Forget for a minute that you exist. Forget about your life, what it is and what you expected it would be. Forget about your likes and dislikes, your preferences and annoyances, your motivations and discouragements. Forget that you have a mother and a father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, co-workers and colleagues. Forget that you have a place in this world, whether good or bad, happy or sad. Forget, if you can, that you exist at all. In fact, forget that you ever existed. Imagine a world that doesn’t include you. A world remarkably similar to the one that you do live in, but one that hasn’t bothered to include you in its plans; the world that you know, minus one thing: you.

Just such a world is the gift that is given to a particular sinner one Christmas Eve. Despairing of life and the struggles associated with living it, this individual decides he is better off dead. Just hours earlier, he was informed of a cold, hard financial truth: he is actually worth more dead than alive. In desperation, he throws up a half-hearted prayer to God for direction. When he receives a bloody lip instead, he takes this as God’s answer to his prayer and becomes more resolved than ever to carry out his own execution. Unbeknownst to him, however, God’s answer—to his and every other prayer that was being prayed for him that night—was a bit more creative.

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