God needed a sweet little kitten in Paradise. He looked down from heaven and saw Sultan, so full of love and sweetness, and decided to ask him if he would come with Him to Paradise.
“But my owner will be heart-broken if I go to live with You,” Sultan answered.
“Do not worry about your owner,” God replied, “when she knows that you have come to Paradise to be with Me, she will not be sad, for she knows that one day she will come to join you in My house. She will miss you, but she will know where you are, and she will be happy for you that you are with Me, for she will know that where you are, you are happy. She will know that you no longer feel any pain, and do not need to take pills anymore. I have heard her heart crying out to Me a thousand times to cure you of your illness so that you would no longer need to take pills, and she would no longer need to force you to.”
“I do not like taking pills, and I do not understand why I have to, but I know that if she makes me, there is a reason for it, and I still love her.”
“And that is why I need you in Paradise,” said God. “Because even though you do not understand the reason why you must experience unpleasantness, you trust and you continue to love where others might have become bitter. Your ability to love and to trust is much needed in Paradise. Your owner will understand that. This I promise you. And I promise you also that before long, you will be reunited with her in My house. This I also promise you.”
Sultan thought a bit and then asked, “Will I be able to come back to live with her if she misses me too much, or if I don’t like living in Paradise?”
“Alas no,” God replied sadly. “Once you are in Paradise, you cannot go back to the world of the living. But I also promise you that you will be happy in Paradise and that she will be happy for you. In time she will adjust to living without you around to cuddle and stroke, and the pain of your loss will fade.”
“But then she will forget me!!!” Sultan replied in alarm. “I have worked too hard to make her love me to go away and let her forget me!!”
God smiled at the little cat’s alarm.
“Do not worry little Sultan,” He said, “ she will never forget you. And she will never stop loving you. And while you may not come back to the world of the living, you will not be far from her. You see Paradise exists everywhere. It touches and surrounds the world of the living. It is only because they cannot see it that the living are not aware of it. For to see it, you need eyes of faith and a heart of love. And you need the trust of a child, or of a loving kitten. Your owner knows it is there, my sweet little Sultan. And she will know that you are still there, right beside her, even if she cannot see you with her physical eyes, for she will feel your presence with her heart. Do not worry little Sultan, she will not stop loving you.”
Sultan thought some more before asking, “Why not let her come with me? Then we would not have to be separated.”
God shook his head and said, “I still have things for her to do amongst the living, and your brother also still needs her there with him. And no, sweet Sultan, his day for Paradise has not come yet either. I need him to stay with her in the land of the living for a while longer. But you I need in Paradise today.”
“Then may I at least wait for her to come home before I leave, so that I may say good-bye?” Sultan asked God.
God shook his head again. “I am afraid that you must come now. The need for a kitten of your qualifications in Paradise is so great that it cannot be put off for even a few hours, and before you even ask, my dear little Sultan, no, there are no other kittens in the land of the living who can fill the spot in Paradise. Therefore you must come.”
“But I cannot leave her just like that,” Sultan protested.
“She will understand, my little one. And I will not leave her alone to face it. I will send someone she already knows to support and comfort her, and she will know that I have called you and that you have come with me. And he will remain with her as long as she needs him to. In fact, he will not leave her.”
Sultan thought it through thoroughly. On the one hand, he did not want to leave his owner, for he knew she needed him to love her. But on the other hand, God needed him desperately in Paradise. Then he remembered that his owner had always said that you must do what God asks of you, even if you didn’t really want to, because God had a plan and we were all part of it. What all of this meant, Sultan could not understand. He was after all only a little kitten with a heart full of love. He had never expected to find himself talking with God. But he knew that doing what God asked of him was the right thing, because his owner had said so many times. And he knew that when his owner got home and saw that he had done what God asked of him, she would be proud of him. And God had promised that they would not be separated from each other forever, after all. One day, they would all be reunited.
Sultan, the brave little cat that he was, made his decision.
He said to God, “I will die right now and come with you God, because you have need of me in Paradise.”