The sinner stood at the gates of heaven.
They stayed shut despite his constant rattling.
He pressed the buzzer,
He called, he yelled, he threatened
Today there was no entry.
He was not a patient waiter.
He knew he was a sinful man
Bent a lot of rules
The Ten Commandments he seriously challenged.
Underneath he knew he was fundamentally good
Surely he thought compassion, mercy even
Would get him across the heavenly threshold.
He stamped his foot, pursed his lips
Thought a thousand stories,
Each more convincing than the last
Providing his worthiness.
After three days he saw a heavenly entity.
St Peter himself shuffled along the path
Grumbling, complaining of his corns
Carrying a mighty book.
Opening upon the sinners life
He began the inventory of his life.
It went for three days
A period of revelation, grumbling
And raised eyebrows.
By the end the sinner was standing ashamedly
Head bowed in resignation
He turned towards the downward path
By the saint asked him one question
‘Was the inventory all true?’
With eyes lowered the sinner acknowledged his misdeeds.
The holy Saint stared at him,
His old eyes burning into his humbled soul.
He closed the book with a resounding clap
Opened the gates and beckoned to the sinner.
‘Come join us,’ he said
‘You admitted your wrong,
Most people argue extenuating circumstances
Flood my tired ears with feeble excuses.
Admission gets you in the door
You’ve been waiting a long time.’
The sinner not believing his luck entered heaven
St Peter looked him in the eye,
Said he was lucky, but forgiveness is eternal
‘Just keep your nose clean
Your hands out of the heavenly till.
This place is full of repentant sinners.’