It ended poorly. They found themselves waiting silently, arm in arm. Waiting to enter the final judgement, arm in arm.
The father had great anticipation. He had dedicated much of his life to learning about and understanding God, serving God, obeying the commandments. He lived a life of repentance. While he contemplated his imperfections, his incomplete state, he was nevertheless hopeful, leaning towards the enthusiastic conclusion of all his desires and aspirations.
The daughter nourished a sense of dread, her atheism crushed. All rejected as nonsense now overwhelmed. Her mind raced as she attempted to stitch together such concepts as grace, mercy, redemption, justice, punishment, eternity.
They parted. The daughter having been called first.
She dared not approach her judge. He approached her, took her into His arms and joining her tears, patiently waited. When ready, without breaking their embrace, they watched her life replayed. They watched and felt the love and gentle kindness, empathy, compassion, nourishment, and healing poured out upon her family, friends, neighbors. They watched and felt the pains and disappointments, but more so the happiness, joy, and legacy of righteousness.
The daughter was confused. He was not. “It would have been better if we had come to know each other sooner.” They laughed. He concluded alone, “had you been a little more willing, you would have known and understood that all that you have done, all that you are, is what I desired for you. You have progressed much; you have done much good. Continue.” As they parted, the smiles and the tears were warm, genuine.
The father resolutely approached his judge, knelt, kissing His feet, worshiped. When ready, raising him by the hand, and with an arm around his shoulder He began. They watched and felt the father’s compulsion to learn, to understand, to be obedient, faithful. He thought, this all seems right, but could sense in Him regret.
The father was confused. He was not. “You have sacrificed being to pursue knowing. My example, My teachings, exist to inspire. True intelligence is to be – like – me, and to thus be – one – with – me. We are not one.”
It ended unexpectedly.
The daughter had great expectation, but this was overwhelmed by empathy. The father wrestled with dread. Silently, enfolded in her arms, they wept. The daughter would have spoken kind, soft consolations. No language sufficed. The father, crushed, inconsolable, would not, could not rejoice for her.
Eventually, inevitably, they parted.