Sycamore Row is John Grisham returning to form with a tightly written and entertaining legal drama. There are a couple of sweet plot twists here that make this a pleasurable read. In the end, the jury gets it right and the ending is elegant and satisfying. I borrow this successful story in order to ponder a Christian theological pillar called the Judgment. Why does the Bible talk about books being opened and God weighing souls in the balance? Who will Jesus choose to save – and why? I surmise as I study – and Sycamore Row has helped me with this – that God’s act of judging is a kind and benevolent process as He tries to save any and all who will be blessed and comforted in a kingdom forever ruled by Jesus. Baseball umpires now have an instant-review process where they scrutinize close plays until they absolutely get them right. If that’s important for a safe-out call at first base, how much more vital is it when a redeemed sinner considers moving up to a vastly different, holy place where life stretches out for eternal eons? Matthew 25 describes people who are kind to the unfortunate around them: they feed the hungry and visit the prisoners. Other Bible passages, while affirming salvation as a free, grace-bathed gift, do confess that a sinner truly forgiven by Christ will then follow in his Master’s footsteps by obeying and serving. If heaven is a kingdom where fealty to Jesus and his ways are the lifestyle for all eternity, it’s an act of kindness for God to judge inclusively but prudently and invite people to paradise who will thrive in an unselfish, worshiping society of great men and women.