In a small hamlet on the cliff of a mighty mountain, lived three men. They were men old in age and wise in different ways. One was a carpenter who learned the trade and knew the importance of hard work. Another was a Priest, having learned the word of his lord and knew the importance of spirit. And the last was a professor, knowing the facts of the world and knew that what was learned needed to be kept.
The three men met at the local pub. Just as they did every week since they were young. They talked normally. Eventually the topic of their old friend came up. He had died a month back and his seat was left empty. A great sorrow filled the atmosphere when the topic came up. It radiated from their booth.
“At least our friend is in a better place. I hope he’s enjoying his time in paradise”, said the preacher.
A moment of silence was given. The professor, not believing in the preacher’s religion, sat quietly and only nodded out of respect, but the carpenter spoke up.
“I’ve known for years there is no place after death. I loved the man, but why do you fool yourself with these delusions?”, said the carpenter.
“Now there’s no need to attack him like that! Don’t you have any tact?”, said the Professor.
“Why not! He stands up there preaching about this mystical crap! What am I supposed to do? Believe my good friend is up their dancing in the clouds? All that’s left of him is a corpse.”
The carpenter’s head fell into his hands. He broke down at that pub. The professor and the preacher comforted him in his time of need. He regained his composure.
“He was younger than all of us. Our time is coming up. Professor, your memory has failed often. Preacher, you no longer have the lungs to give your sermons, and my hands shake so bad I have trouble hammering a nail.”, said the carpenter. “We’re doomed to death I’m afraid.”
They all sat there in silence. The professor, realizing how little time he had, decided to head home. He didn’t believe in an afterlife, just like the carpenter. It was best to spend as much time with the woman he loved, while he had the time left. Cause he didn’t have eternity to love his wonderful wife. She and him reminisced on the many books, and the legacy he will be leaving behind. Knowing this, he was happy knowing that one day he might be cited in some student’s paper.
The preacher left with the carpenter, he decided to go to the altar at the wee hours of the morning. With what time he had left, he would pray to God to touch the carpenter, to show him the light. So that he could be happy in his last days. For in his faith, those who don’t believe are not granted eternal life. And even the preacher knew that the carpenter had no desire to believe. He looked back and saw the impact he made on the people of the hamlet. Knowing that he had guided them morally. He was content for eternity.
And the carpenter, sitting alone in his workshop with the lights off and sitting next to his worn tools, thought of his old friend. On the wall, pictures of them together enjoying each other’s company. He wept into his hands, and that night he passed. Maybe it was the Preacher’s God’s doing, but to him, it was the end. He continued to live throughout the town. Despite the carpenter’s belief, He had built up the hamlet. He had made the tables the families ate from. He made the houses they live in. He would live on after death, even if just a bit longer.
And eventually, they all were six feet under. Just like their friend, but something amazing had occurred. People continued. And not too long later, a new preacher preached, a new professor taught, and a new carpenter built. Life marched on.