Judi stepped out of the carriage and onto the red carpet. She smoothed down her skirt and patted her hair. Her make-up was perfect. Her skin was flawless and her dress, immaculate. She had built her life around what was good and right. She was a good wife, mother, daughter and neighbour. She went to church and honoured her parents. She never stepped outside the box and she was happy that way. Her life was perfect. She just had one more appointment to go. It was a very important meeting. This was the next step. It was everything she had been aiming for her whole life. She quelled the butterflies in her stomach and took that first step. She was the only one here. Was she late? Impossible. Was she too early? That would be the better scenario. Better to be early was her motto. It drove her children crazy, but she didn’t care. At least they never had to know the shame of being late. It was one of her gifts to them. She finally made it to the end of the carpet. The man on the door gave her a charming smile. She returned the favour. He was of medium height with dark brown hair and blue eyes. They were the kindest eyes she had ever seen. She recognised him and felt immediately at ease. He also sported a beard that was thankfully neatly trimmed. His outfit was a bit weird, but then again who was she to judge? It looked like a dress, but she realised it was one most popular among his peers. It was white and at least clean. She loved cleanliness. It was going to be all right. She still crossed her fingers behind her back for that extra assurance. He stood behind a podium, with what looked to be a large book resting on it.
“Judi Baker. I have an appointment.”
“Hello Judi, we’ve been expecting you.” Jesus ticked her name off the list.
“Am I late?” she asked breathlessly.
He shook his head and smiled lovingly.
“No. You have perfect timing. If you’d just like to follow me, we’ll get started.”
The light went out for a few seconds. Judi blinked rapidly when they came back on suddenly. She didn’t remember her feet moving. She shrugged. Oh well, she was here that was the main thing. The room was all white. The only furniture to adorn it was two chairs and a table with another book on it beside that. He motioned for her to sit in one, then, took the other. He picked up the book and placed it on his knee. This was a thinner book than the one out the front. She caught sight of her name as he opened it. The butterflies began again in earnest.
“Don’t be afraid. The father doesn’t judge anyone, but he has made his son the judge of everyone. No one can enter the father’s kingdom without first going through me.”
Judi began to cry. Jesus put her book aside and knelt before her. Putting a finger beneath her chin, he raised it until she was looking at him. With his thumb, he wiped her tears away.
“Don’t cry my little one. I know how you have suffered in your lifetime. Don’t think I haven’t felt every one of those blows your broken body has taken, for I felt them too. I was going through it with you. I have also watched you stand strong and walk in faith with our father. I have kept a record of your wandering. I have stored your tears in my bottle and counted each of them. I lifted the burden from your shoulders and took the heavy basket from your hands. I will make you strong again.”
With his gentle voice crooning above her, Judi’s tears stopped and she felt that all too familiar peace, the one only her saviour could give her. Jesus stood and held out his hand to her. She gladly accepted it. He led her to a door that wasn’t there when they entered.
“Knock and door will be opened.”
She did so.
“Other than our Father, your slain children are waiting for you through that door. Whole, just like you are now. I know how you have missed them so. Free of your wheelchair, run to their arms.”
Jesus told her, “Because of your faith, you are now saved. May God give you peace!”
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