What I Didn't Do

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What I Didn't Do
Nate Weil

I left my body with a feeling of content; I had lived a happy, full life and I wasn't that bad of a person if I do say so myself. I didn't do anything especially good like going to a third world country to help out but I donated to charities regularly, I went to church, I believed in God. So I really wasn't worried as I lined up with the other souls freed that day, waiting to be admitted into Heaven or sent to Hell. Saint Peter was at the front of the line, sitting at a table with a big book in front of him. The gate to Heaven was right behind him, standing open invitingly. Each soul walked up to him, and he sent them through. But once in a while he frowned and crossed their name off the list, and a lightning bolt carried that person away. Finally it was my turn. He nodded to me after a moment and sent me in. I noticed in his book that the next person's name was red. I looked back curiously just in time to see a lightning bolt strike him and he disappeared forever. With a shudder I turned around and hurried over to the other souls that made it through. No one spoke, we just stood there, looking around, seeing how many souls were left.

Finally the last soul made it in. He came over, and we waited for a moment. Then God came through the gate and walked through it to us. After him came a number of angels equal the the number of souls standing there. Each angel was carrying knitting supplies. They gave their knitting supplies to us, until we each had what we needed to make a quilt.

We picked up our stuff, and God said, "Begin." I started knitting little squares, and as each one was completed it floated over to the other squares I had done, attaching itself to add to the quilt. Then it showed something good I had done in my life. Then a horn blew, and we all put our stuff down. I looked around at the group. My quilt was a little more than halfway done, some others had done better, others less. God looked at our quilts, then we received new supplies.

God told us to begin again and make new quilts. So we started working on another quilt each, this one without images on it though. It was just a plain white quilt. After a while, a horn sounded again and we all stopped. Looking at my new quilt I saw that this one was different. It was full square work of art, but it had holes all over. It looked very ragged indeed. I noticed that most others were the same. We looked at God questioningly, waiting for him to say or do something.

After looking at them, God said, "Your first quilt was made of everything good you have done in your life." He paused for a moment. "I would like to congratulate all of you, because those quilts, even the lesser ones, were fine quilts indeed." We looked at each other, all smiles but God wasn't finished. "Now, your second quilts. Those quilts are also made of good deeds. But unlike your first quilts, they show you how much more you could have done that you didn't do. They show opportunities to do good that you passed up for one reason or another. And that is what really matters. Some of you gave all you could, though you had little. Some of you hardly gave anything, though you had plenty." I looked at my second quilt again, and it looked more ragged than before. My face fell, I was ashamed. Now my quilt was showing every time in life that I could have helped someone, but didn't. It showed when I bought an item for pleasure instead of donating to charity. Some were crying now, some were just standing there, not sure what to do. After a while, God said, "Though some did better than others, you all made it through the gate for a reason. You have all been tried, and found deserving of my kingdom." And with that, everything went white. When I regained my sight, I was in Heaven.
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