Saturday, June 3, 2017

Oh God - Part Twenty

Oh God – Part Twenty
            “Hello my little Sunshine. How nice it is to see you again.” Schwartz’ neck hair suddenly stood up on end. Grandma Sara Lieberman gently sat down beside him and patted his head affectionately. “You’ve been dead a longtime. What took you so long to get here?”
            Stammering for words, Schwartz was going to say ‘lifestyle’ but somehow it didn’t seem appropriate. He was after all, no longer alive.  In the end, he simply said, “lost my way a little”, which in many ways was closer to the truth.
            “No matter,” Sara chimed in happily, “you’re here now. This is such a happy place. Come and meet the others!”
            Instantly he was surrounded by a whole host of Schwartzes and Liebermans all vying for his attention. They greeted him with such affection he had trouble remembering the extent to which he had cheated them in his other life and how much he had embezzled from them for his own gain. Yet there was no acknowledgement of his misdeeds. Schwartz couldn’t understand that. It was as though they didn’t remember.
            He spoke softly to Sara, “I can’t believe you’d take me up this way, after all I did to your savings and investments,” he said. Now his guilt was pressing down on him.
            “Look around you,” answered Sara sweetly. “We have our whole family here now that you’ve arrived. We have a never ending feast at this endless table, and we have friends we haven’t seen in a long time. You know how I loved to have guests over for dinner and the happy discussions we used to have. This now is just as good, if not better. There is nothing here but happiness and love of one another. What more can one want?”
            Schwartz suddenly realized it was true. Indeed, there was everything here one could want and he was slipping into that mode of grateful acceptance, except for the nagging feeling that his family was holding back a grudge against him. He tried to get it out of Sara, hinting at his misdeeds and transgressions in the real world.
            Guessing what was on her grandson’s mind Sara said, “When Jesus taught us to pray, he said; ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. We have done that, and it feels so good.”
            “But grandma,” blurted Schwartz. “We’re Jewish – not Christian!”
            Sara laughed out loud, “So was Jesus – same as you and me, silly. Ask him if you don’t believe me. He’s right over there.”
            “I don’t get it,” exclaimed Schwartz. “Then what’s with this Christianity business anyways?”
            “Exactly – it’s a business. Well really it’s a government, just like Judaism. Actually Paul started that government about thirty years after Jesus was crucified. Well it was a catchy name after all the turmoil that had gone on, so he went around preachin’ the gospel. It caught on big time. They made rules to live by, rituals they had to do and credos to follow, all of which were ignored by the people and in particular the hierarchy, just like the Jews. But don’t kid yourself, Jesus had nothin’ to do with it an’ neither did God.”
            “HOLY – “He was goin’ to say Holy Crap but caught himself in time before that woman in the kitchen chimed in on him again.

            “This is a place of forgiveness and tolerance” Sara continued, “It’s a beautiful place where everything is provided for. No one here can want or want for anything. It’s – well, it’s heaven.

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