“Do not be afraid; our fate
Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”
Dante Alighieri, Inferno (The Divine Comedy #1)
Imagine the day of your judgment. Actually, how do you imagine it?
I imagine it like a court. It’s your trial. They sit you in the defendant’s box. The court is filled with all the people you met in your lifetime. Behind you, there’s a screen. It’s quiet.
On the screen, images start rolling. It’s your life and everybody is about to witness everything that you ever did. How many people in that court will be happy, hurt or angry? How many will be staring in awe at the screen, shocked and/or disgusted? How many will be proud?
First, there are the early ages. Your parents wipe a tear. The age of innocence. Happy faces so far. Oh, here it is, your first steps, your first day at school. Pride shows on your mum’s face.
More. Starting to act naughty here and there. Nothing harmful yet. Your first cigarette, you miss a day, two, more from school. A bit of disappointment but nobody hurt yet.
What’s next? Starting to live an independent life, having your own ways. Oh, look at that first relationship. He/She is there in the court. You messed up and you hurt somebody’s feelings. It’s still ok. You had no practice. You did wrong but it was just learning.
Then we reach to more serious things. Slowly you turn into an adult. You’re responsible for your actions. No more excuses. Damn son, shit just hit the fan!
As the images change on the screen, so does the expressions on people’s faces. We talk big things now. All those people there see you doing things they never imagine you could do. Your family is shocked, few others are disgusted and can’t even look at you anymore.
And here they are. Out of the crowd, the people you hurt arise. The people you did wrong to, clearly identify themselves in the court. They know now more than they wanted or needed. Tears in their eyes as they look at you in disbelief. You remember this look when you first hurt them. You ignored, you never tried to ease their pain. You let them shattered behind you, you even laughed at their pain or added to it.
In your vanity, you didn’t even stop and try to console them. You let them frozen, you let them numb in despair, drowning in memories of you doing them wrong. Smug, you kept walking, destroying more in your way, even if their faces haunted you every night. Time healed them and healed you. You forgot. Now here they are, and you can’t fix it anymore. You had so many chances to do it before. Can you look them in the eyes now?
Who, in that court, can you look straight in the eyes and be sure they’ll look back with happiness. A few friends, a few strangers along the way?
What about your family? Are they proud now? What do you read on their faces after they’ve seen your entire life? What do you see on the faces of those who loved you? Those who unconditionally gave you everything, just to get nothing but pain in return?
Yeah, they can see that you had your share of pain too, but they don’t look for revenge. Those people in the court are there for you to face them, they don’t care if somebody else did the same to you. What you did to them is what the trial is about.
Your trial is about finding if your good deeds exceed your bad ones. What do you think? You thought you’ll never get caught in your lies and pretence. Here they are, they know everything now, you see it all on their faces.
Are you feeling small in this court now? Are you able to look at them? At everyone? Can you still keep your head up high? Do you repent now? Are you on the fast train to eternal damnation?
What’s waiting for you there? Is it flames, is it pitch? What if you are convicted to feeling the same pain you inflicted on others during your lifetime. Could you take it, would it be bearable?