Every once in a while, something is said during a sermon that congregants request to be printed. It might be for their own files or possibly to share. I’ve noted these requests are rarely in reference to my exposition of Greek and Hebrew words, creative interpretation of ancient texts, or applicable spiritual principles. The post-sermon printing is almost always regarding a piece of poetry or humor. If it’s humorous poetry then it’s an automatic printing! I get it. I truly don’t mind. The requests came—in mass—for this past Sunday’s poem by Taylor Ludwig. I’m happy to oblige. Enjoy…and be graceful to the people around you.
Folks in Heaven
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
as I entered Heaven’s door,
not by the beauty of it all,
nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
who made me sputter and gasp–
the thieves, the liars, the sinners,
the troublemakers and trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
who never said anything nice.
Joe, who I had always thought
was rotting away in hell,
was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, and asked “What’s the deal?
I’d love to hear your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
And why is everyone so quiet,
so somber—give me a clue.”
“Child,” He said, “they’re all in shock.
They weren’t expecting you!”
(J. Taylor Ludwig, © 2004)