Power and success, those rolls of belly fat he can not seem to dispose of even with the most expensive pills and liposuction, they hang even on his jowl’s, then again perhaps they dwell there pulling on a mouth that lies even to people he loves with the same ease a swine wallows in its own muck. Never has it been difficult to muster, the collection of every earthly thing he desires around him, for he has managed all to easy his money, the control and manipulation throughout sectors that grant making more so easy he can hardly remember if or when he has ever lost anything. A world within this world, this inter dimensional internet environment of imaginary power and control has become, creating in it an entire kingdom of people, uses, slaves, services, all serving him, all geared to the interaction of the demands he places in and around the circle of influence, the vault of money he alone has the key to unlock.
Over the years of his long child’s life, he has enjoyed the always fully fed feeling with its many acclimates offered in their bare breasted embellishments, the wining beggars with hand kissing reverence always having fixed eye on his money pile craving the success he sits upon, the top of the hill, there is only room for one. The more money he made, the more praise and reverence people offered, in general their prayer’s, their lusting requests for some of his gold washed across him in adorning grandeur, in their postulated offers of friendship always seemed to stroke his wallet more so then his own belief of how he really felt they perceived him as a person. Even his own wife and children would do just about anything he asked, just to taste the sweet feel of the cold paper in their wanting grip, how he more then often saw the sadness in their eyes, was that but a reflection of disgust he felt when considering their requests, oh sure he would dispensed at his discretion only with the strictest self acclimation, for he knew deep down in his own heart never would he give, if it didn’t benefit him in some way. He smiles softly to himself with this very revelation.
A small advertisement suddenly flashes across the screen, a white laced banner-add moving slowly across the monitor in a rather slow parading fashion, crossing the tables of his stock and asset portfolios, “Well, how dare they advertise their crap across my scream!” he says to himself, as he chases his curser to try to click the “X” in the corner. His mounting irritation adding to the blaze of his own anger, for what he doesn’t exactly know, but almost immediately notices is the content of the add, a Christian add!, “Give up your treasure on earth, look to Jesus, for he would have you free of their chains”. He blurts out in almost rancid scorn “I bet He would!, steal my money, or worse yet give it to people who are either to stupid or to lazy to earn it themselves!” The man pauses ever so momentarily, even under his breath, as he quickly clicks away the banner.
“Ouch!” He feels a sharp nail like prick pricks just behind his eye. How irritating something can be when it pesters us from those things we would rather do! His mind wanders slightly back to the days of himself as a young man; strong, confident, so much so he knew he didn’t need anyone or anything, only the product of his own talent and strength. Working in the hot summer sun hanging roofing material can be heavy work even for the strongest back. He sees himself and his friend up on ladders, lifting a large piece high above their heads as his boss tries with less skill and much more brute strength to hold it up and manage to attach it. “It is so hot the sweat is running in my eyes!” his friend says in what amounts to just a little self pity. “This is got to be what hell feels like!” he continues with only a bit of a laugh. “Na, hell can’t be this bad, I’d like to see what all the fuss is about!” our young man of confidence says with a casual laugh, as he presses the one side of a heavy beam up and attaches the screw with only one free hand.
The pain is sharp, but quickly moves out in a rippling wave-like fashion, a quiver of a muscle pulling sensation it almost draws his head slightly to the right as the muscles quickly release their pinching grip. Suddenly his mind remembers days of old, a flash of an almost video like performance across his eye when he was but a small child, his a father cold and solemn man pushing away a toy from his young hand, “We don’t have time to play, boy! Cows need to be milked! Where do you think the food comes from!” His father grabs his arm less then gently, and shakes him a moment to emphasize the point, but fear in his young heart was enough, as he shoves him aside with a bit of harshness, the so-called father storms out of the room. A tear flows even today, from that now blurry right eye.
