A naughty little boy, banished from heaven for a misdemeanour, can return if he observes and records seventy times seven acts of real goodness on earth. He manages to bargain God (who actually rather likes his mischievous ways) down to seven. God laughs and agrees. But the little boy, filled with fear and misgiving, still has to go.
He leaves and lands on earth with a bump. Distraught, lost, hungry, and desperately homesick he staggers through the streets, lost in this new culture and longing only to return to heaven. He meets many down-to-earth folk, kind and not kind, but, oblivious of his own acts of kindness, naively sees only the good in them (and any biscuits to assuage his growing hunger are constantly elusive).
At last he finds a friendly church community ( meeting again one of the people he’d encountered earlier). Rather against his wishes – he is terrified of not doing things right – they persuade him to come into a service. To his surprise he finds himself joining enthusiastically in the jazzy hymns. Then they let him help with the after-service tea and – joy – the crunchy biscuits. As a result he startles everyone in heaven by opting to stay on earth after all – ”they’re imperfect, just like me ”. And after all – as God (who has his own unexpected reasons) laughs – crunchy!
Written by Ruth Finnegan (UK)