The following tragic story of a young girl who died of shame was narrated by the late RA Torrey in his book, Heaven or Hell.
Hell is a place of insatiable and tormenting desire. Remember what Jesus told us of the rich man in hell. The rich man said, “Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).
You will carry into the next world the desires that you build up here. Hell is the place where desires and passions exist in their highest potency, and where there is nothing to gratify them. Men and women who are living in sin and worldliness are developing passions and desires for which there is no gratification in hell. Happy are those people who set their affections on things above. Those who cultivate power, passions, and desires for which there is no gratification in the next world will spend eternity in severe torment.
Hell is a place of shame. Oh, the awful, heartbreaking agony of shame! It can cause depression, illness, and even death. A bank cashier was in a hurry to get rich, so he appropriated the funds of the bank and invested them, intending to pay them back. But his investment failed. For a long time, he managed to conceal his theft from the bank examiner. One day the embezzlement was discovered. The cashier had to acknowledge his crime. He was arrested, tried and sent to prison.
He had a beautiful wife and a lovely child, a sweet little girl. Some time after his arrest and imprisonment, the little child came home sobbing. “Oh,” she said, “Mother, I can never go back to that school again. Send for my books.”
Thinking it was some childish whim, the mother said, “Of course you will go back.”
“No,” the child insisted, “I can never go back. Send for my books.”
“Darling, what is the matter?”
She said, “Another little girl said to me today, ‘Your father is a thief.”‘
Oh, the cruel stab! The mother saw that her child could not go back to school. The wound was fatal. That fair blossom began to fade. A physician was called, but her illness surpassed all the capacities of his skill. The child grew weaker every day until they laid her on her bed. The physician said, “Madam, I am powerless in this case. The child’s heart has given way with the agony of the wound. Your child will probably die.”
The mother went in and said to her dying child, “Darling, is there anything you would like to have me do for you?”
“Oh yes, Mother, send for Father. Let him come home and lay his head down on the pillow beside mine as he used to do.”
But the father was behind iron bars. They spoke to the governor, and he said, “I have no power in the matter.” They spoke to the warden of the prison. He said, “I have no power in the matter.”
But hearts were touched by the girl’s condition. The judge and the governor made an arrangement so that the father was permitted to come home under a deputy-warden. He reached his home late at night and entered his house. The physician was waiting. He said, “I think you had better go in tonight, for I am afraid your child will not live until morning.”
The father went to the door and opened it. The child looked up quickly. “Oh,” she said, “I knew it was you, Father. I knew you would come. Come and lay your head beside mine on the pillow just as you used to do.”
The strong man went and laid his head on the pillow. The child lovingly patted his cheek and died. She was killed by shame. Hell is the place of shame, where everybody is dishonored.