By Rosie
Oct 28, 2013 - 5:56:31 AM


By Rosie, 28th October 2013


I was shown a fairly prosperous country enclosed by a very large wall along its borders. No one knew what lay beyond. At one point, the wall ran up the ridge of a high hill, and at the very apex a huge wooden door was embedded in the wall. Beautifully carved, gilded with gold, and depicting harmonious patterns and scenes of prosperity, rumours throughout the ages had suggested that this was the GATE TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.


It was a popular place to visit for those who believed this, and also for those who did not believe. The believers dressed in white and often sat on the steps leading to the gate, singing songs or counting beads, asking passersby for food. Others posed in front of the gate for photographs and laughed loudly. Guards were always present, stationed there by the king of this nation, and these guards were always encouraging people to move on, pushing away those who stood in reverence for too long.


The king himself scorned those who visited the door and made it the final destination of their pilgrimage. He told them that the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN could be enjoyed here in the cities (not on the top of a hill) where there were all sorts of pastimes and entertainments capable of providing “heaven”. He made a public laughing stock of all those people who lingered for the greatest part of their lives near the door in the hope that it would one day OPEN.


Over time, the guards stationed at the door felt that their work there was degrading. They would have much preferred to be in active service rather than warn people continuously day in day out that this was simply a historical artefact with no special religious significance. Their dissatisfaction led to taking turns to leave the site to enjoy the “night life” on offer in the cities. In the end, none of the soldiers could resist the banquets and orgies and drinking contests, and the door was left unguarded.


It was on one of these evenings that the door opened, very quietly and almost imperceptively, and a luminous figure emerged and said: IF YOU CARRY LOVE IN YOUR HEART, YOU MAY NOW ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Those believers who even spent their nights sleeping near the door were strangely roused by the voice. When they saw the crack of light coming through the open door, and the figure calling to them, they dropped onto their knees in gratitude and then moved swiftly towards the gap before the gate closed again. One such believer was a little slow due to a severe limp, and so a small piece of his cloak got caught as the gate closed.


In the pale morning light, the guards were astonished to find a small patch of dark cloth clamped between the doors. It could not be removed. Some said it was just a joke but others knew that this was a sign – however small – of something much greater, and they redoubled their efforts at watching the door on a regular basis. They stood directly in front of the cloth so that no-one could see it. When the daily visiting believers arrived, they noticed a change in the air. There was more tension. The soldiers were on edge. They cursed and shouted much more than usual. They scoured the horizon as if expecting something unusual, and they glanced at each other with searching glances.


The believers also threw each other glances. They became more and more convinced that the gates would open, so they congregated on the hill more and more often, quietly encouraging others to do so. But still there were those who condemned the gates and their supposed promise as gross superstition. They quoted examples of many other similar beautiful doors which had absolutely nothing behind them. And they went through the crowds distributing free tickets to shows and banquets in the city.


The soldiers were now on guard around the clock. One night, they heard a small creak and the gates opened just wide enough to let a man pass through. Again, it was the luminous figure who spoke saying OPEN YOUR HEARTS, FOR ALL THOSE WITH OPEN HEARTS MAY ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. When the soldiers attempted to move towards the figure, they found that they were paralysed on the spot. The figure said: RELEASE YOUR WEAPONS AND PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR HEART AND YOU MAY ENTER. Again, a number of believers were attracted to the light in the darkness and disappeared through the gate.


The soldiers did not know what to do. To tell the king would be signing their own death warrant, so they just continued to guard, forming a whole line of guards along the wall so that the gate was barely visible. On evening, as they surveyed the dying light of the day, and looked down upon the dancing lights of the nearest city, they noticed a large dark wave approaching – like a carpet of cloud carried by a wind which rolled forwards in huge loops. This appeared to be coming from all directions. It almost appeared to be rounding up all inhabitants, bringing them in the direction of the gate. Tightly packed crowds of panic-stricken people were gathered on the hill, anxiously surveying the onslaught of the “storm”.


And for the very last time, the gate opened and the luminous figure appeared: he spoke very clearly and quietly, and he was heard by every single person because every single person was suddenly stunned into silence by the approaching wave. If they spoke, they could not be heard. The only sound was the voice of the man saying: IF YOU HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEARTS, STEP FORWARD AND ENTER. Those who were not capable of doing this remained as paralysed statues in the darkness, and those who walked in humility and love walked to the top of the hill. When all had passed through, the gates shut. Those who remained outside turned into stone obelisks as a warning for civilisations to come. Their souls left their bodies and were taken by angels to another dimension to determine how they could best learn to love.

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