If there’s no wall there . . .

Underdog arrived on the television screen in 1964. My dad would have been 14. "Dad, why were you still watching cartoons when you were 14?" This is definitely something I'm going to have to give him a hard time about in Heaven.

My dad played cartoon characters with me, and one of his best voices was Underdog.  He had this routine, and I don’t think it came from Underdog at all.  I don’t know where he got it from.

Dad would be Underdog, and the criminals Riff-Raff and Joe would blow up the bank Underdog was visiting.  Somehow, the bank would blow up so that there were no walls but the roof stayed up.

Dad had watched a lot of cartoons as a kid (and with me).

Anyway, as Underdog, he’d always be trying to figure this unusual predicament out.  He’d say, “Wait a minute.  If there’s no wall here . .”

And my role would be to say something like, “Yes.”

” . . . . .And there’s no wall over there . . . . .”


“. . . . . And there’s no wall there . . . . .”


“. . . . . . . . . And there’s no wall over there, either . . . . . . . . . ”

“That’s right.”

“But then . . if there’s no wall over there, and there’s no wall over there, and there’s no wall over there or there either . . . what is keeping the ceiling from falling down?”

And then of course Dad would make crashing sound effects and shake me.  He was a good motion simulator all by himself.

That was one of Dad’s favorite jokes, because it was just such an outrageous proposal that somebody could stand in a wall-less room and have to concentrate to figure out what was going to happen.

I wonder, though, if that was really so outrageous.  There are so many concepts in our world today that seem somehow to be hovering above our heads with no walls to hold them up anymore–our economy for example, or the value of life.

And for a lot of people, Christianity would be on that list.  Christianity, for some people, has little or nothing to do with the Bible, little or nothing to do with following Christ, little or nothing to do with forgiveness of sin, and little or nothing to do with an all-powerful God who is the Master and sole decider on who goes into Heaven for all eternity and who doesn’t.

But when the walls are gone . . . what is holding up the ceiling–salvation from Hell?

Absolutely nothing.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24b, ESV)

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10, ESV)

Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. (John 12:26, NLT)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NLT)


Photograph by Curtis Palmer, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/techbirmingham/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

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