Harry was certain about one thing: he’d just died. At least, he was pretty sure. It was much better than the “near-death” experiences he had read about in Women’s Day: beautiful gardens, gorgeous palaces, a cloudless sky…
Immediately he had an overwhelming experience of joy. He must explore! He must meet up with the people he’d known on earth!
And there was his wife! Standing as she was when thirty. “We’ve much to catch up on”, he said. “I know it all!” she replied. “I’ve seen it from here̶.
Suddenly a call seemed to come to him — someone he knew, someone close. It was his son on earth. “Dear Dad”, the voice seemed to say. “Dear Dad! Help me! Help me! Ask God to help me!”
“Where’s God?” he asked his wife. “That line there”, she said, pointing to a golden door. He stood behind the lady at the back of the line. She was Chinese.
“I wouldn’t wait here if I were you”, she said in Mandarin. Funny! He could understand her! “I wouldn’t wait here if I could help it. Only if it’s really important. The line’s forty years long”.
“Forty years. It’s got to be an important request if you want to ask God for it personally”.
“But it is important”, Harry stammered. “It’s my son — on earth — he needs help.”
He was torn between exploring the Kingdom of Heaven or waiting forty years in a boring line. In the end he decided on the line. Heaven, after all, was for an eternity.
Years dragged by. Decades. He could see God now, sitting on a throne at the far end. Forty years was up. He was at the front! Harry knelt.
“Please God,” said Harry not daring to look. “Please could you help my son? If it be your will.”
“It’s not”, said God.