With my heart still warm from the knowledge that the three Climacus gems imbued in me I continued to stroll down the Lenten shore. We pilgrims would cast knowing smiles to each other when we met on the path but we would never speak. I don’t know why not.
Naturally I preferred to look out to sea, but I should tell you that the shadows and noise from the buildings to the west were hard to ignore. The inhabitants of those buildings never came to the shore but on several occasions their magnetic energy nearly pulled me in and away from my path.
I longed for a time when I could qualify for a first class Lenten journey on a remote and lovely new shore but I knew that if I couldn’t be completely satisfied with my third class accommodations then I would never deserve better. So, I had to try hard to pretend that the city wasn’t there by looking down or out to sea as much as possible. If I were a horse I would have asked my master for blinders.
One evening before setting up camp to rest I spotted two new gems and rushed over to them.
Looking down upon them I suddenly realized that the noise wasn’t only coming from the buildings but from within. So I plopped myself down to receive their healing salve. Hopefully the gems would make the noise stop for me.
There were two gems. Unlike before, I sensed that I was to pick up one at a time. The first gem I picked up introduced itself as a Basil gem, for indeed it was a lovely luminous green. The Basil gem warned me not to walk alone too much. The gem explained that it is impossible to love and to be humble like Jesus Christ when there was no ugly one near to love or to challenge me. “The solitary pilgrim,” it explained, “only serves his own interests and is too easily defrauded.” I know that many people want to avoid the pain of arrows by trying to hide in isolation; too bad that such an easy true refuge does not exist. Basil reminded me that Jesus spent most of His time in the world interacting with people in small groups and large crowds. Then it asked me to place it back on the sand. Without hesitation I complied wanting to think more about Basil’s message.
The next gem I picked up was another Climacus gem. It told me that it was related to the earlier gems and was sent ahead to tell me more about how to manage incoming heart-targeted arrows. This gem was a twin, like an egg with a double yolk. It first asked me why humans, when they are making wine select only the ripest, sweetest grapes, but when it comes to picking characteristics in others we insist on choosing only the most sour and unripe qualities. Then the other twin answered its own question when it said: Humans seem to be naturally suicidal. Isn’t it bad enough that the heart has been hurt? Why do we continually remember a wrong thereby inflicting more damage than the initial wound? The twins then sang for me the most melodious lullaby I had ever heard. They resonated perfectly with each other, their harmony sounding like a large choir of angels.
Sufficiently shamed by their message but comforted by their chanting I set the twin Climacus gems down on the sand and fell into a deep sleep beside them.