My Roommate Is Going to Hell!
HEAVEN OR HELL BY KARMABLUE CREATIVE COMMONS FLICKR.COM
When we stood in front of the full length mirror of the old wardrobe we laughed at “Mutt and Jeff”! Linda’s tall, thin frame shook as she stifled her laughter with her hand to not bother our quiet roommate, Ruthie. All I did was make a Phyllis Diller face in the mirror and it made Linda burst into such a shriek of laughter it raised the rafters of the First Baptist Church on the other side of Cumberland College.
Ruthie, rolled her eyes in disgust. I guess our rendition of the “Hee Haw Show” didn’t impress the Baptist girl. After one more load of giggles she slammed her book shut and stormed out of the room with a huff. Linda ran after her and yelled down the hall. “Was it something we said?” I dropped to the floor in a belly laugh. Later, we left a peace offering of candy on Ruthie’s pillow.
Linda was like a wild stallion from the wilderness of North Dakota while I was the pony ride at the Ohio state fair. Even though, she drank, smoked, cussed, made out with boys, came home late, and gave people a certain finger, I was drawn to her inner, kindred spirit. Me, being a church-going-Baptist and Linda being a confirmed, strict Catholic it did not interfere with our opinion of each other. The only thing that did interfere was our paths that hardly crossed during the day.
I became quite concerned about Linda when she kept pushing the curfew time close to be back in the dorm. I guess her folks hoped the dry state of Kentucky would stop their daughter from drinking but they didn’t know Jellico, Tennessee was only eighteen miles away. Satan was either using dumb locals or backslidden Baptists to transport Linda down the wrong highway! I would not judge my dear laughing buddy. Instead I prayed for a miracle. I asked the Lord to help me to tell her she could have a personal relationship with Him. But, when I tried to tell her I became nervous and tongue-tied.
After a while, Linda and I drifted apart.
After the shock of a girl on my floor delivering her own baby in the bathroom stall, I became quick friends with Ruth Brock from Tennessee. Ruth said she had no clue her roommate was nine months pregnant! We felt sorry for the girl because she did a stupid but a brave thing. We learned the girl wore a tight girdle under her loose clothes. The mother and baby were taken to the hospital and all were doing fine!
As Ruth and I talked longer our conversation drifted to Ruth’s fiancé who was in the military. Her big blue eyes sparkled as she shared the story of her beloved, Private Donald Williams. The inspirational picture she painted of their true love they were saving for marriage gave me new hope to find my true love. “When you marry the Christian guy God has for you, Kathy, and you treat him like a king he will in return treat you like a queen.” I never forgot that.
Later in the spring the Baptist Student Union announced there would be a Billy Graham movie shown on Saturday called The Restless Ones. I asked Linda to go see it with me and she said yes! I prayed and prayed for her to be touched and moved by the Holy Spirit.
When movie ended and the lights came on I saw tears streaming down Linda’s face. A minister stood and gave an altar call to anyone who wanted to pray to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
“Kath, I want to go and accept Jesus into my heart. Will you go with me?”
I grabbed her hand and we walked down together. The minister said, “How can I help you?”
Linda said, “I’m Linda and this is my roommate Kathy who brought me tonight. I’m a Catholic and I don’t remember feeling like this when I took my confirmation at twelve years old in the Church. For the first time I feel sorry for my sins. My life is a mess and I want to ask Jesus to forgive me and to come into my heart and save me!”
“How wonderful, Linda. I want to ask you something. I know you probably know this in your head but do you believe in your heart that Jesus is the sinless Son of God who was born of a virgin, and He came to die for your sins? Do you believe He resurrected from the dead on the third day?”
“Oh, yes! I believe everything you just said!”
“Okay. I want you to tell God what you believe about His Son.”
Linda squeezed my hand and bowed her head. “Dear Lord, I am so touched tonight to feel your presence for the first time in my life. You are truly real. I believe you are the sinless, Son of God born to the virgin Mary. I believe you died on the cross for all my sins and you rose from the dead! Please forgive me of my sins and come into my heart to live forever! Amen!”
On the way back to the dorm I was floating down the sidewalk but Linda was waving her arms and dancing around all the bushes and trees in people’s yards. I had never seen anyone so happy after being saved.
“I’m flying, Kath! I feel as light as a feather! Watch me fly! My sins are all forgiven! Weeeeeeee! I’m so happy! I have never felt so happy! Weeeee!”
As we climbed the steps in the dorm Linda stopped and turned around with a look of concern. “Kath…does this mean I have to become a Baptist?”
I smiled and said, “Of course not! You just share this wonderful salvation experience with all your family and friends, read the Bible daily, and be the BEST Catholic and Christian you can be!”
My Roommate Is Going to Heaven!
THE HOLY CITY 03 WAITING FOR THE WORD CREATIVE COMMONS FLICKR.COM