What a strange sensation of warmth that radiates across his head just deep behind his eye and ear. Images dance across the clouded eye the theatre screen of his mind, his beautiful wife dressed in whites purity smile, draped flower cool cobble stone walks of window shopping, a soft sheet to the face pillows scented warm kiss, the tender red lips of a spring scented bouquet of dreams a life anew, her bright eyes calling in their own sweet sounds a hope for peace somehow expected in promises of his love. His children’s lives their baby steps in soft flowered feet, a father dreams for them every hope piling up like golden bricks in an uncompleted corner room, forgotten but now suddenly seen, the times he had hoped for but never found even minutes to experience, always the numbers, the gold coins, the cars, the women, the trinkets. Cries even wails of tear filled plea’s spill out from a wife, his baby as he calls from outside a locked and barred heavy wood door, old and rotted its timbers snarling a laughing grin back at him. He licks dry mouth with a tongue now swollen and lifeless as the memory makes it extremely difficult to swallow.
The warmth spreads strangely across the side of his face and an even stranger inertness of almost emptiness replaces the prickling sensation of earlier, a dark cold void in-folds within an area that only moments before was filled with warmth and light, parts of him vaguely seem to be pulling away from themselves and the fabric of a minds pirouettes continue to meander across the wooden floor of his life even if starting to unravel. He sees with almost telescopic clarity an adult life filled with so many times he has taken from others, innocent people kneeling, children he himself has pledged love begging to him in their spirits, pleading for mercy and reflecting back a man incapable of seeing it over the wall of gold right in front of his face, stealing for no other reason than because he can. Feeding that black hole that rests just below the spot he now can not swallow past, he has an almost visual effect of some pathetic greedy fat cat, choking on a massive fur ball while clawing hungrily at everything around it, fearing even one small marble will escape, yet hardly being able to hold the massive horde in it’s arms. “They’re mine!”, his own mind says in desperation to hold them.
He reaches with his left hand for his drink of Glenfiddich and coke, funny as he grabs, he notices his fingers and arm are not there? The warmth spreading now into his neck and face, maybe beyond the dark crevice that was behind his eye is now a gaping void harboring a fearful something, like the lurking creature he just knew loomed under the bed of his youth. There is a strange absence from an entire part of his body, no correct that, as if the whole left half of the physical universe has vanished. The screen begins to blur, another banner add; “Believe, Jesus died for your sins!” Did it say that? He can hardly tell, maybe even dreamed it, but the Word “Jesus” seemed to glow with its own incandescent light. The Word falls aways like looking through eyes while starting to fall up. Still that overwhelming feeling he must say he is sorry to people he has stolen from, destroyed, hated, no, one more then some, dreams taken and tossed aside, shekels’ all for a life of taking.
A tear falls not from his face but as a booming of the now fading drum that putters to a slowing stop in the far distant echoes of a darkening picture before his eyes, an almost blurred tunnel vision of rainbow grey’s and pastel shades. What is that smell? He suddenly slants to a completely different direction of its own will. Forgotten almost as fast the many memories he so eagerly tries to hold on to, almost trying to grasp the running spilling water of a broken faucet or hold on to blowing breezes as they whirl by. The last thing he sees is that Word Jesus across his screen, he can almost see himself from an increasing distance, sitting there staring at that monitor with a goofy bent smile, slumped over, hand clenched on some paper from his desk, nowhere near the drink he reached for.
Whats going on? He knows almost before the question ponders the edges of his thoughts, billowing flashes of radiant rainbows, colors and smells of a lifetimes experiences fly past so fast he can hardly realize each, yet he feels them all completely and fully, much more then even the first time, years of touches, smiles, words, tears, hungry children reaching hands for him as he over and over again turns his back. A tunnel of life’s experience pulsating towards a central light so bright and pure he can hardly look at its edges. Feelings, cascading across memories blend within every action he has taken and pulsate with the result of those, he sees so many faces, so many words, every word he has ever spoken, every blessing those words have given and the so many more curses they have caused. Everything, everyone, every speck of a single word blends into a rainbow of speeding light.
