The recent “tweet of the year” in conservative circles was quite clever, and I don’t want to take too much away from it by being too literal. In referring to the death of Kim Jong Il, Josh Trevino tweeted “I’d like to think God let Havel and Hitchens pick the third.” Obviously, if you press this very far you come up against “Wait, what little-known heavenly loopholes allow Hitchens in this conversation?” Or, “Who says God is a grinning, clubbable old guy who likes revenge?” Ruins the fun – and it is fun, to think of Hitchens and Havel looking over the population and discussing who is going to be swept from the board.
I prefer to ruin this in a different way. Who says that Havel and Hitchens were especially important souls to be given this honor, simply because they were famous here? Far more likely that the greatest souls who died in the last few weeks, as measured by their honor when we see them in glorified form, are people whose names we have never heard, and never will in our lifetimes. God is not a respecter of persons in that way. The last shall be first. I don’t say that to remind the great persons of the world of their true place – I doubt many of them drop by here - but for us, the medium and medium small people of the world, to remember that those smaller than us may be greater as well.