I wrote this with a very brave young man in my mind and heart.
A dervish had walked many miles one day and sat down at dusk to rest.
He fell fast asleep.
Just then, he thought he heard an angel whisper in his ear,
“Come, follow me and see what a wonderful thing I have to show you!”
So, the angel put the dervish on his back, and they flew away to a courtroom.
They were seated on a bench outside the courtroom, and he heard through the door.
“Alright, let us look at the balance. Good, you may pass to the bridge.”
None of this made any sense until the angel opened the door.
It was the Divine Courtroom and in it were all of the witnesses to his life.
Both groups included people and events long forgotten.
On the left were a group that recounted all of his mistakes, sins, and bad choices.
They shouted and growled. It was frightening and disturbing, as some of them were angry.
On the right were another, larger group, that remembered his good deeds and kindnesses.
They were sweetly singing, smiling, and laughing.
Both groups told the absolute truth.
The Judge listened to both.
But as each single kindness was recounted,
Two of the negative witnesses left the room!
This happened until all the witnesses against him were gone,
And only the witnesses for the defense were present.
They were dismissed,
The Judge then said, “Your kindnesses are the toll paid on the bridge to Paradise.”
Then the Judge asked the dervish if the dervish had any questions.
The dervish answered, “Yes, O Compassionate One.
Since you are all-knowing, why did you need the testimony of witnesses?”
The Judge responded, “Oh, they are not for me. They are for you.
This will ensure that you know who you are.
When you awaken, you will know who you are, who you have been, and who you will be.
Because it is important to have faith, but that is only knowledge that there is a bridge.
To cross it, you must know yourself.
The toll is who you are.
And you are the net balance of your kindnesses. That is your essence.
Your soul is the purse that bears your treasures,
And each act of kindness is a gem.”
Then the angel spoke to the dervishL
“This may be poor theology, or
Very simple philosophy,
But very good directions to the bridge,
Following the road of compassion.
Each day, think if you have the fare to cross the bridge,
Realize that your present and future kindnesses outweigh your past.
And as you come to know yourself,
Be compassionate to all, even yourself.