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Dostoevsky tells the story of a woman who found herself in hell and felt she did not belong there. She could not bear the suffering and cried out in agony for the mercy of God.

God listened and was moved with pity and so He said to her: "If you can remember one good deed that you did in your lifetime, I will help you."

Wracking her brain, she remembered that once she had given an onion to a starving neighbor. So, God produced the onion complete with stem.

The woman grabbed the onion, and God began to pull her up and out of hell. But others, damned with her, began to grab hold of the woman's skirts to be lifted out, too.

The stem of the onion held and would have saved them all but the woman began to kick and scream for them to let go. Thrashing about trying to dislodge her friends was too much for the onion and the stem snapped, plunging them all back into the depths of hell.

That woman wanted to be saved... she just didn't care whether anybody else was or not. And that was because she was a selfish, self-centered... "Love me not".

(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, Love Me Nots, 2/21/2011)

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