The four of us held hands around the table. We had just made a monumental resolution together; we were going to our death in the morning as a team. None of us were pleased with our present lives and agreed it was time for a change. We were ready to go on to the next level, to leave our wretched lives behind and start over on the other side, on a higher plane.
"So, it's settled, right?" I asked.
We all nodded our heads, tears flowing down our cheeks as relieve flooded our souls. I pushed the box of Kleenex to the table's center and watched as white tissue absorbed the facial moisture. We closed our “Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth” books that had been our guide in this fantastic resolve. We had researched our decision extensively; we were not making an impulsive move.
"Well, let’s go home and do what has to be done." No sense in letting grass grow under our feet, it would grow better over us!
I grabbed my purse and walked out the door arm in arm with my three new best friends. We had so much in common; we lived the same lifestyle, one not worthy of applause. In fact, one of the three had been my accessory in crime. She would divert attention from the back door at the theater so I could slip in without buying a movie ticket. Who would get hurt by that? They still had to show the movie for four people or forty. One of the others was a journalist who specialized in slander, hey- who wants to read the truth? She always posted a retraction but the original articles were more widely read than the small print in the back pages. And friend number four had a problem with lust. She couldn't tolerate others having what she wanted, so, she would help herself to what wasn't nailed down, it's called kleptomania by the specialists.
At home I called my daughter at college and informed her of my intentions, not wanting her to receive second hand news. Things like this were better to handle with a little preparation time.
"Mom, you're crazy, No way will you do that." Then she laughed at me. I invited her to come to observe and she laughed harder.
"Yea, right, like I'm going to waste a perfectly good morning just made for sleeping late." Oh, well, I tried. Maybe in time....
I then dialed the numbers of some of my closest friends. After explaining to them my regrets about the “good times” we’d shared, I requested their presence at my euthanasia party in the morning; I even offered them the choice to participate. One after another they attempted to persuade me to reconsider, not the least bit convinced that dying would be for the best. They were only concerned that they would lose me. They tried to convince me I was a good person, no human would execute me for my life style, and no court of law on earth would convict me for what I now viewed as criminal acts. They didn’t get it, for me being good wasn’t good enough, I was a perfectionist. I wanted to be better and couldn’t so death was my only option. I requested all to attend, even be evolved, all declined. They wanted to cling to their sad lives not wanting to chance taking the final plunge with me or witness my demise. Well, the four of us would show them we were serious. This was no laughing matter, no joke. It was for all time; a permanent end to a pathetic existence.
My last chore consisted of writing a note to my slave driver boss informing him he would no longer have me as a mindless servant. After signing my resignation I held it over a match, watching the flames ascend upwards. Odd, they were going in the wrong direction to reach the recipient. Oh well, I'm sure he'll get the news soon enough.
The morning trip was on me, I went to three houses to collect my fellow death seekers. No one had wavered from their steadfast determination.
"This is the last the world will see of us!" we exclaimed, practically in unison. The drive to our destination was quiet as we reflected on our past. A flock of doves flew in front of us, slowed, followed us then returned to the lead position. Were they escorting us?
A small crowd had gathered at our chosen spot, they would be accomplices, encouraging us to the end. I scanned the group to see if any of my family and friends had had a change of heart and come. Nope, I‘d be exiting this life alone, well somewhat alone. We got out of the car and were accosted with hugs and tears. So much crying, would it ever end? A table abundantly burdened with food had been set up under the trees for the celebration that would follow our deaths. Morbid? Maybe not.
After a small pre-funeral ceremony we stepped into the river one at a time, dressed in filthy rags; after all we deserved nothing more than what we were worth. The cold water sent horrific sensations up to my brain. I nearly ran back to shore but refused to embarrass myself, I planned to die today so die I would. Deeper and deeper I went, the water covered my face, soaked my hair, and buried me under its current. Hands held me down. I was gone, buried in a watery grave! I saw my life float past me. Somewhere deep below the earth I heard a loud roar of defeat that faded under the sound of ovation that rang out above me in the heavens. Death was painless.... at least for me. Two men lifted me up and deposited me on the ground next to my three comrades. I gasped and choked. My lungs expanded and filled with air. I felt warmth from a ray of sunlight that chose to light on my head. As I gazed up I swore it resembled a tongue of fire. My eyes popped open wider as a rushing wind assaulted my nostrils engorging my pulmonary system. I felt the urge to speak to angels. Everything about me seemed to glow in newness, though I’d been here before it all looked fresh, different. Hope-full.
Our four dead bodies jumped to their feet and praised the Lord! More hugging, more crying. A oneness of purpose infused the gathering as we tearfully rejoiced. Our old lives were gone; we were reborn into the family of God, no longer slaves to sin but heirs of righteousness. We changed into clean, dry garments as new creations ready to follow our Lord. We were now in the witness protection program, witnesses of God’s grace and protected by his Holy Spirit as promised in our guide books, “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” commonly referred to as "The Bible."
2 Cor 5:17