her winning strategy.
As the game progressed, she won a bit, and she lost a bit. Nothing seemed to phase her. She knew that God was watching out for her. “This is my baby niece” she said as she called out for case number five. Ten thousand. Ouch. This is it. Down to the wire. This is the moment of truth. She reaches into the can. “This is my nephew, Daniel. He is serving our country over in Iraq.”. America’s collective hearts all get a bit warmer. At this moment, at least to her, there was a merciful and caring God up in the sky. To her, sinners still went to hell and bad guys get what they deserved. She called out number 7. Drumroll please. Oh my Lord, this is it. Rags to riches. Howie’s eyes, in what seemed to be an eternity, moved to embrace hers. “I’m sorry. So close, but not close enough”. I watched her faith run dry. I watched her soul become a heavy burden. To her, at this moment, there is no caring, loving God watching over our perfect little souls. I watched a soul become lost. No deal.