In God's Eyes
My last glimpse of the Earth was filled with the tearful faces of my family and many friends I had found throughout my life. I was happy and content; in fact I was looking forward to seeing what death, more specifically Heaven with an luck, was like. I had read what other people said, the ones who claim to have died then come back. As someone on my deathbed for nearly a year, the afterlife became the only adventurous thing I could do. I planned on being as observant as possible. Not that I told anyone, they'd just laugh. It was my secret.
The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming sense of lightness, of freedom. Yet at the same time I was stuck on the course I was on. I saw my body below, slowly sinking into black. Soon everything I could 'see' was black as night... or death, anyways.
Then I noticed a light far off, directly in front of me. With nothing better to do, I decided to walk towards it. As my 'eyes' adjusted, I observed that I was in a seemingly endless tunnel. Not only that, but it was filled with spirits. Furthermore, I recognized them.
"John!" one elderly one screamed, floating towards me.
"ma?!" I said with dismay. She hadn't been the most Christian person in the family, I wasn't sure if seeing her was such a good thing.
"Don't worry, this isn't H•••." She said, but an annoying buzz covered the last word. "Bill!!! Cut that out already! You already scared Frank halfway to H••• when he died!" Again, the buzz rang out just in time. "Just ignore your pa, he's been at it for eons. God sticks us out here whenever a relative dies, but you know he gets bored so easily, and God saw fit to keep him that way."
"So... what happens now?" I asked uncertainly.
"Well, you just keep walking towards the light, and all of us are going back to Heaven." She replied. Then, with one last hug, she left with everyone else, leaving me to make my way to the light.
As I emerged from the tunnel, I sank about a foot into what appeared to be a cloud. Regaining my balance, I took a tenative step forward. I felt like I was walking on something just a touch more firm than air, but it held. Taking notice of my surroundings, I saw that we were indeed on a cloud, with other clouds of fascinating variety floating by. I say 'we' because I wasn't alone. I was at the end of a long line of souls that stretched on for ages, stopping at a big golden gate in the distance.
One 'hour' passed.
Two 'hours' passed.
Three 'hours' passed.
Finally I was only twenty people away, and could see what was happening. Everyone was getting split into 5 queues, an angel at each one.
A bigger angel with a loudspeaker was yelling out directions. "When you get to the front of the line, choose the station that has it's light on! Don't say anything, don't try concealing anything, just do as the angel at the station says!"
The lady behind me giggled saying, "he's got a pimple on h----" I turned in time to see a lightning bolt zap her, knocking her off the cloud pathway. Her scream slowly faded away in the distance that swallowed her up. With a gulp I quickly turned back around.
At the front of the line, I moved to station one. I stepped onto the conveyor belt with everyone else. First it brought us through what looked like a metal detector.
"If you're a terrorist, please inform Saint Peter at the gate!" The angel at our station said.
After the metal detector, the angel frisked each of us, then directed us over to the gate, where an elderly man in robes was waiting with a huge book, sitting at a table.
"Check in is over here!" He said with a gruff voice. All of us went over to him. The man in front of me told the man something, and was moved to the side. He looked wistfully at those who had already passed through the gate.
When it was my turn, I noticed the man's volunteer sticker. It read, 'Hello, my name is PETER'.
"What's your story?" Peter asked.
"Your life. Give me a brief synopsis."
"Well... I've been Roman Catholic my whole life, I go to church every Sunday and on holy days, I donate to charity regularly...." My voice trailed off. I realized I didn't have much to say.
"Hmmm... Ok. I'd like you to walk through the gate now." With a nod of gratitude, I did as I was told. Looking back, I saw Peter get up and talk to the man who had been pulled aside. I could tell that he was being lectured. Finally Peter patted his shoulder and the man hurried over, catching up with me.
"He said I made it... for now." The man said despondently.
"You'll be fine," I said reassuringly. He looked at me gratefully as we walked into the blinding light together.
As my vision returned, I saw a field. In fact, we were standing in it. Huddled together was a group of souls, so we joined them. Everyone was talking quietly, saying things like "what happens now?" and "did you hear about...". Then everyone shut up as a figure dressed in white approached. Not only was he wearing white, he was wearing a white golfer's outfit. Slung on his shoulder was a golf club, and his sticker read 'Hello, my name is God'.
"Hey everyone!" He said with a surprisingly normal voice. "Welcome to my front yard!" We looked at each other, unsure of what to do, or what to make of God. I think it's safe to assume none of us pictured this.
With a sigh, God flicked his finger. Now he looked like a stereotypical Jesus character. "Happy?" he asked us with an impatient look. "You wouldn't believe how annoying it is, having to wear this just because that's all anyone recognizes as what I would wear. Okay... Where was I? Oh yes, introductions! We'll go in a circle. Hi, I'm God, your stereotypical omnipotent being." he said, finishing with chuckle.
"Hi, I'm Andy," my new friend said.
"Hi, I'm John," I said, and everyone else followed suit.
"Ok, let's get started. Serious faces now, people." God said. Then after a short pause, he burst out laughing. "ok ok ok... just give me a moment!" he said, gasping for breath. Turning away, he came back without the laughter, looking at all of our unsmiling faces. "Ok, NOW we can begin." He started pacing back and forth. "I'm happy to announce that all of you have made it to Heaven." A sigh of relief went around the circle, and everyone relaxed visibly. "That being said, none of you are going there yet. You must go to purgatory first. But before I send you there, I'd like to do a little excersize." I could see that God was being serious now, no more bad jokes.
"I want all of you to pick up the knitting kits in front of you." Looking down, we all found the kits, which definitely hadn't been there before. "Now, start knitting." I'd never Knitted in my life, but apperently I missed out, because I had a natural knack for it. Then, everyone else seemed to as well.
When we finished, they all floated up in front of us, near God, who was now dressed as a strict school teacher. "Tsk tsk... children, I'm quite dissapointed. You see, your quilts were only finished relative to how much good work you did during your life." I smiled a little, I seemed to have done pretty well. "But we're not done yet." start a second quilt each." he, or rather she said.
When we finished, our new quilts floated up in front of our first ones. Our second ones were more hole than quilt. "These second ones represent something much more important than the first. Each square on these quilts represents a chance each of you had to do a good deed. If you passed on that opportunity, that square did not get knitted." I wasn't smiling anymore, mine was just as bad as everyone elses.
"Now, examine your lives very carefully. Do you notice anything?" she, I mean he, said. Looking up, the distinct image of suffering Christ was visible in each person's life, made up of the holes in our sorry existences. We all started crying. That picture was so lifelike, his sad eyes looking right at us. "You don't get a second chance to go live a perfect life. I just want all of you to understand that by going to purgatory, you will be turning that image around, giving Christ a completed quilt for him to put his smiling countenance on. And now, to cheer you guys up, I would like to show you a glimpse of Heaven before you go to purgatory.
We followed him through an arch made of young trees that smelled of spring, and my 'jaw' dropped in awe of the beauty before me.
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