Heaven N Hell

Heaven N Hell

A Story by Delores Jordan
"

This is a story that thinks outside the box and traditions. I came up with my own concept of Heaven and Hell.

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I’ve often pondered the question, “Is there really a hell?” Since I’m not a Christian, my answer consisted of a resound NO! As a Unitarian Universalist, I decided to create the perfect Heaven and Hell. This hell would have an element of eternity in it, but it would not be excruciating pain forever. I came up with a way for Heaven to be a pleasant experience and Hell being very unpleasant but not torture.

 

Next, I pondered God’s giving us free will and his ability to control the universe. I again, as a good Unitarian, came to the conclusion that God doesn’t control the universe. Maybe God needed a Heaven. Maybe this imperfect being dealing daily with a humongous mistake, created a type of Hell for Himself. So, I pondered, what would constitute Heaven for God? My story is the answer to all of my questions. I think you will find it thought provoking and at times humorous. At least, God has the last laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEAVEN 'N' HELL

by

Dee Jordan

 

 

I, God, hated all the lies done in My name.

Jeanne sensed something tragic would happen when Tom drove her sports car to town. Dread hung over her that afternoon like a swarm of bees looking for a new place to build a hive. She felt as if she would soon experience life’s bitter sting.

She always buckled up her seatbelt, but Tom was Mr. Macho and from an era where real men didn’t buckle up, didn’t wear helmets, let alone eat quiche. His truck was in the shop, so he’d borrowed her car. Jeanne received the call around two o’clock to meet the ambulance at the hospital. Side-swiped by a car pulling out onto the highway and thrown from the vehicle, Tom was in critical condition. I spared his life, but he’d never walk again.

 

Jeanne tried getting his mind off his problems when they took a three-month tour of the United States in an old van they’d equipped for camping and a wheelchair. Determined to experience many facets of American life as they could, they went to a Pentecostal Church with a friend down in Laredo, Texas. When they rolled into the large tent, a strange Spanish beauty started interpreting the tongues, which sounded like gibberish to them. I had her call Tom by name.

“Why do you turn away from Me? Tom, I have tried so many times to reach you. This is My last call. I will not try again. I love you, and I want you back in My flock.”

Tom looked at Jeanne’s friend. She gave the sign that she did not know the young Spanish girl and was just as shocked and surprised by this interpretation as he was. Although Jeanne had faith, this miracle changed their lives.

I despised it when I had to perform a miracle to convert a non-believer, and then some church would undo it.

 

Tom and Jeanne had faith in My miracle, but, apparently, not enough for the miraculous healing promised to them at the Pentecostal churches.

They'd roll into church, only to stumble into a racket of speaking in tongues, laying-on of hands, interpretation of tongues, and prophesizing�"especially prophesizing that Tom would get up and walk out of the church that day. After about twenty times in at least five different churches, man's false promises to them punctured their faith bubble. Sometimes people don’t understand that My answer might be no.

Unfortunately, I’d get blamed for their disappointment, which led to a further loss of faith. They never understood that I had bigger plans for them. Churches often wouldn’t trust My will for someone, so they often intervened, and I had to clean up their mistakes. With the gift of free will, sometimes even I couldn’t fix things.

Once a person loses their faith, they eventually lose their morals. Tom started drinking heavily, which eventually led to their divorce and Jeanne’s second husband, Greg.

When Greg and Jeanne became parents, they took their children to church, but Jeanne never did believe. What had attracted her to Greg had been his anti-religious beliefs. Just in case the Bible proved true, they exposed their children to a Christian faith. It was theirs to keep or reject.

Soon Greg cheated on Jeanne, and she left him.

 

Nothing prepared her for the Sunday she went to church with a neighbor.

The nondenominational church was all about family, love, life, and friendship. Its mantra was Christ's commandment to love God by loving one another. Different races integrated the congregation, which made her feel as if it had s honesty and honor. No million-dollar family life building used up the people’s tithes because it rented the assembly hall from a high school. This church spent its money helping the community and the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The preacher gave the sermon on "Busting Through The Roof That Separates You From God."

"Brothers and sisters," said pastor Frank with blue eyes that danced with a sincere inner joy. "The Bible says that the paralyzed man was lowered through the roof by his four crazy friends. Jesus didn't ask him if he believed before healing him. He felt the faith of those four daring friends. Do you have friends out there praying for you and your salvation?” He paced energetically like the Holy Spirit caught him on fire. His red hair glowed under the overhead lights making, it more believable.

“Do you have a roof keeping you from God? Some of you have bitterness, sadness, debts, sickness, divorce, an unforgiving spirit, hurt, a broken heart and many other things, which keep you separated from God.” At this point Frank walked off the stage and into the aisle. “Do you realize that your church family is out there praying for you? They are trying to bust through that roof for you."

He had an expression of urgency, and his voice softened almost to a whisper. "Today, when I give my altar call, can you meet me halfway and bust through your own roof and let Jesus into your heart? I'm not going to ask you to come to the front of the church or anything that will embarrass you. No, we will stand and pray a prayer, and when I count to three, all I want you to do is raise your hand if you need some help busting through your roof.

“Okay, now, Gracious God, please help my brothers and sisters today. Please, Jesus, I have the faith, I'm their crazy friend. I'm ready to help them bust through their roof; I'm ready to lower them through their roof and lay them on the ground for your healing touch. Here today, Lord Jesus, if they raise their hands, touch and heal them and bust through their roof. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

Jeanne looked around at all the people who concentrated on the man leading the prayer. Everyone except her had obediently closed their eyes, doing as he had asked them to do. Most people in this church dressed very casually. I liked its no airs approach to worshipping Me.

