I died yesterday. The story of how is unimportant, but I was doornail dead. I didn’t hurt really, I just felt like I had an itch on that area of my back that you can’t reach. I hung around watching my recently vacated body for a few days until I was cremated. I don’t know what I was hanging around for, it just seemed like I was supposed to.
When my sister was ill, she asked if we were allowed to paint racing stripes on the coffin before cremation. I pondered how cool that would have been. I stood to stretch and turned around and was in a vast room. There were 8 doors around the opposite wall and oodles of people standing before 7 of them. It looked like the scene from ‘Beetlegeuse’. There was hustling and bustling, but no one seemed to be going anywhere. I looked over and saw Judas, still with the rope on his neck. I thought, “Oh man, this line is going to take forever.”
I saw some guy strolling between the lines with a smirk on his face and I was annoyed that he could be so calm when this obviously was total disarray. I avoided him and went to look at the doors. Written in bold letters across the first seven was, “Pride, Anger, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Envy, and Sloth.” The last door had subtle letters and said, “Sinless.” The lines in front of the seven deadly sins were massive. The civil servants at the front of each line were harried and busy, but seemed to make no progress on the lines as no one went through any of the doors. I mused that if more people had committed suicide, they would have more help. I immediately chastized myself as insensitive.
I looked over and saw that smirking guy looking straight at me. I wondered closer to him and asked how you knew which line to get in. He told me to look inside and honestly confess which sin was mine. That sounded too easy and I didn’t believe him. I left him to look in the lines. I saw a tiny woman in a nun outfit. I looked closer and recognized Mother Teresa. She was standing in the “Sloth” line. I went to her and questioned her choice. She explained that she was unsure of her faith for years. She felt an awakening early in her career, but had real doubts for much of her life. I thanked her for reassuring me that there really cannot be faith without some doubt. She reasoned that her doubt was because of spiritual sloth. I shook my head, perhaps I should be in that line, I reasoned.
I looked over and saw my hero, C.S. Lewis standing in the Pride line. He was mumbling, “I was so judgmental.” and “Why did I have to always think I was right?” I thanked him for his books and insight and left him to his worries.
I recognized Martin Luther King Jr standing next to Malcolm X in the Anger line. I went to ask them if righteous anger is really a sin. I was fascinated to hear both excusing the others anger as appropriate, but condemning their own. They spoke of how late in each of their lives they drifted towards the others’ opinions because they felt insecure in their own. I thanked them for their service and courage. I thanked them for their ability to change and adapt most of all. They must not have heard me as they kept talking to each other.
Again, I saw the smirking man, and went to seek his opinion. As I approached, I saw him whisper to another man. The man emptied his pockets of large amounts of cash, undressed right there and then went through the sinless door. I asked the smirk how I could go through the same door. He smiled a big smile. He put his arms around my shoulders and said, “Give away everything and follow me.” I felt an attraction and I felt loved. I opened my clenched fist and dropped the anchor I held there. I opened the other and let the place markers from each of the seven lines fall to the floor. I smirked and walked towards the ‘Sinless’ door. I glanced back and saw the smirking man absent mindedly touch the holes in his wrists.