The businessman with the briefcase came running up to the Heavenly Gates and pushed the pious old lady. “I came first,” he shouted.
“My friends are all holy people,” said the old lady. “I have never seen you before.”
“I” said the man proudly. “donated money for the new roof of the church. My name is written on a plaque outside!”
They watched with disgust at a sweeper woman sweeping a few feet away.
“Hey be careful will you,” shouted the businessman, “my wife bought these shoes just for my funeral, so that I could march into heaven radiantly.”
“How could you come to these Heavenly Gates in those rags?” asked the pious old lady to the poor sweeper.
Suddenly the gates of Heaven opened and an angel stood at the entrance in regal splendor.
“Hello folks,” he shouted, “today only one of you will be entering these gates, I’m afraid it’s going to be shoveling coal in hell for the rest.”
“Wonderful,” shouted the old lady piously, “thank you for keeping heaven free from such sinners.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more,” said the angel, “but I’m afraid your name doesn’t figure in my list today. Your sin of pride has kept you out!”
“Ah, so it has to be me,” said the businessman smiling, “you must have seen my name on the walls of the church?”
“If your name has been written on the walls of your church then you have been amply rewarded,” said angel, but it’s not here!”
They watched in shock as the angel turned his head to the sweeper woman in the background.
“Today,” said the angel, “those hands of yours will not have to work anymore, those tattered clothes of yours will be changed to beautiful garments of gold!”
“But what have I done to deserve this?” asked the poor woman in amazement.
Suddenly a Voice came from within the gates. “When I was hungry you fed me, thirsty and you gave me water, a stranger and you invited me home, naked and you clothed me. Sick and in prison and you visited me.”
“The voice of God,” they all whispered in awe.
“But I have hardly done anything for God!” wept the sweeper woman
“When your neighbor fell sick?” asked the angel.
“I looked after her children,” said the woman, “anyone would have done that.”
“When the municipality came to break down those slums last year?”
“I let families stay with me,” said the woman, “who wouldn’t have done that?”
“When the coronavirus struck your neighbour?”
“I sent food to their home, but again anyone would have done this!” whispered the sweeper woman in amazement.
Again the Voice came down inside the Heavenly Gates, “when you were doing it to these my brothers and sisters you were doing it for me. Welcome blessed of my Father into the Kingdom prepared for you.”
And the gates opened to let her in..!
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