Two Civil Rights Leaders at the Pearly Gates

It is rare that I speculate about the after life and rarer still that I anthropomorphize it, but I suppose childhood visions of heaven get stuck in our heads.  I amused myself while trying to fall asleep last night with this vision.

The line-up was longer than usual at check-in, due to COVID-19 and the sheer psychic exhaustion of 2020.  C.T. Vivian and John Lewis stood in the line and were enjoying a catch-up when someone shuffled up behind them.

"Yes, lads. What are we at?"

Their first reaction was alarm.  Lads??????  They turned around slowly. 

"Oh, it's OK.  It's just John Hume from Derry. Great to see you, John."  
"Good to see youse both."

As they began with pleasantries fit for men of their situation (Do you think they'll have baps/fritters/fifteens/fill-in-the-blank -- because the doctor has had me on a scarcity diet for the past two decades.....,) they were interrupted by a call from an ambient loudspeaker inviting "John" to skip the queue and go to the front of the line.  Lewis and Hume glanced at each other and paused.

"Could you use a last name, please?"

"First names only -- it's a rule."

"Well, there are two of us."

Both men were invited to move to the front.
St. Peter stood there with a clipboard.  "OK, let's get this snafu sorted. I need John the civil rights leader."

"That's right."  

"I am looking for the John who was attacked by police, beaten, sprayed with water hoses, simply for seeking equality and justice for his people."

They stared at him.

"Hmmmm, OK.  Well, which of you started out locally in your own community, got involved in the large scale movement for civil rights as a young man, and went on to become one of the most inspiring statesmen of your generation?"

"That was him," they said, pointing to the other.

"OK, then," said St. Peter. "Let's try another tack, shall we?  It says here your hometown is considered a bit of a backwater?"  

The two men grinned at each other and nodded.

"Says here the John I am looking for was involved in something called, "Bloody Sunday?"
Both men became quiet.  They stayed that way, as if remembering.

"Ummmmm, well, here -- you were raised in the Christian faith and stayed devout for the whole of your lives."

"Yes," in stereo.

"Fine," St. Peter sighed.  "Here's one -- I am sure it can only relate to one of you ---- it says here you are very much associated with the word 'trouble.'"

Lewis and Hume laughed.  Hume pointed at Lewis, "He's the man for good trouble."  And Lewis pointed to Hume, "And this one, he helped put an end to the Troubles."  

St. Peter shook his head and said, "I give up.  Well, then, let me welcome you both to paradise."

Hume and Lewis entered the gates, to be met by a very-cleaned-up looking John Prine, with his guitar.  Eyebrows were raised.  Prine in heaven?  

"It's a bit of a work-study program," Prine admitted sheepishly.  I'm working my way up with my music.  Can I give you gentleman a song?"

John Lewis was partial to Angel from Montgomery.  John Hume wanted to hear, "Hello in There." Then, they caught each other's eye, smiled, and lit up, "We know --- we want the Happy Enchilada song!"  

And just like that, we had two fierce, loving and brilliant new angels.