I think I might be a terrible person. It doesn’t really matter, because Jesus saved me even though I’m a complete jerk. I could offer varying examples about why I’m not a saint, but instead, I’ll just share what I currently ought to feel convicted about but don’t (This is only a minor confession. I keep the major stuff to myself or make my pastor deal with it.) I’m going to make fun of a book that I haven’t even read. Maybe that’s not horrible, but it’s a piece of fiction that nice people read and one that probably makes them emote in gross ways that would cause someone like me to experience tidal waves of awkwardness.

I just discovered the Mitch Albom novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. It’s kind of lame that I’m just now hearing about it, since it was published nearly ten years ago. I’m a little behind on things. Anyway, I’m intrigued by the concept. The premise of the novel is that a man expires, wakes up in the hearafter and runs into a few humans who impacted his situation while he was still traipsing around the land of love handles and body hair. I’ve been asking myself for minutes now, “Who are the five people that I’ll encounter after I stop struggling against the crushing weight of the snow, accept the cold, close my eyes for the last time and wake up in the afterlife?” (Yes, I’m convinced that somehow, the winter is going to finally get me.)

I’m going to tell you about the people I would meet if I were Eddie, the protagonist of this story.

1- The one person I didn’t threaten to kill or maim, who actually ended up losing their life as a result of my childish actions. I’m oblivious… ninety percent of the time and I could easily obliterate someone on accident and they’d have to tell me about it in the afterlife. Knowing me and how I roll, they’re probably already gone and it happened as a result of my horrible golf-game. I’ve hit more than a few balls into the distance and never saw them again.

2- The next person would likely the driver of the giant, gray Cadillac that I used to cut off on the way to church (See above about me being a terrible person). We were part of the same congregation and must have been neighbors, because I ended up behind that slow-moving boat three Sundays out of a month for years. This man made no sense because he couldn’t maintain a steady speed and eventually, in a fit of desperation and frustration, I would pass him. I never intended to cut the Cadillac off, I just typically had to get over in a hurry, to avoid a head-on collision or something like that.

3- Another postmortem playmate would likely be the guy who somehow got my bank information and drained my checking account several years ago. You see, everyone can get saved, regardless of what they’ve done in the past. Even heinous acts against my good credit are forgiven by Jesus if one asks. On the other hand, once this person explained who they were and what they’d done, I’d likely let them have a piece of my mind. In the right  mood, I can drag a berating out for hours and hours and being on the other side of death’s door would mean that I’d have all eternity to harass this human until I figured out that they’re actually pretty cool. Then we could bowl together.

4- Michael Jackson.

5- The last human would be a distant relative who’s DNA made me what I am today. I can’t tell if they’d apologize or congratulate me for what they sent floating my direction in the gene pool, but we’d probably have a really loud conversation and would likely laugh a lot.

Who do you think you’ll encounter once you’ve made your exit from the land of the living?


*Note, this is going to sound horrible, but it almost sounds like No Exit, a play by Jean-Paul Sarte about people who are trapped together for eternity in a room from which there is no escape.