I had a dream last night. Not an “MLK” dream, but a boring, philosophical dream. Let me tell you about it.
I am a widow of 16 months and belong to two support groups for grieving widows, relatives and/or friends. For the longest time I have been told that some day Bob and I will be together again. I have wanted to believe that, but the concept of he and I meeting again in heaven is just difficult for me to conceptualize. So, in my dream I asked myself some of the following questions:
Do you go either or hell or to heaven? Is there no place in-between?
Do you get “points” if you do good things?
Walk the little old lady (why always a lady?) across the street?
Clean up your bedroom without being told to do so?
Get your homework in on time?
Pick up the dog poop without being asked?
Take care of your brother or sister so Mom can relax?
Do you get “demerits” if you do bad things?
Step on a crack and break your Mother’s back
Pinch your sibling when no one is looking
“Borrow” money from your Mother’s purse
Sneak into the theater
“Borrow” some of the beer in the refrigerator
So…if there are a certain number of “points” one needs to get and that number is not achieved, does everyone go to hell?
As a kid I was almost incorrigible.
I cut classes; I took money from the petty cash drawer on my first job; I “fooled around”; I experimented with alcohol – never drugs, but it’s not too late to start – I gossiped about some of the girls and, in turn, was gossiped about. I was not always truthful; I shop-lifted a pair of fuzzy green socks, etc.
As an adult, however, I have mended a lot of the breaks from my youth.
I was not always the “thoughtful” person I am today. Nowadays I would never purposely hurt another; I would try to help others out when they needed it. (Today, while getting some tea at Jack in the Box, a drunken man asked me if I please could give him some money because he was starving. I told him I would not give him any money, but I would buy him something to eat. He wanted a Jumbo Jack, which I got for him. I hope that he was not too drunk to eat it, but I tried to help him.)
Those are the things I try to do now. But…again as an adult, I did things that could have hurt others: I fired bad teachers; I told parents that they were the ones that should have detention, not their children; I failed adult students taking my University classes because I didn’t give a damn if they already had degree when they didn’t do the work, etc.
How many points have I earned already? Is it enough to go to heaven? But wait a minute. How many points did Bob have before he left me?
I know that he did some bad things as a youth and as an adult.
But I also know that he did some wonderful things as a youth and as an adult.
Did one outweigh the other? Where is he now? Is he in heaven, in hell, or someplace in-between? I don’t want to go to either place – if one exists – if he is not there to greet me.
How many levels are there that are available to us when we die? Wouldn’t it be a crime to think that I qualify for level 8 only to find that Bob is on level 7? Are the levels stationery? Can we travel from one level to another.? Do we get “points” while we are on these levels? Is the ultimate goal to get to heaven? What if you don’t know anyone there? What if you get air-sick and can’t stay? Can you go someplace else besides hell?
I had a dream. Now I want some answers.