Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: Ready and Waiting
By Karen Treharne
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He saw what he thought were angels moving among the crowd, and he guessed they must be telling everyone to be patient. One suddenly emerged at his side.
“It won’t be long now.” Then the celestial being disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.
He heard the whispered sound of many voices but could not make out any words, and he wondered if any of them were as concerned as he was. When he looked over his shoulder, there were people as far as he could see, like a ten mile-long suspension bridge gently swaying to and fro. In front of him, a winding staircase of even more populace disappeared into a hazy cloud.
How much further to the end? Would there be enough room for all of them? Would some of them have to wait outside of heaven’s door indefinitely or maybe even be sent elsewhere? Tommy’s mind churned with questions that had no answers.
He knew one thing for sure, though. If he hadn’t been careless, there would be one less person taking up space in this line, elbowing his way toward the Holy City. But, the speeding car he drove that icy night couldn’t make the mountain curve, and the last thing Tommy remembered was the truck lights blinding his eyes as he swerved into oncoming traffic.
Suddenly, Tommy broke through the foggy bank emerging on the other side. He could see a piercing rainbow of light emanating from a golden arch immediately ahead of him.
The closer he got, the more nervous he became. In fact, he was still so sure that there might not be room for him, that when it was finally his turn, he blurted out, “If I could just have a sleeping bag, I’ll gladly find a place on the street to sleep. But, please, don’t send me away.”
The guardian of the portico took a moment before replying. “You are at the entrance to God’s eternity, young man. There are plenty of rooms for everyone. No one will be sleeping on the street.”
“But there are so many of us. I just thought that…”
With an earnest, yet assuring voice, the angelic sentinel interposed. “Tommy, Tommy. God has had a room prepared for you since before you were born. He is eagerly awaiting your appearance before him.”
He let that sink in, then he spoke again. “Are you ready, now?...
I know God is.”
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