I was twenty years old when I died, and my life changed forever.

There had been significant events in my life prior to that point, such as deaths in the family and the divorce of my parents, but none of them came close to what happened that night. As I said – I died. Not in the figurative sense. I mean that my heart stopped beating, my lungs stopped breathing, and my brain ceased to function. I was dead.

There was a brilliant flash of white light, and then I found myself at a large party, surrounded by friends and family. Some I knew, others I had never met before. Everyone knew me though, and they welcomed me with loving arms, smiles, and laughter. My great-grandfather, who died when I was very young, appeared to me as he was many years ago – The man who taught the Seminole Indians how to wrestle alligators and put them to sleep. The great-grandmother who cared for me as well as she had cared for my mother gave me one of the hugs that I had been missing since she passed away so many years earlier. Friends long gone clasped my arm and expressed their happiness in seeing me again.

And there was someone else there too, a woman; different from the rest. At first, she stayed around the perimeter, not wanting to interfere the time I spent with my family and friends. I noticed her a few times, and she caught my gaze briefly, and then turned away as another long-lost love stole my attention away from her. She was beautiful, and plain. She was mysterious yet approachable, wise and naive, flirty and yet aloof.

She intrigued me, but she stayed away until the initial commotion had died down a bit, and I moved to find her. I found her outside, sitting on a bench in the garden. I went to her, and would have knelt at her feet instinctively if she had not stood up and took my hand. If I had fallen into her eyes, I would have fallen forever.

“Walk with me, Jay. There is much for us to discuss.”

“I know you, but I’ve never met you. How do you know me?”

“I made you, and so I know you. Your spirit knows me, even if your mind does not. Your soul is a part of me that dwells within you, and it recognizes home, even when it has been away for so long.”

“So, you’re God?”

“More or less. I’m what you want God to be.”

“I always thought that God was an old man, passing judgment from the Throne in the same way that Zeus threw lightning bolts.”

“Haha. I can be that, if you prefer. I thought this would be…..more appealing. I need to talk to you, but more importantly, I need you to listen with an open heart. If I threw a lightning bolt, would you listen to me afterwards?”

“Probably not. I don’t respond well to threats, which is why I don’t like the thought of hell, or you…well…God…either. Which reminds me…if you’re God, does that mean that I’m dead? And if I’m dead, why didn’t I go to Hell? Surely this (with a sweeping gesture indicating the beautiful garden that we had just left, and the white sandy beach that we were now walking on with electric blue water) isn’t Hell?”

“Hahahahaha, no, this isn’t Hell. And yes, you’re dead. That last trip with the car…exciting wasn’t it?”

“What happened? I just remember a bright flash….and then the party inside”

“You were driving…there was an accident. Your body is now underneath your car, quite badly broken.”

“Oh God.”


“No, I meant…never mind. You know what I meant.”

“Sorry. Just a little divine humor. Couldn’t resist. So anyway, you have me here now. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?”

“Of course…..”

And so we talked for hours. Me questioning, her answering. We laughed together, and cried together. I can’t remember the details now, only that she answered all of my questions truthfully and fully, without reservation or hesitation. Everything from the really deep, philosophical stuff to inane gossip and small talk.

We walked along that beach with the waves lapping at our feet and the gulls singing overhead. We held hands, we laughed, we kissed. It was romantic, yet platonic, and casual yet serious. The thing I remember most is how warm her hand was in mine. And her eyes, and her smile. I’ll never forget her eyes or her smile.

For hours we talked, and walked together along that perfect beach. Eventually, my questions ended, and I was content to just be in her presence. Or should that be in Her presence? I suppose I’ll never be 100% sure, but I believe that it should be Her presence. So, I was content to just be in Her presence, and hold Her hand. For a while, She was content, too. And then she suggested that we stop and rest. There was a large rock nearby, and we sat down together.

“Jay, you have a decision to make. Your life hasn’t been easy, I know. There were some hard challenges, and tough lessons that you had to learn. There was a lot of loss, pain, and suffering. But, you had some good times, too. You had a good family, and some great friends, some of which you reunited with here tonight. You had a full life, and I am very proud of you and the things you have accomplished. If you want, you can stay here with me forever. We can laugh and love just as we have tonight, and I can share so much with you. There’s so much…so many…..there’s just everything to talk about…we could talk forever.”

“I want that so much. Can I really have that?”

“Yes, but…remember, it’s a choice. There’s another option for you to consider.

”OK, so that’s plan A. What’s plan B?”

“You could go back.”

“Go back? Why?”

“Well, there are some things that I need to have done on Earth. I can’t do them myself.”

“But you’re God…I mean, you can do ANYthing!”

“Hahaha, sadly, that’s not the case. When I made the world, I imbued it with certain rules. I *could* break those rules, but in doing so, I would destroy all of creation. The universe is a tightly-knit sweater. If I unravel one thread, the whole thing comes undone.”

“But won’t sending me back break one of those rules? Nobody comes back from the dead!”

“Sure they do. You hear about it all the time…tunnels of light…friends and family long gone……”


“Yeah. Heavy stuff, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. But wait…I’ve been here for hours! Those people that come back…they were only gone one or two minutes!”

“Time flows differently here. You were here for hours and hours…on Earth, it’s just been a few seconds, not even a full minute since you first arrived.”


“Yeah. Pretty cool, eh? I LOVE working in mysterious ways!!”

I groaned. Apparently, God has my sense of humor. It wasn’t nearly as endearing in Her as it is in me.

“So what is it that you want me to do down there? How can I serve you?”

“HAHAHAHAHHAHA! Well, you can start by cutting out the ‘How can I serve you’ crap! I am the Queen, but you are my King! My knight, my champion, my love, and my friend all rolled into one. We work together as partners, not master and slave.”

“You mean mistress and slave. Can’t God use correct gender classification?”

I think She would have slapped me if She didn’t love me so much. But She made me, right? At least She could appreciate the sarcasm that She gave to me.

“I didn’t make you sarcastic. Life made you sarcastic.”

“Get out of my head!”

“OK! Anyway…listen. Be serious with me. I need you down there…I need someone. And you’re my first choice. BUT, I meant what I said before. If you want to stay, then you are most welcome here by my side. There are others who can do the work down there for me. But, if you will accept my challenge, and go back, then I promise you that one day we will be together again. I have to warn you…your life won’t be easy down there. You will face harder challenges, bigger problems, and there will be much more painful lessons than you have ever had before. However, the rewards will also be greater. The love that you have always dreamed of…and even bigger loves that you can’t even imagine yet. Life will be hard…life is always hard. But there will be great happiness too.”

“What is it that you want me to do?”

“I can’t tell you that. But, you will know what to do. Your soul will know right from wrong, and if you always try to choose *right*, then you will do my work for me. A lifetime of choosing “right” will lead you back to me, and together we will share eternity. So, will you help me? I greeted you as a Queen, but right now I am just a damsel in distress. Will you be my hero, my champion?”

And I looked into her eyes…and I knew I could never refuse her.

“Yes, I will go, and do as you ask.”

And she kissed me hard, full of joy, passion, and love, with tears of happiness pouring from her eyes. I cupped her face in my hand…and then I fell into those eyes.

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