What is it to you? Is it a distant place that your mind rarely wanders to and when it does - it shudders? We've put hell out of our minds because we have bought the ticket to heaven with a prayer or a raised hand. So why think about it?
Or is it that place - like we've all been told - of perpetual burning that haunts our every action? That thought that wakes us up in the middle of the night and makes us shiver and immediately confess all the sins we did the day before...
Is hell that idea that bolts us into fear whenever doubt and questions surface in our spiritual journey? Is it a place where punishment and eternal torture are the just rewards for a life of evil? Or will it be a place where the hardest most agonizing thing will be separation from God himself?
I am not really interested in a debate about whether or not hell exists - as much fun as that might be. But I wonder if there is one aspect of hell that we all too easily overlook and discount...
Hell on earth.
Honestly I really don't listen to this kind of music but as I was flipping through the stations this morning I heard this song. What stuck out to me was one particular line.
(warning: the material covered in this song is about sexual abuse, drug addiction, gang violence, and other disturbing images)
Runaway Love (Ludacris and Mary J. Blige)
now this is the lyric that sticks out:
(NAME) stuck up in the world on her own
Forced to think that hell is a place called home
Now it is way too easy for a song like this to glamourize and exagerate the condition of life in our society. So we can pretty easily allow our desensitized brians skip over this. But in some weird and twisted way the world of pain is calling out to anyone who will really listen. They are asking for the way out of hell.
"Anybody around here that could show me the way out?"