An old woman died and came to heaven, where she was greeted by God. God smiled and embraced her in his arms. After a long life with many hardships all this love was too much for the woman, who started to cry.
“Why are you crying, my child?” asked God.
“Why! My life was full of hardship and suffering. I had to support my children all by myself, when you took my dear, dear husband away from me. I had to have two jobs to be able to feed my children. And then the youngest got ill and died, which broke my heart totally. And the war started with hunger and all that fear. People around me were tortured and killed. I was afraid all the time, nor only for myself but for all my children and grandchildren. And I have been sick and tired so long, the life was unbearable. That’s why I am crying. Why did you sent me to such a horrible place for so long time and gave me so much hardship? What bad have I done to you, my God, to deserve that?”
“Do you remember when you as child slept outdoor in the desert for the first time and saw the Milky Way and all the stars on the blackest of black sky? Do you remember the amazing sunset colors on the sky after a hot day? Do you remember the vibrant green of the plants and the smell from the first flowers in spring morning, after long, gray winter? Do you remember when you laughed with your siblings for something silly, so that tears run from your eyes and your stomach ached? Do you remember how it felt to dance the first time to a music that filled your heart with joy? Do you remember how it felt to fall in love when you met your husband? How the years with him filled you with almost unbearable happiness? Do you remember the feeling when you held your first-born in your arms the first time? “
“Yes, I remember those moments. I was so happy. But those moments lasted only too short time, and the bad things lasted so long.”
“Do you know that you are part of me, that I have experienced the life on earth through you?”
“No, that I didn’t know. But why?
Why do you want to experience so much unhappiness?”
“My dearest, the world where you lived is only one of many and those things that you felt as something bad are just the consequence of the design of the life on that planet. Life there evolves constantly to something new by forces that may feel gruel to you. It evolves through hardships, illnesses, by one living thing killing and eating the other. This design produces new ways to live all the time. And each these new living things experiences the life a bit differently. That means that I experience the life differently. It gives me big satisfaction to feel not only the happiness but also sorrow and suffering. I want to feel. My dearest, the life is after all quite short, isn’t it? And everything is best for the first time, don’t you agree? You remember the awe of first experiences forever. Therefore there needs to be death: so that you can start from the beginning again. Do you want to go back there to experience the sunsets, stars, nature, music, dance, love, joy and birth of a child again? Or do you wish this time to experience how it is to be a swallow?”
“Thanks God; I have always been a little jealous for the swallows. They seem to have a wonderful time flying so freely and wildly on the sky. May I consider this offer for a while? Earth was just so exhausting experience, I think I must rest for a while. “
“You know you can stay here for all the eternity if you wish, my dear child. “