An Assyrian Dies And Goes To Heaven
Posted by parhad on July 07, 2001 at 12:03:29:
Kiryakoos Hanna, a devout Christian and Assyrian, died last week. He arrived at the Pearly Gates and sat waiting his turn. What was his surprize on being called
before the "Desk" to see, not St Peter, as Father Hamishan had had said he would, but "Napishshistim". That's what the card on the desk had written on it.
The man siting there was remarkably well kept for someone that old. Kiryakoos, stunned, said ,"Who are you"?
"Who are YOU? I ask the questions here," replied the fellow at the desk.
"My name is Kiryakoos Hanna and I've been a good Christian all my life." He replied proudly, looking around at the rest seated waiting their turn, with satisfaction
gleaming in his eye. In truth he HAD been a devout Christian, reading his bible daily, observing all the feasts and strictures, exceopt for that time when... well but he'd
been absolved by the priest of any wrongdoing, though he did serve 30 days in jail...
"It says here you're an Assyrian", said the man with the unpronounceable name.
"oh THAT...it's no big thing, they say we are descended from them, but to tell you the truth, well I mean, er...well I never believed it much. But I DID believe I was
Christian and I've been a good one too...doesn't it say anything there...?"
"Yes, yes, you've been a good Christian. You can go in anyway", with that there was a clap of thunder and the huge iron gate swung open. At last! Old Hanna was
going to get his heavenly reward, the chance to see god in the face, to sit around contemplating his face...and for ever too, for a thousand, a million years...he could
just sit up there and stare in his face. WHAT A FACE!!
In the distance over some clouds he saw a multitude gathered around a shining object he soon saw was a throne. On approaching nearer he made out seated there a
majestic figure dressed in a flowing robe. His hair was long and thick ending in curls, his beard was curly as well and he had the most amazing eyes. The face would
be difficult to describe except to say it was the most beautiful, the most strange, and yet in some way, the most familiar face he'd ever seen. It must be God himself
seated there, he thought. As he approached, ready to go down on his face before the grand presence, "God" noticed him coming and motioned him over.
"Shlamalookh, Kiryakoos. Hala let bidayah imne byayoot?" At this joke the assembled throng burst into laughter and much back slapping was exchanged.
Kiryakoos couldn't believe his ears. Could it be that his god, the god of the bible, of Judah and The Temple spoke ASSYRIAN? He himself had never bothered
with it much, but he knew enough to know that GOD had actually addresed him. It must have been the location for he found himself able to understand the language
perfectly from that moment on.
The conversation went back and forth, it shocked Kiryakoos to see how familiar everyone was with the diety, someone he'd always been taught to revere this side
of abject terror. Yet there they were, chatting aways as if over a backyard fence with Creator of The Universe!! It was all too strange yet for him to grasp.
Suddenly the Lord spoke..."Hey Misha, broon kalba, khecha jins rupsi mkheelee ghoo ishtit diyookh, la yalla? Kupa yukh li!!!" Kiryakoos wasn't at all prepared for
this kind of goings on yet he couldn't help but be fascinated. This was so unlike what he'd imagined...verily, heaven IS unimaginable.
After more talk such as this, while other new arrivals came drifting in, the Lord calpped his hands and angels appeared bearing trays stacked with glasses of strong
tea. On platters came kadi and other delicacies he remembered seeing at his grandmothers house ages before. He hadn't expected any tea to be served in heaven,
certainly not accompanied by the pastries he remembered from his youth. Perhaps, this being heaven and all each person miraculously received what was dearest to
him, but in that case a jelly filled creme donut should have been placed before him, not these old things. But as he saw these pastries on everyone else's plate he had
to assume the Lord had a weakness for what his grandmother used to make for the family.
Tea completed, the assembled crowd moved off while another formed around the throne and a whole new series of bantering coments ensued. Kiryakoos wandered
off, coming to a group of "old timers" who were seated around on a Persian carpet exchanging stories. They also were drinking tea. He was welcomed and took a
place on the carpet. It bobbed slightly on account of the pleasant breeze blowing through there. The conversation was light and friendly, all about what they
remembered of their brief stay on earth and how heaven was so little of what they'd expected. A German fellow, a kind of low born man to be in heaven thought
Kiryakoos with a sniff, said.."I never imagined this place to be like this...I mean who would have believed that Ashur was the Lord of Hosts and poets and whores
and athletes...and everything! I spent my life, miserable as it was, praying to ONE god, only to find out it was another one all along. But I don't mind, this guy is
As the conversation swirled around him Kiryakoos felt himself getting faint. He couldn't believe what he was hearing, finally interrupting to say..."You mean that
ASHUR is the LORD here? Where am I? I thought I'd died and gone to heaven...where AM I?"
It was necessary to calm him down. As he settled they told him the awful, the unbelieveable truth. Ashur was indeed lord of the heavens. This had been obscured for
centuries by the Hebrews who even now were still at their old game down below. "But, but, why does he allow it? I mean if he IS the Lord of creation, why put up
"He doesn't work like that", replied a Frenchman. "He leaves it to each person to understand for himself or herself. But he holds no grudges, we're all welcome. he
manages to enjoy us all, though he keeps a special place in his heart for those who believed in him all those years, those years when he gave them nothing in return
for it, but neither punished them. Whatever joy or sorrow they received down there was of their own making. That's the way he works."
"But you mean to tell me", asked Kiryakoos incredulously, "that the Holy Bible was all a lie?"
"No no, said an Italian...it was all true too. There is a place where those who believd in it go to, it just isn't anyplace you'd want to share."
"Well I want to be with my OWN people", said Kiryakoos indignantly. Exchanging knowing looks, They escorted him to the "transfer" desk and he was whisked
away in an instant to other place. There he found more of what he had been taught to believe. there they sat around eating bitter herbs, drinking vinegar for wine and
being subjected to a contant harrangue on the evils of sin and the joys of salvation. After a week he'd had enough...actually he'd had his fill on earth but hadn't
realized how pleasant heaven could be... for an Assyrian. It turned out that all the Christians had reacted the same way on first entering paradise. All of them had
been stunned and put off by a tea drinking, joke telling Lord who nonetheless seemed so familiar to each of them, that after a quick sojourn in the "OTHER" place,
each Christian had returned, leaving the Hebrews in sole possession.
On his return to paradise, Kiryakoos realized finally why the Lord Ashur had looked so strangely familiar, yet so unlike any face on anyone he'd ever seen before. It
was his own face, seen clearly for the first time ever.