Sometimes a story steps into a persons life at just the right moment.
In my case it was a story that came to me, through a book I was reading shortly after I had been severely shocked by a post on Facebook, made by members of our local community, where someone called the thousands of refugees that are trying to find a better life, ‘all bitches’.
I see a lot of controversy on the refugee subject on tv and in the newspaper, but when something like this is said by someone who lives in your home town, it suddenly comes awfully close.
The discussion went on about how ‘they’ (the bitches) were only coming to the Netherlands because they were given food, a bed and a house for free.
Even though I realize comments like this are probably made by people who are very fearful and find it hard to see both sides of a situation, it is, to say the least, very very saddening.
I would like to invite the people who made that post to listen to this story that came my way;
It goes like this:
A man dies, leaves the earthly plane.
He is quite curious, a bit apprehensive even, about where he will end up, in heaven or in hell.
St Peter welcomes the new arrival, observes the anxious look on the man’s face and asks,
‘What is troubling you my friend’
Stammering the man reveals he’s not sure what will happen to him.
‘O but that is entirely up to you and what you want’, St. Peter answers
‘Aren’t you the one to decide that?’ the man asks in surprise.
St. Peter smiles and says, let me show you the difference, so you can make up your mind.
Puzzled the man follows him to a door on the left.
‘I’ll show you hell first’ St.Peter says and opens the door.
The man finds himself in a huge hall, filled with long wooden tables carrying a lavish amount of foods and wines, open fires burning, there to make the hall comfortable and warm.
At first glance it looks like a very comfortable place to stay, until the man notices how all people sitting at the tables look very unhappy and are basically only sitting there, doing nothing but looking glum.
Then he sees the reason why. Instead of having forks and knives at the sides of their plates, the people seated at the tables have long inflexible wooden arms, extending into a knife on the right side and a fork on the left. Since they cannot bend their arms, they cannot use these tools to feed themselves, leaving them no other choice than to just sit and complain to each other on how it has been made impossible for them to lead a proper life after death.
Then St. Peter closes the door and beckons the man to follow him to a door on the right and opens it.
‘And this is heaven’ St. Peter says.
To the man’s surprise he is given the exact same view; long wooden tables, filled with food, open fires burning to keep the space nice and warm. All people present have the same long wooden arms, one with a fork and one with a knife, unable to bend and yet these people are cheerful, happy and smiling to each other.
Then the man sees why. The people in heaven are cutting each others foods and use their forks to feed their neighbors.
‘So’ St. Peter says, ‘Have you made up your mind?’
September 28 2015
This blog is recorded as weekly end-note of Dutchbuzz.nl, the radio program for internationals, every Tuesday on The Hague FM from 10 to 11 pm. All programs are archived at: Dutchbuzz