Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Surviving the burn


May 15, 2019

Our locally owned restaurants have rightful claim(s) to fame. While we might debate in our household over where to eat, or not eat fast food for a while, there’s seldom, if ever, any debate about where to have a sit-down meal because they all have multiple choices of good food (we might struggle within over our own personal selection at any given time or eatery).

A specialty of local Cornerstone’s is Mercy Me, a pie made with Carolina reaper, Trinidad scorpion and bhut jolokia chili peppers. These are the three hottest known peppers with 2.2 million, 1 to 1.2 million, and 0.9 to 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs), respectively. The only thing hotter is pure capsaicin, the stuff that makes chili peppers hot, with 15 million SHUs. The restaurant gives a T-shirt to anyone who finishes the Mercy Me.

I read about bhut jolokia on the internet. It’s a hybrid pepper from northeast India whose name means “ghost chili” or “ghost jolokia” (“jolokia” apparently means “chili” or “pepper,” but I also saw it could mean “beyond one’s resources; beyond reason”). Believe it or not, bhut jolokia is used in India as a remedy for summer heat. Jalapeños have 8,000 SHU. Bhut jolokia, the mildest pepper in the Mercy Me pizza, is only about 150 times hotter than the average jalapeño.

Cornerstone’s T-shirt reads, “Holy Ghost Challenge. I survived the burn.” Flames arise from the word, “burn,” which is by itself at the bottom. It’s pretty clever. I’d bet most people would get over the burn even from pure capsaicin eventually, but that won’t be proven by me. I don’t even do jalapeños unless I know all the white stuff on the inside is gone and it’s stuffed with a heat mitigator, such as cheese.

There’s another burn that’s not life-threatening, but those experiencing it never will get over it. It’s called the second death and consists of an eternal fire that’s never quenched, but the soul lives on in torment with no hope for mercy (Revelation 20:14-15; Mark 9:48; Luke 16:19-31).

I’m accepting another Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) challenge -- the challenge (invitation, actually; Revelation 22:17) to please God in this life so I won’t have to face the eternal burn. You can read about the Holy Spirit’s invitation in the Bible. While it’s not for wimps, because God has mercifully provided the means, complying with the Holy Spirit’s invitation also is not beyond reason or anyone’s resources (1 John 5:3, 13; Hebrews 2:14-18; Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:3-8; 1 John 1:5-9). Those who don’t survive the Holy Spirit’s invitation won’t stand a ghost of a chance at the judgment, and God will “boot” them into the eternal burn (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:31-46).

With God’s help and mercy, I’ll survive/accept the Holy Spirit’s invitation to avoid the eternal burn. How about you? It’s worth a lot more than a T-shirt (Matthew 25:14-30)!

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]


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