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Old 10-15-2007, 05:05 PM
SeC SeC is offline
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Default A Parable of Heaven and Hell


A Parable of Heaven and Hell

There once was a devoted priest who wished to see both heaven and hell, and God gave way to his pleading.

The priest found himself before a door which bore no name. He trembled as he saw it open before him into a large room where all was prepared for a feast. There was a table, and at its centre a great dish of steaming food. The smell and the aroma inflamed the appetite.

Diners sat around the table with great spoons in their hands, yet they were shrieking with hunger in that terrible place. They tried to feed themselves, and gave up, cursing God, for the spoons that God had provided were so long that they could not reach their faces and get the food to their tongues. So they starved, while their dish of plenty lay amongst them. The priest knew their screams were the cries of hell, and as this understanding came, the door closed before him.

He shut his eyes in prayer and begged God to take him away from that terrible place. When he opened them again, he despaired, for the same door stood before him, the door that bore no name. Again it opened, and it gave onto the same room. Nothing had changed, and he was about to cry in horror. There was the table, and at its centre the steaming dish, and around it were the same people, and in their hands the same spoons.

Yet the shrieking had gone, and the cries and the curses had changed to blessings; and nothing had changed, yet everything. For with the same long spoons they reached to each other's mouths and fed one another, and they gave thanks to God.

And as the priest heard the blessings, the door closed. He fell to his knees, and he too blessed God who had shown him the nature of heaven and hell, and the chasm - a hair's breadth wide - that divides them.

Author unknown

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