The Highest Court
By Dwayne MacInnes
"Mr. Davis?" a soft voice called, "Mr. Davis, are you ready?"
John looked around as he jolted awake. He didn't know when he fell asleep and was greatly disoriented. He found himself sitting on a white bench in a long white hallway that was filled with a pure white light. There were others on the bench with him. An old woman was sleeping to his right and a young soldier sleeping to his left. In fact, everyone sharing the bench was asleep except for him.
"Ah, Mr. Davis welcome," a rather good-looking man dressed in a white business suit with matching tie and leather shoes and holding a folder smiled at him.
"Where...where am I?" John asked as he took in his surroundings again.
"Hmmm, of course. What is the last thing you remember?" asked the man in white.
"I believe I was getting ready for work. Yes, that's it!" John said as the memories flooded back. "I remember my chest was hurting so I was trying to put on my pants before I called 911. Then...well, I guess I blanked out. Is this the hospital?"
"Oh, no," chuckled the man. "You are quite dead. Remember the near death stories you heard about with the light at the end of the tunnel?"
"Yes, so this is the light, huh?"
"Not quite. But we'll try to get you there."
"So you're an angel?"
"Well, sort of. I'm sorry, I've totally forgot to introduce myself. I'm the Advocate. In fact, right now I'm your advocate and we have to prepare your case. But please call me Lou," smiled the advocate as he shook the astonished Davis's hand.
"Now if you will follow me," Lou said as he led the way down the hall towards an office on one side. Their footsteps echoed down the seemingly endless hall.
The two men then entered the white office with the same radiance as found in the hallway. There was a white desk and two white office chairs. A leather executive chair was behind the desk and a plain white chair was in front of it. Lou offered the plain chair to John who sat down before the advocate seated himself on the other side of the desk.
"OK, let's get down to work," smiled the advocate. He then proceeded to open the file and looked over the contents. Lou then took out a form and pen out of the desk drawer and placed it on top of the desk next to the file. He then began to fill in some lines. John tried to see what he was writing but was unable to make out the script.
"It says here you were a politician. That's a tough road."
"Yeah, it was. A lot of hard hours and a big work load everyday," John said as he began to smile.
"Sorry, I meant it must have been hard to be faithful to your job and to Him," Lou replied.
"Oh, yeah," chuckled John. "But you'll notice that my party fought to uphold His word. I'm proud to be a Christian."
The advocate then scribbled something down as he nodded, "Yes, that's very good. But political affiliations aren't worth much up here. Though the being a Christian will definitely help out.
"You went to church every week and you read your Bible and prayed everyday. That's good," Lou commented as he continued to scribble on the form never taking his eyes off his work.
John smiled with pride. It looked like he'd back the right horse after all. Not just in believing but in following his convictions.
"Uh-oh," Lou looked up from the files and glared at John. "It says here you had an affair on your wife."
John turned red, cleared his throat and smiled sheepishly. He never thought about this end of it when he was cheating on his wife, but he did get caught on Earth so it was only bound to be found out up here.
"I...uh, I did repent," John finally said.
"Good, good," Lou smiled and scribbled something on the form.
The advocate then began to rifle through the papers in the file looking for something. It took only a moment for him to locate it then he sat it in front of it.
"Ah, here it is. This is where I meant it was a tough road being a politician. It says here you rallied support for a war."
"Yes, of course. We were trying to free those people that were being oppressed by their leader. It was a hard fought road and many of our troops paid the ultimate sacrifice, but it was worth it. I would like to shake every soldier's hand for their work."
"Quite," smiled Lou as scribbled some more on the form. "It can be arranged, but please there is no need for grand speeches here. We just need to prepare your case."
"Sorry, force of habit," John replied.
"I see you also have some interesting legislation that you proposed and passed."
"Uh-huh, you'll notice that I helped reduce the tax burden and I cut Welfare spending in half. So that the money went back to the people who earned it therefore they could lead a better life."
Lou wrote on the form again and smiled. "I think we have enough here. Let's meet the judge."
Lou gathered the form and files and then shoved them into a white briefcase that he pulled out from under the desk. He snapped the clasps and stood up.
John stood up and followed the advocate out of the office. They went down the hallway again. The footsteps again resonating with the click-clack of four feet walking down the long hall. Lou led them to a set of white double doors on the side of the wall.
The advocate stopped a moment and adjusted his tie. He smiled and winked at John. John now became self conscious of what he was wearing. He had on the pants that he was struggling to put on before he died and a t-shirt. Davis frowned at Lou and motioned towards his clothes.
"Don't worry He doesn't care how you are dressed. Trust me most come in with a lot less on. But please, we have to hurry," Lou soothingly said as he ushered John into the large courtroom.
There weren't any pews, but everything was the same bright white that everything else was up here. Very monochromatic John noticed. There was a large desk at the end of the room. Lou showed John to one of the two chairs behind a smaller table that was situated in front of the judge's desk.
