Saint Peter felt like he had been on call at the Pearly Gates for eons…come to think of it, he had been on call at the Pearly Gates for eons. He desperately needed a break. Seeing Jesus walking by, he asked Him to spell him out for a while.
Jesus was a bit dubious. “Gee, I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve never done this before.”
“It’s real easy,” Saint Peter said. “All you have to do is greet the people as the come in, and strike up a bit of conversation with them. Then you record their names in The Book. There is nothing to it. It’s nothing like being a DBA on call. You’ll do fine.”
“Oh, okay,” Jesus said, still a bit reluctant. But he didn’t see any easy way to refuse Saint Peter’s request. Jesus took Peter’s place at The Desk, situated just to the side of the Pearly Gates.
Everything went very smoothly for a while. “Gee,” Jesus thought to himself. “I think I am starting to get the hang of this Pearly Gates Greet and Record Name business.”
But then he saw an old man approaching the Pearly Gates. The man’s eyes were rheumy. His gait was slow, his back was badly bent forward. He clearly relied heavily on his cane.
“This man seems strangely familiar,” Jesus thought. But He could not quite place him.
“Say, old man,” Jesus asked. “Did you happen to be a carpenter back on earth?”
“Why yes sonny,” said the old man in a crackly voice, his hands pressing his cane down upon the cloud to steady himself a bit. “As a matter of fact, I was a carpenter back on earth. How did you know?”
“Oh my God!” Jesus thought, his heart pacing. “(Well, come to think of it, I am God. Or more precisely, one Member of the Trinity. Jesus ((that’s me!)) this stuff confuses me so much sometimes). Oh my God!!!! Can it be? Could it be?!!!!!” Jesus decided to venture one more question.
“Say, old man. Back on earth, did you sort of have a son? I mean, not really have a son, but sort of have a son?”
“Why yes, sonny. As a matter of fact, back on earth I did sort of have a son…not really have a son…but sort of had a son.”
Jesus’ heart practically leapt out of his body. “Oh my God!!!! Jesus Christ!!!!” he thought. He joyfully rose from his desk, arms outstretched. “Father!!!!!!”
The old man raced towards the Pearly Gates as fast as his aged body would let him. He flung his cane away. Arms outstretched in preparation for a deep embrace, he cried out: