Not even an elevator

As promised, here is the story that my grandmother fed me with countless time, about the time she met Jesus and the angels. I will tell it with as many details I can remember, I will try not to let too many things get lost in translation.

She was a child, among many siblings. One day one of her brothers had eaten the cream that their mother had prepared for dessert and blamed it on my grandmother and she first finds out that she has been wrongly accused right after supper when her mother tells everyone “I’m sorry, but none of us can have any dessert tonight because Mary (not her real name) has eaten all the cream”. She received many angry looks from all apart from the guilty party who had a smug look on his face.
She felt helpless, it would have been her word against his but now that her mother had been convinced and now voiced it out in front of the whole family they were all convinced she was guilty. She went to bed and cried.

That night she heard a voice call her name. She looked around and all her siblings were sleeping so she tried to go back to sleep herself when after a while she heard the voice again and, just like before, all her siblings seemed asleep. Wondering if someone was pretending to sleep to mess with her she tried to ignore it but the third time (always in threes, huh?) she heard it, it also added “come out”, so she followed the voice and left the house. Out in the street she saw a beautiful man stand with his arms spread out in a welcoming gesture, and although there were no light sources he was well lit in the middle of the night.
She realized this man was Jesus. He showed her to a rope-ladder and invited her to climb it and she did, all the way to heaven.

And she saw the most glorious city of gold full of beautiful angels, who were all welcome and they all wanted to play with her, so they played all-through the night until she was too tired to continue. The angels assured her that the next time they would meet, she would not have to worry about ever feeling tired again. And they carried her back down to her house.

I remember her telling me this when I was very young and even when my religious doubt was just a spark in the back of my head I had trouble swallowing it. I guess I figured it was the kind of thing you tell a child to convey a greater meaning rather than a telling of a true event. However, she kept telling me the story every now and then, insisting that it is true, and her voice goes high as she tries to describe the wonder and glory of the event that occurred to her… and she still does! I am thirty years old now and she still tells me the story as if expecting me to take it as literal truth. It is the cringiest thing in the world, I don’t want to call her a liar and I don’t think she is one.. It seems like she really believes this but that forces me to think that she is completely batshit insane! One cannot even blame old age, because she has been telling the story for at least 25 years!

And even if I go into my most agnostic mode and try to accept that these things can against all expectations be true and depend on an element of physics we have not yet discovered there is one part of the story that just ruins even that outlook.

A rope-ladder to heaven.

Seriously. A rope ladder.

How high up is Heaven? Did she climb in her pajamas? Wouldn’t that be cold? And what kind of prick is God if he can let people fly up or send an angel to carry her but instead he drops a rope-ladder for a child to climb?

There is no way out of this. She is either a liar or insane. Or I am insane and the bible is true… I seriously doubt that third option.

6 Responses to Not even an elevator

  • TerBear says:

    It sounds like she just had a nice dream that helped her cope with being wrongfully blamed. It is not uncommon. It is not uncommon that it could be the dream was very real to her because she was so sound asleep.

    • Peter
      Peter says:

      But going her whole life not questioning it at all? Not even considering that it might have been a dream? I mean, a rope ladder for crying out loud!

      You know, I once had a dream that I had a lion’s tail. The dream was completely mundane apart from the tail, it took place in the town I lived in at the time, all my friends and house mates were in it, everything felt very real, even the tail, the texture and the weight of it, including the muscles I had to operate to move it. Everyone else in the dream were interested in it but not as a strange thing, more like the way someone is curious about your new tattoo or piercing.
      But even though the dream felt totally real, I have never claimed that I traveled to an alternate dimension in which I had a tail. It wa sa dream and I, of course, realize this.

  • TerBear says:

    I don’t know her personally so it is difficult for me to say why she would not be able to tell a dream from reality. But in my experience, if you want to believe a dream is real it is real. When I was a child, I had a dream that my parents were with me on a swing. I knew it was a dream because it was impossible seeing as my father died when I was 2 and my mother had disappeared. But I wanted to believe it so it became real like a memory.

  • TerBear says:

    Well, yes. But if she wants to believe it is real, she will not care if some parts of it are impossible.

    • Peter
      Peter says:

      And that is where insanity comes in… accept an obviously unreal experience as real, that is different from believing in an unseen concept, it is literally swapping the real physical world for your fantasy.

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