Behind the desk was an olive skinned man. He had short hair with long forelocks, a beard and a large nose. His face showed the years of one who had lived outside and traveled a long road. But his eyes were different. They were a soft brown with a compassionate look. Their penetrating gaze seemed to strip away a person and get at their core.
"Rabbi Immanuel," Lou began. "This is Mr. John Davis recently deceased. We are here to gain admittance."
John was momentarily taken aback that his judge was a Jew, a Rabbi and not to mention a man of Middle Eastern descent.
"Please, Mr. Davis. Your reaction shows your true heart," the judge said with a soft but stern voice. "Yes, I am a Jew and a Rabbi. I was born in the Middle East, but in what is now Israel. Some call me Immanuel, you know me as Jesus."
John looked ashamed. He knew that Jesus was a Rabbi and Jew. It was that he didn't look at all like how the pictures portrayed him. There was no long flowing hair, pale skin, or blue eyes.
"Mr. Advocate you may begin your case," Jesus said.
"Yes, sir. My client is a devout Christian which is what has guided his path in life. Mr. Davis devotedly went to church, prayed, read the Bible and tried to defend the word. He also through the power of his political career tried to help out his fellow man by easing their burden and freeing them from tyranny. These are only some of the great things he did on Earth. The rest you know.
"You will note that my client did have an affair on his wife. But he did repent his actions and asks for forgiveness. In my eyes, this is the only major stain on my client's good record.
"We formally request that Mr. John Richard Davis be allowed to be with the Father. Thank you," with that Lou sat down.
"Mr. Davis, please rise," Jesus motioned toward John.
John stood up behind the table and looked up at his Lord. He was nervous, a feeling he hadn't felt for years on Earth. He'd always been in control down there, here he felt like a third grader being quizzed by his teacher in front of the class.
"Your advocate laid out a pretty convincing case. But there are some discrepancies that we need to address.
"You are a professed Christian and you did read of my works and know of my ways. You did give donations every week and you did send money to charities. But your practice was only superficial.
"You rarely tithed. You had plenty of money, but you even held some of it back from God. Even your work showed that you chose money to be your true master.
"Yes, you gave tax breaks to help others, but those others you were helping were the wealthy. The poor remained poor and their lots were not improved by your legislation. As for the Welfare cuts you hurt more people than you helped.
"No, no, Mr. Davis, please don't interrupt," the Rabbi forestalled John's protest.
"I know you thought that most of the people on welfare, and unemployment for that matter, were lazy or taking advantage of the system. That, my sir, is not for you to judge. They too will be in front of me, but the fact of the matter is that those who desperately needed the help were denied and turned away.
"You also used your elected position to favor war. You know my stance on war. Now, I don't expect people to let genocide wipe out another race. But, I do expect those who take up my name to think three times before going to war. One of the reasons given for this war was to free the people, but that was after other reasons were given and found to be untrue. This was not a just war.
"As for your affair, you said you repented and asked for forgiveness. That is denied."
John gasped and protested, "But, but you said if one asked for forgiveness it would be given."
"That is true, but here is my reason. You repented getting caught, not the fact you cheated on your wife. If your transgression wasn't discovered you would have continued with it. True repentance is from the heart and there in lies my forgiveness. Thus in this case, it is denied.
"Mr. Davis you are not an evil man, but you are unfortunately a hypocrite and as a true follower you are held to a higher degree. You must live and follow my ways. Many people have tried and failed like you have. The road as you know is not easy.
"Yes, the Bible is confusing on some points and contradictory in others, but one thing remains the same throughout, my word. Love thy neighbor. It is easy to remember.
"All I asked was that you follow the commandments and try to help your fellow human beings out. Lessen the misery of the less fortunate and spread your wealth amongst all. This is the love of our Father.
"So it is with much regret Mr. Davis but your petition is denied. Lucifer, you may take this man."
Jesus stood up and exited out of the back of the courtroom.
John stood there with his jaw agape. He slowly turned to his advocate and looked at him hard.
"Yes, yes, I know. Where are the horns and tail? Well, to be honest there aren't any. It was just a little invention by your medieval artists to scare people. The beast and all that ... you know."
Lucifer turned John toward the entrance out of the courtroom.
"Now, hell isn't fire and brimstone you know. But unfortunately it is the absence of Him. To be truly alone with yourself I don't wish on any man."
"I know your next question too. I am just doing a job here. For the Father to find out those who truly love and accept him, he had to introduce free choice and that means 'good and evil'. Now, we angels, yes even a so called 'fallen' one like myself, have no choice in worshipping Him. We know Him and what He has done. Plus, I have read Revelations. No one can beat Him.
"But you humans are his pride and joy; He wants you to turn toward him by choice. That is the test of true love and devotion."
The two continued to walk down the hallway as Lucifer continued to talk to John as he led him towards another door. This one black.