708. Just inside the gates
© Bruce Goodman 18 September 2015
Andrew had always been a decent sort of a bloke; nothing fancy at a party; pretty quiet in fact. He was married and had three kids. The kids had all grown up and left home. Andrew was a practical man. He always gave a hand, always volunteered. But no one took much notice of him. He liked to quietly potter in his garden.
He was fairly religious; not too much; but he said his prayers, and tried to be kind. He always prayed that he wouldn’t go to Hell but would sneak into Heaven, even if it was just inside the gates as if he had just made it; at the bottom of the pile, so to speak, but in Heaven nonetheless. He would be happy to be happy, but he didn’t have to be the happiest of all.
Then Andrew died, as all are wont to do. He quietly made the rounds of everyone he knew. No one seemed to be that pleased to see him. They shook his hand politely and wished him a good day. It was the way Andrew preferred. Nothing fussy.
Then he had an interview with God.
“What would you like to do?” asked God.
“Maybe I could help out in the garden or something,” said Andrew.
“You barely made it through to Heaven,” said God, “so maybe you can look after the garden just inside the gates.”
Andrew did that. He quietly gardened away. He enjoyed it. He never realised that everyone who entered gasped in astonishment:
“Oh my goodness! Look at the garden! So this is Heaven!”