First Published as “Judas’ Story” by A Church For All on 4/1/16
I had a dream that I went to heaven and visited with God. When I got there God looked up from his work, smiled at me, and said “what are you doing here? You’re not expected yet.” I could tell God WAS expecting me and this was God’s tactful way of telling me that I had strayed from my plan again.
Instead of scolding me as I was expecting, God took the day off to spend time with me. We walked through the gardens, along the beach, hiked through the forest, and climbed the mountain. When we returned we reached God’s door just in time to turn around and watch the sun set on the water. I laughed in delight at God’s perfect timing and turned to God to ask with a grin on my face “Did you plan this?”
We had talked and visited all along the way and I was very comforted. But, God could tell something was still troubling me – something we hadn’t talked about yet.
“Tell me” God said. And I began to tell him about how I had recently been to church (last Sunday was Easter and we both know that’s the day I go to church) and how the story of Judas had upset me. Judas seemed so essential to the story and I was confused that God had used him like that. The story seemed to betray everything I thought I knew about God. Where was God’s love for Judas? Where was Judas‘ redemption? How could he let him kill himself like that in sorrow and destitution?
God was quite for a second, letting me catch my breath and finish my rant. When I had quieted down, God spoke with sad but kind and gentle words “I think I’ll let Judas tell you that story, It’s really his to tell”. Then Judas came into the room slowly and shyly. I smiled at him and took his hand and then hugged him, because somehow I knew that this is what I would want from me, and that it was the right thing to extend to him. We paused for a second sharing the warmth of kindness and then he led me to a great room in God’s house.
“What is this room?” I asked.
“This is God’s room of stories. It houses the perfect edition of each of our lives.” He paused for a second as I took it all in secretly wondering where mine was. “Can I tell you my story?” he asked me. I nodded yes. I felt familiar with his story, but maybe there was something I had missed or something he still needed to re-share with me. Considering his past, it seemed too intimate a request to deny. Then, he began to share his story.
When he was done I looked up with tears in my eyes. “But, that’s not the story I have been told! This is a beautiful story. Everything important still happens exactly the way it was supposed to; but, so much better! This story makes me wish I had been you, and this was my story to tell! Why didn’t it happen this way? Look at how much better the world would have been!”
Judas was also crying. “Yes”, he said. “What you just experienced is the story as God originally wrote it… without all my changes. As you know, he was still able to use me, but not to the full glory of the original manuscript. What you know about me was not Gods plan, it was mine. I heard the voice of God, but chose to listen to my own voice instead.”
Then God came in to the room and comforted us.
“Is my story here as well God? Will you let me read it?” I asked afraid of the answer. And God let me read my story. God let me read it right up to the present day – to that very moment.
It was such a better story than the one I had been living.
I was sad and quite when the story was lifted from my hands. I was so disappointed about all the gifts God had planned for me, but that I had missed out on.
“Is there any way to get back on track?” I asked. “Is there any way to get back to living your plan?”
“Yes, but I can’t give you the gifts back that you have already missed out on.
You chose not to take them.
However, no matter how off track you are, I can always use the choices you have made to put you BACK on track. Stop looking behind you, and know that you still have gifts in your future. Listen to my voice, and only mine. Be obedient to my will, and you will always find your path to me. That is my plan for you.”