I dreamed I went to Heaven and shouted, “Good news: It’s me!”
Of the few who noticed, no one seemed to agree.
They’d apparently confused me for someone not near as great,
So I trotted out my résumé to set the record straight:
“Every time the church doors opened, I strode right in.
Check out this perfect attendance Sunday School pin!
Get a load of all these Bible verses I’ve memorized;
No one got wetter than me when I was baptized.
My portrayal of a wise man in our live manger scene
Made the others look like amateurs, made Joseph turn green.
The choir members shrugged and said, ‘What do we even try for?’
My rendition of ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ was to die for.
Our preacher, he was pretty good, and many folks were moved.
I took notes and coached the guy; he gradually improved.
I tithed and talked a lot about how good that made me feel.
(You can write it off your taxes, so it’s really no big deal.)
Check out my credentials. There’s no hurry; I can wait.
Meanwhile, who’s up for a theological debate?”
Saint Peter looked at me like he was trying not to puke.
He raised his hands and walked away; said, “You take this one, Luke.”
Luke! The very one Paul called “beloved physician.”
How apropos that he should diagnose my condition.
Luke said, “We are under orders to cut you lots of slack,
So follow this prescription if you want to come back.
You’ve a serious sickness; it’s sad, but not so strange.
There’s hope, but you must undergo a drastic lifestyle change.
You see, up here, you matter just as much as others did to you.
And according to our records, well, you’ve got some work to do.
You’ve logged a lot of miles in some doctrine-driven joints,
But up here, mere religion will not score you any points.
Your ego driven antics, man, are not that big a treat
To a person who is homeless or needs something to eat.
Someone who’s gone a month of Sundays sans a kind word or a smile,
Let’s face it: they’re not in the mood to stop and dig your style.
To a soul who’s only seeking peace, escape from misery,
Your hermeneutics do not mean skubala to a tree.”
Wide awake, I tried to shake that dream out of my head,
But there was Luke’s prescription lying neatly on the bed.
It said, “Get over yourself; wise up; there’s a better way to be.
Memorize and practice Matthew 7:12 and see.”
(Caution: Do not take on an empty heart.)