“A Long way to Heaven”
A guy, wakes up one morning in a small New England town, looks out his window, and sees that quite a bit of snow has fallen, and is still coming down. Great, he goes, I guess no work today, and I’m down to my last soup. Oh well, he goes, God will take
care of me, somehow. So he boils water, crunches his last Ramen noodle pack, dumps it in the pan, and adds the flavor pack. He gets dressed while his breakfast cools a little, talking to himself, and God, the whole time. Lord, he says, I just need to make some money. He digs in the pockets of the pants he just put on, and pulls out a five dollar bill, and some change. Well, he goes, I guess I got enough for a couple of forties (40oz. malt liquor ) and a pack of tobacco, maybe a newspaper. So he sips on his soup, and sits down to put his boots on.
When he’s done eating, he rolls a cigarette with the last little bit he has left. I know I shouldn’t buy beer this early, he says to himself, but I got to have tobacco, so what the hell. He looks at the clock, it’s ten O’clock. He says if Mark was coming he’d be here by now. He puts on his coat, and knit cap, lights his last cigarette, and heads out the door, making sure he has his key, to get back in.
He heads down the hill. Remembering what an old girlfriend used to tell him, when they would walk in the snow, stay on the crunchy part. Well, there aint no crunchy part, but I’ll do the best I can. He makes it to the store down by the river, at the bottom of the hill, gets his tobacco, two big bottles of beer, and a newspaper. The cashier puts it all in a
brown paper bag, just like always. He starts back up the hill, the bag supported with one arm, the other holds it against his chest. When he reaches the crest of the hill, he happens to look over a steel guard rail, down at the rail-road tracks below. He sees what appears to be a large trash bag, full of empty cans, ( worth a nickel a piece ). Damn, he says, is that a bag full of nickels? He steps over the railing, to get a better look, not knowing there was ice just under the newly fallen snow. After stepping over the railing, he takes one more step, his last on earth. Oh Shit! He screams, as he is sliding head first over the ledge.
He releases the bag he is holding, and tries to break the impact with his hands, but the glass bottles, and his head collide with the steel rail-road tracks, and his earthly life comes to an end. As the camera surveys the scene, it becomes apparent that what looked like empty bottles and cans, was simply trash, and dirty diapers.
There are blinding lights, and a sense of flying through space, with swirling colors, and eerie sounds. When he stops he is face down in dessert sand. Get up, infidel! He hears a deep angry voice command him. He struggles, but is too weak. We will get you up, you smelly slob! You stink of beer! He is pulled from the sand, by two men, wearing turbans and robes. They tell him to come with them. He is frightened, and can’t move. They take him by the arms and pull him to a place where a very large man sits upon a thrown, dressed and looking much the same as those who brought him there. On the way, he sees camels and women who appear to be very beautiful, but veiled, so that only their eyes can be seen. The bearded man on the throne looks at him, and says, do you know who I am? He manages to speak, and says I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I’m dead, and this don’t seem like heaven, so maybe you’re the devil. You and your kind are the devils! But I will grant you a life as a slave, if you will bow down, worship me, and admit that you have been the enemy of all that is good and right. You must swear you will do all you can to serve me, and destroy the evil empire of America.
What if I don’t, he asks. You see that man with the sword in his hand? Yeah, I see him. He will use that sword, to cut your head off! Well, let me ask you a question, he says. Do you have a son named Jesus? I do not have a son named Jesus. Will you worship me or not? I can only serve one God, and he has a son, named Jesus, so I guess not. Off with his head! He is no good to me! The two who brought him there throw him to the ground, and the man with the sword slices through his neck, with one blow.
Once again, he is flying through space, but this time the sounds are different, more up beat. When he reaches his destination, he is in a very plain white room, sitting on the floor. He can see himself – headless, in front of his face. Hey, down here, John! He cries. His arms reach out and feel for his head. Over here! He yells. His hands find his head, and manage to place it back above his shoulders. As he holds his head in place, you can see a scar begin to form, and slowly work it’s way around his neck, until he can turn loose, and move his head from side to side. Wow! That feels better, he says. He sees a door, and it opens up. In walks a gorgeous woman, who says hello, and waves her arm at the corner of the empty room. A bed appears. Wow! How did you do that? He says. We’re in heaven, she says, we can do anything. She lies on the bed, and says, you must be tired, why don’t you come lay with me? Well. that sounds mighty inviting, but I just got here, and after what I’ve just been through, I think I better wait, and find out a little more about what’s going on. As you wish, she says. She gets up off the bed, which vanishes, as she walks out the door.
Then in walks Jesus, dressed in a long white robe, with long dark hair, and just wispy facial hair. Oh my God! The man says. Relax John; I’m here to help you. The man bows his head, and says, dear lord, thank you, and please forgive me of my sins, in Jesus name…Amen. So, John, why wouldn’t you do what was asked of you, to save your life, or at least your neck from being sliced in two? My whole life, I have believed in a God, with a son named Jesus, he said he had no son named Jesus. Good answer. Do you believe you lived a good, and honorable life, on earth? I tried to, but I know I sinned.
What do you consider to be a sin, John? Well, killing another person, I know is a sin, unless it just had to be done, for a good reason. Go on. Killing yourself is a really bad one. Stealing, and lying, and hurting people or animals, for no reason, are bad sins. What else? Cheating on your wife, or trying to take another mans’ wife from him. And child abuse, and rape. Good. Now, you say you sinned, did you do all those things, you just talked about? No, not all, but some. I know all of your deeds, and misdeeds. You are forgiven.
Your life here can be very rewarding, John. Just keep in mind, what was a sin, is a sin, and will always be a sin. Now that you are here, try very diligently to remain sinless. You will find it very enjoyable here, if you play by the rules. You’ve passed two tests already. I will not test you anymore, unless you give me reason. Then Jesus touched his neck, and the large ugly scar, faded away. Then Jesus turned, and slowly left the room. He felt his neck, and not only the scar was gone, but a lump he had had for years, was taken away as well. Thank God, he said.
Looking around the empty room, he said, I wish I could have that bed back, and immediately, there it was. Wow! He said, this is great, but I am kind of hungry. He walked into an area he hadn’t noticed before; there was a fully equipped kitchen, with a table and chairs, and a large bowl of fruit on the table. He took a banana from the bowl, and began to eat. I wonder if there’s a bathroom, he thought. He went back to where the bed was, and noticed a door he hadn’t seen before. Sure enough, opening the door, there was his bathroom. God is great! God is truly good, he said.
During the course of the next few days, he sees many wondrous sites, meets lots of interesting people, some he knows, and he is reunited with his parents. He asks about Billy, his best friend from childhood, who killed himself, at the age of twenty years. Jesus explains to him, that what he had read about in the bible, of the devil, and the lake of fire, were not just fairy tales.
He meets a lot of good looking women, some married, and some, not. He realizes he better try very diligently to be sinless, just as Jesus had told him (especially with the lake of fire, and all ) He wakes up one morning, and is having breakfast, before going off to his voluntary construction work, and who does he see, but Laurie, his childhood sweetheart, standing at his open door. Laurie, is it really you? (She is just as beautiful as he remembered her) Yes, John, it’s me. He remembers saying a prayer, the night before, that he would meet a beautiful woman, and marry, and have kids. He gets up, looks into her eyes, and says, Laurie, will you marry me? She says, of course I will John; I’ve been waiting for you.
Written By: John Young