He, or at least that which was him, the being that he is aware of himself speeds up, beautiful and pure in an almost baby like freshness, but there is suddenly a pulling at one of the sides of his face, a cold grip stinging in heated scratch, he wants so desperately to look at the light, he just can’t, like a little child to embarrassed to look a teacher in the face after steeling a toy, the degradation of the cruelty now digging its animal claws into the side of his face, neck, and ripping mercilessly down his back, the stench of the guilt splitting through his insides gives him such terror, for he can not bring himself to look ahead. He knows about all the dirt that lies under the now gashed skin, the entire life of seeking self, only self, throwing so many babies into the fire, even his own children, his beautiful loving wife, wallowing in the greedy lust through beds of filthy spit and sweat, golden walls of coins stolen from children who needed them for food or dreams, that they would now never see.
Just as fast as his head turns away, or he turns it away, the picture of what lies before changes into a darkness like no black he has ever seen, or even imagined. Not reflecting anything, or even a flat dull in a night like finish, but devoid of substance real, imagined, or created, a complete absence of anything and all. Terror grips him, but at the same time a feeling of remembrance for that part of him lying under the skin, the hungering, lusting, angry cries of past memories fleshly earth recognizing almost pushing towards with a flash of their own supercharged explosions of anxiety filled actions through every once of his now plunging awareness. That which lingers beneath actually seems to be pulling towards the dark like mass reminiscent of some long lost severed dead limb clawing back to its black host.
Further he falls, deeper in the envelopment of the life sapping black tar he entwines. Now all of the darkest memories of every back act flashes before his eyes, magnifying-ly seeing fully every result the lake of tears, feeling every sting tasting filth that presses in on all sides like a mountain of suffocating blankets holding him in place restricting even breath enslaving his every movement, binding his very thoughts to subservient-hood, burning in his heart with all the total results of every thought, deed, missed opportunity, and word. Years and days play before his eyes in darkened shadows of guilt and anguish, seeing so many he has hurt, devastated, tormented, oh, his poor wife wallowing in pain and tears for the lost betrayed love she missed, as he slept with other women so many times in his mind and body. The broken hearts, like bones they snap with all their pain, so much greater in his use of all of them, as he watches himself taking hands and slowly mercilessly bending fingers until broken, it tears knife gouges across her heart and he sees the full effect his actions whipping mercilessly across her beautiful back.
He sits naked on cold floors of unforgiving metal, skin stuck in frozen pain, his mind kisses golden coins, as his children starve, a starvation of hearts. Hunger freezes its merciless touch causing his stomach to convulse as he belches up clots of rocky golden earth grinding its claws all the way along the surface of his throat. He feels the hunger he so mercilessly inflicted with his greed. The face of his own child, his son, as he pushed him away again and again and again, the hunger the child felt as a father takes the few crumbs of time from a pure baby boys plate and baths his filthy body in them. The image burns the coldest chill as a son who turns from loves expectation to a cold dark horizon, knowing full well nothing good rests behind him. He wants so desperately to cry out to him, but the pain in his own ears burst with the screams of all that dwell in the shadows around. No comfort, no rest, peace as absent as the light. A man lifts his head in silent scream, but even merciful air escapes not, anguish rips the very fabric of his mind.
Lingering all around are the pestering touches and stings of thousands of slithering creatures, hidden just within the dark, but a fraction of a space from delicate skin, they crawl mercilessly in and out every crevice of his body, biting and ripping pieces as they go, like the many events his life’s ambitions robbed from others, the plans he set, the contracts he had no intention of fulfilling, so bite each poisonous spider, sting each scorpion, each hidden worm, laying eggs that in turn hatch into hungry creatures of their own, feasting down to the bone, leaving nothing but pain. And with every unexpected memories action on his part, so does he receive an unexpected sting in the very place he hurt them. The burn of the poison in each case only mimics the pain and disfunction his own actions caused. Hidden just beyond ability to see, are growls of hate lurking, circling yet waiting for their own opportunity to pounce. The fear it induces forcing him to turn his head to and fro in frantic anticipation even if but to get some kind of merciful glance of the attack just before it lands. But the blackness shrouds it so thick, was his intent so contemplative there was no escape, no light?
