don't know yet
I heard a preacher tell of a strange story. "The definition of heaven and hell"...hummmm, i thought, this should be interesting... as a little girl sitting in the second pew from the front... you see, my family was always late to church... all the back pews had been taken...
Sure, I thought, fire and brimstone.
"As a banquet table filled with the most delicious food you ever wanted to eat."
Ooookaaay, I thought.
"Everyone is at the table, but no one can eat."
"No one can eat because the only thing to eat with are spoons too long to get to your mouth. It is Hell. The only way to eat is with the spoons. everyone is fighting, pouting, crying... no one gets to eat."
Crap, I thought.
"Now, picture the same table, the same banquet... the same spoons with the same rules in heaven, yet everyone gets to eat."
My eyes got big, I wonder what the punch line is?
The long spoons were used to feed each other."
Now that's a thought...
Years later, that parable came to me in a most strange way. I was walking to work one day when a man stopped me, knife in hand. I knew he was hurting... his hand shook so. "Give me your money."
"Sure. Here." I handed him the five dollars I had been saving for lunch.
"Look, Lady. I mean it. Give me your money."
"I am sorry. That is all I have."
"Well, that's pathetic."
I gave the man a gentle smile. "Yeah. I guess it is. But here you go, if I give this to you, it won't be stealing. So here."
The man just stared at me... "I could cut you you know."
"Yes, but that would be a lot of effort for five dollars...Look I am going to be late to work. So if you don't mind, I will just be going." I stepped around the man and kept walking, praying that my false bravado would not get me killed. As I turned the corner, I glanced back and the man was gone.
The next day, I packed a lunch, since I worked the graveyard shift at a local factory, I decided money was not the thing to be carrying since the incident. As I headed out, I looked up and the same man was there. "Oh, Hello."
"Not you again."
The man shrugged and took his knife out again.
"Look, before you go to all that effort, all I have is my lunch. I would gladly give half of it."
"What if I said, I want all of it to you."
"Well, I could do with out I suppose. And if I give it to you, you wouldn't be stealing." As I handed him the sack... he glanced at it, frowned, taking two sandwiches and said, "Here." handing back the sack with a banana and apple left. I smiled. "You sure?"
"Take it." He said and started to leave.
He turned and said, "For what?"
"For sharing your lunch with me."
He smiled and said, "Lady, I think you are nuts."
"Sometimes." and left.
I started to pack a bigger lunch each day and my strange friend now would walk up and we would share my lunch as I headed off to work.
I found out that he had been a lawyer but had become an alcoholic and his addiction cost him everything.
"So you are educated?"
"Um, could you teach me how to read?"
"Yeah. I quit school and started to work at 13. Missed a lot of school due to a sick mom. I was the youngest and the rest had jobs."
"Humm...I will think about it."
"Only one condition." I said.
"I don't want to learn from a drunk."
"Then I can't help you."
"You don't understand. Just don't tutor me while you are drunk."
So every night we would sit on a bench outside the factory and read the paper. It was all he could find and would share my lunch as he taught me. He showed up sober each night.
Then, one day he said,"You really are smart. Have you thought about your getting your GED?"
I laughed. "Do you really think I could pass?"
"You will never know if you don't try."
I laughed again. "I could say the same to you."
"You could try playing it sober."
The man thought for a minute. Shrugged, "I have tried." and got up and left.
I never saw him again. I did get my GED. I even went to college, night school and got my social work degree. Now I work with an outlying clinic specializing in alcoholism. I had not thought of that man in a long time when suddenly one of my clients told me of his AA sponsor. that he was coming to pick him up, since he was hurting really bad. I stayed and waited with him. Suddenly I looked up and saw the man coming towards us and laughed. He stood there in his suit. The look of surprise on his face made me smile even wider.