to Visalia Friends Meeting Home Page)
Judgment Day Parable
2002 Pastor's Column for Visalia Times Delta
well respected man dies and finds himself in front of the pearly gates.
Finding no one around, he knocks. A presence appears, so obviously God,
and says, "May I help you"?
The man, a little
shaken, still manages, "Well, I guess I've died and would like
to come in".
"Well we don't
take just anyone here, this is a special place for those who have lived
a just life", God replies.
The man, rather
certain of himself, blurts out, "Well there is no question in my
case, I have loved my parents, brothers, sisters; have provided for
my wife, daughter, and son - given them everything, and they are now
well off. That is a just life, isn't it?"
God thinks a minute
then says, "I'd like you to meet a few more relations of yours
- wait here and I'll call them".
As a few dozen
men and women start to assemble, the man is mystified for he doesn't
recognize a single face, but more baffling, they are a many-hued assortment
of every race and culture he has ever seen.
The man jumps in,
"There must be some mistake, I don't know any of these people,
how could these people be related to me?"
God very calmly
gestures to an Asian woman standing beside the man, "Lo Ba, please
look at the tag inside his sweater". The women pulls the collar
of the man's cardigan and reads the label. "Is it one?, God asks.
"Oh yes it is", the woman replies.
says God, "it seems that your favorite sweater was made by Lo Ba
in Nha Trang, along with 22,156 others she was able to knit until she
came to me when her body temperature went over 104, one hot and humid
day at work.
say hello to Jesus Perales, he built your SUV in San Paulo."
the man lit up, "we did we have fun with that truck. My wife would
joke that I'd try to take it with me to..."
"Jesus did some really excellent work assembling that truck, but
he didn't fair so well, you see, he licked his fingers ever time he
had to tag a finished truck and he slowly poisoned himself with heavy
Before the man
could say anything, God calls a small hunchbacked woman from the back
of the group and says, "Graciela, Can you still smell the red peppers
and cilantro you grew for the food you sold on the street?"
my Lord", she laughs, "If it were not for my back I'd still
be making chapotes, and tamales to sell in the wealthy part of town".
Even though he
dimly recalls her face standing outside his gated community, the man's
growing unease gets the better of him and he cries out, "But what's
all this got to do me, I've had nothing, nothing to do with these people".
"Oh I'm sorry",
God replies, "I was just trying to answer your first question about
whether you've lead a just life. These friends of mine are related to
you by their work and their gifts that you have consumed, even if you
hadn't the time to see or hear them.
I am your judge, just as you were always taught, but I thought I'd introduce
you to your jury".