It is but a moment, and yet he seems to have been here a millennium, so many days, weeks, years, all lined up waiting for their turn. Off in the distance he hears the approaching foot falls of something large, no, inconceivably dark and gigantic, for the creature which approaches has no problem demonstrating its intent; a complete ravishing of everything that it hates in what is left of him, the essence of humanity, he knows the coming ruler despises his very creation from the very bowels its existence. It has one intent, to use him to satisfy its own need for vengeance, to put under servitude and completely destroy any resemblance of the creation it loath’s with every fraction of the power and dark mass it has under its command. Only slightly less painful than the approaching rumblings of its steps coming steadily closer, is the constant and now deafening screams and wailings of other creatures around him, who can only moan in their anguish as they know fool well what approaches.
His eyes burn to but see a glimpse, but no light at all!
His ears burst in fright as blasts of footfalls strike hammer blows against that tender inner skin, pain with every step as they approach, no chance to escape, hide, or even move.
His every attempt as he squirms to escape is met with a boa constrictors response from the blankets of chains pressing in their merciless sting against his raw skin.
His mind races to the end of his life’s thoughts of maybe repaying debts owed, the now not so crazy notion of returning seven time what he stole.
Years of the Word passing across his mind , the foolishness he thought, the howling laugh of that which approaches, who is the fool now? His own non-existent need to believe in anything except himself!
Sitting at his desk, that banner that crossed his screen … the anger he felt, but then that last one; “Believe, Jesus died for your sins”
That last single word; “Jesus”.
He starts to scream in silent whisper, he can feel that word of “mercy” forming on his tongue. The creatures looming approach enveloping closer, taller, greater then the largest mountain before him and still closing. Its laughs are deafening and painful, now pressing every memory, every thought out of him except on that which approaches.
His lips wrap around the word, starting to form an “M”, desperately trying to push but a splinter of air out, he fills but a mouthful of hot dry dusty stinking air, and presses with the only given bit of the word the now monstrous creature sucks out of him in a last wills submission. He is doomed there is nothing good!
A single tear starts to form in one of the wide terror filled eyes of the poor child cowling on the freezing floor, skin burning in flamed intensity as the wind of the creature steps up. The child starts to expel’s his single word, the waiting lurking grimace of the mountainous creature stands waiting in expectant pompous domination, with a burst of but a single puff of air one word whispers out;
The child remembers his last thought, with a lightning blast of realization, his mind wraps around that last sight, “Jesus died for your sins”, they are not his sins, He took them, He paid the price, He bought my salvation with His pain, His blood, His death! YES he believes!
All the black memories fall off, just as fast as the dust and dirt in a warm winters shower. The blackness within him screams out of his body, fleeing for its own pathetic excuse of life, running from the light exploding from the smallest seed within.
In an instant he stands before One he immediately knows! Wearing simple linen, the fabric blazes with a light stronger than all the combined suns of the universe, for it is made of the very material the breaths life into the stars. He is girded in the middle with golden strands of living light, woven within the essence of all the life that feeds the very life we walk upon. Jesus smiles with a tender understanding love, that brings a completion to the tear falling now from a child’s eye. He reaches ever so softly to the cheek of the young boy, barely a teen in age by stature, and takes the tear as it gently rolls down his face.
The Son of David turns His hand over, clearly seen is the nail scar on his wrist, and shows the now perfectly formed diamond, the tear turned into a gem resting comfortably in the Fathers hand. “I don’t understand?”, a son not so much says, as thinks. “I was in hell, why am I here?”, the young boy asks with the strangest confusion of question and gratitude.
The King of the Universe, looks at him with eyes penetrating every area of a blue sky in their own reflecting color, looking right into the very soul of our young man, He almost merely puts the thoughts in, but speaks in a voice so soft and peaceful, the child can clearly taste the sweetest fragrance of flowered tenderness, clean and pure like babies breath, the very Words caressing his body and ears like the most loving touch. “You believed at the very point of your death, it took you a moment to understand the forgiveness that belief grants.”