"Now, one, two, three, if you need help, raise that hand. There's one, there's two, three, four, now five. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, now eleven, Lord Jesus, thank you for these eleven brave souls. Come on, now, I know there's more than eleven of you out there that needs help. Jesus wants you to put that hand up today. Yes, there's twelve, now thirteen, fourteen. Halleluiah! Now fifteen, sixteen. Thank you, Jesus, thank you."

Applause erupted when he counted out sixteen new souls who found their way that day. "Put your hands down and pray the prayer of salvation with me and invite Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior."

The minister struck a chord in Jeanne, and she raised her hand that day. She offered a prayer asking Me to break through her roof and heal her, so her heart's eyes could see. Little did she know that I had already written her name in My book of who would live and who would die.

A few days later Jeanne and Greg were going to meet their destiny. After a twenty-five-year marriage, she had some acrimonious feelings. She still harbored some bitterness for husband number one and the churches that mocked Me in My name by deciding they wanted him healed. After Greg cheated on her with his secretary, it was hard for Me to reach her Christian heart.

Greg and Jeanne remained friends through the separation, so the day he arrived in Mobile and offered to pick her up for lunch, she thought nothing about it. One of Mobile's famous rainy days where water stood three inches or more in the streets, made them both nervous. They rode in his forest green BMW coupe. With all the rain sloshing by them, she grew more apprehensive.

Although Greg was balding, his eyes still crinkled when he smiled, and his face still lit up when he talked. She loved hearing his deep voice with its Southern drawl. His car was immaculately clean and although his car was a 2000, it still carried a new car smell.

The heater and their body heat fogged up the windows, so visibility on the sides was practically nil. Mobile passed by as a gray mist the color of its famous Spanish moss. The tires cutting through the puddles made a nerve-racking sound as the car dragged itself through the ever-deepening run off standing in the streets. A watery veil wrapped the car from the twin rooster tails it kicked up, cutting through the rivulets, making their way to the storm gutters. The windshield wipers kept up a rhythmic tic-tock sound t like a metronome. The rain countered with a hammering on the vinyl top, as if some avant-garde percussion band were trying to serenade them. The smell of the rain was so strong Jeanne tasted it in her mouth. Nothing, however, prepared her for what came out of his mouth.

"Jeanne, I'm in love, and I want to marry Cathy. I'm filing. . .”

"Greg, tell me you are joking. This isn't funny. So stop it." Jeanne studied Greg for any signs that he was pulling a practical, joke on her. Her stomach churned, and her hands shook as her emotions took control.

"No, Jeanne, this is the truth. I know I promised you that I'd never divorce you and leave you without insurance. But Cathy has given me an ultimatum, and I can't lose her. She thinks I’m already divorced, and I’ve been putting her off long enough. I know how to solve the problem. I’m willing to have someone draw up fake divorce papers. She’s willing to move to Jackson, Mississippi to be with me, and she doesn’t want to change states unless a ring is on her finger. I thought about a fake divorce and a fake marriage. That way I could please both of you."

Greg, I’d never agree to that. Don’t you know how it would kill her when�"not if�"she discovered you were really still married to me and not married to her? How could you even think of doing something so deceitful to her? I’d never be a part of a scam like that, even if it meant hurting me.”

“Well, then, you asked for it. I want a divorce.”

"Greg, I'm begging you. Don't do this to me. You know if you divorce me I'll lose the medical insurance. For God's sake, man, I'm on disability.

Greg looked at her for a minute but was unmoved.

"Jeanne, don't try this on me. I know what you are up to, and it's not going to work this time." By now Jeanne cried so hard she was choking. Anger replaced the choking sobs.

"Greg, you might as well kill me. You know that, don't you?

Jeanne twirled her frizzy blonde side burn with her index finger

Buy me some more time until I have the transplant."

Greg kept driving and wouldn't look at Jeanne. That made Me very unhappy.

"Jeanne, I'm going to do it. I'm sorry. I need Cathy's love."

“If Cathy is a Christian, she wouldn’t want you to do something that would kill me." Jeanne was staring right through Greg’s hardened heart. She saw the evil before he replied to her.

"Jeanne, she just doesn't want to live in sin. Can't you respect that in her? When it came to choosing, I'm sorry, I love her, not you."

"Then, Greg, I hope there's a special hell for you for doing this to me."

A car approached them, and as Greg looked at the black sport utility vehicle, an expression of happiness radiated from his face rather than concern for her. She knew immediately that the car held the woman he loved.

BMW coupes love to hydroplane, and this one was no exception. They hit a pocket of water and skated straight toward the oncoming SUV's passenger door. She didn't really remember what happened next.

 

When she regained consciousness, Greg stood by her side. She could sense how much he loved her. This wreck had changed everything. She saw Cathy standing on the other side of him.

Somehow, Jeanne thought Greg loved her. She didn’t know that he couldn’t control his thoughts that he sent out, but he could control his inner thoughts.

I can’t believe this has happened to me. I will spend eternity with the woman whom I don’t love thinking that I’m telling her how much I love her.

It never occurred to Jeanne that for the rest of Greg’s eternity he'd spend it loving Cathy. She would always be just within his reach, but he never would be able to have her.

It's a good thing that Jeanne never knew those things because they certainly would have messed up her Christian heart. She barely made it here. I never could burst through Greg’s roof and, because of that, he is where he is.

With Me, all things are possible.

© 2012 Delores Jordan


Author's Note

Delores Jordan
Please ignore the formatting mess up. When I copied and pasted, it screwed up the end of the story.

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great read very thought provoking

Posted 9 Years Ago


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Added on September 8, 2012
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Author

Delores Jordan
Delores Jordan

Mobile, AL



About
I'm the author of many short stories and had my short stories, essays, art, photography, and poems printed in literary magazines and anthologies. I love to write. I'm a member of two critique groups:.. more..

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