“You experienced but a fraction of a heartbeat in hell, but enough to go back and understand.” His words just beginning to register as the wisdom of everything The Lord just shared filtered through his young mind. “Plus, remember you asked all those years ago to see what all the fuss was about”, the Lord of Heaven and Earth says with just a casual smile.
The Lion of Judah continued; “Remember what is written; I believe, now help me with my unbelief.” “You believed in an instant, but had to go through your life’s experiences to gain the wisdom to ask Me to help you truly understand the significance of that forgiveness.”
“Why do I have to go back?” tears now welling up in his eyes again, for he has clearly no desire to leave perfect peace, contentment, a feeling of being connected in every way not only with God, but with every other being up here. A total fulfillment like nothing he has maybe only felt way back in the womb.
“You have to go back, it is your becoming not only a believer, but a disciple, that is your calling. It was the prayers for your salvation, even from those of the people you had hurt, that sent that banner across your screen.” Jesus says with a subtle, yet completely commanding voice, a Fathers perfect encouragement, leaving no doubt it is not a discussion, but merely a statement of what is perfect and good for the order of the Kingdom, “Your work is not finished.”
“So close you were to being lost!” Understanding rings His face, an aurora of musical harmonic light in soft tones of every color of the rainbow, plus many never before seen by man. It encircles Him as clearly as the perfect red-brown wavy hair that almost moves with the gentle breeze of His words, their every movements bringing yet again another bouquet of fresh smells, and feast of flavors.
“When you go back you will know what to do.” answering his question even before the boy can even think it. And then softly and with the love of the most assured Brother, He touches the shoulder of the slightly older young man before Him, a blaze of tunnels light, a falling though memories again, never does our young man take his eyes off the Eyes of the One in the center of the Light even as he travels far back to life.
“You have a lot to do and only a little time to do it.” The soft words echoing as the Lord of All fades from view, leaving only a small speck of light in his now closed eyelids.
Red lit darkness of the inside of his own closed eyes, oh!, he is back. The old man opens his eyes slowly to brightness of artificial lights, his chest painfully coughs, as aching stomach and back muscles react to his minds commands to sit up. Paramedics, and even his old friend and family doctor from down the street almost holding him from sitting “You need to lie still, you suffered a stroke!”
He brushes their hands away, with a little more ability then they had thought possible, the confusion clearly registering across their faces as they stare in amazement. “Ridiculous, you have no idea what I have been through!” he says sputtering out words clearer and stronger then ever.
His own doctor now quickly assessing as much as possible, while attempting to listen to his request, “You have been dead, with no life signs at all for at least twenty minutes, the ambulance just arrived to take you to the morgue!” Confusion and astonishment no more evident than the face of who says the words, hardly comprehending the sight that is playing out before his own eyes.
“Well obviously I am alive now, help me up to my chair, I have a lot of work to do and hardly any time to do it!” the now a more vibrant man says with such authority, it leaves no doubt to anyone in the rooms mind it will happen. They lift him up, he looks at his own hand, now opening and closing at his will, for but a moment he smiles at this when his eye catches the face of his wife.
He reaches out a hand to call her close and as she moves up, he grabs her and hugs her as tears pour down his face, “I am so happy to see you again, I love you so much!” He can barely manage the words through emotion choked happiness, as he squeezes her closer then he has in over thirty years, she erupts in a happy release of tears and laughter.
He softly kisses her cheek over and over again, moving his now tear wet face only away softly, looks her right in the eyes and says;
“We have a lot do, and only a little time to do it!”
(to be concluded in part two)
By Peter Colla
“Dear Lord, I know You paid the price for my sins, and I ask you to wash them away, even from my memory as i know they have been placed from yours.”
*The above mentioned character is a fictitious representation, and if he or any other character in these blogs in any way resembles anyone known by the author, or reader, that is by coincidence and no way intended.