7- Wartime in Lalaland

Part 7 in the series God the Love Story Autumn

I could not believe that the Commander was leaving me! He had hardly taught me any of the commands. I didn‘t know whether or not I should get up and chase after him? I still didn’t know enough of the commands to be able to resist corruption and mortality. I felt doomed. As my mind grappled with these thoughts he was getting farther away from me and it would be harder to catch up on those awful pebbles. I had no choice so why was I wasting time?

Without another thought I stood up and tried to run after him. My feet hurt terribly but I couldn’t allow myself to think about that.

“Commander, wait for me! I need you! Please don’t go!” I shouted as loud as I could.

To make matters worse a forceful cold wind blew in from the mountainside. I wasn’t prepared. The wind was getting stronger and stronger. It was a tornado-wind and not empty either, sand from under the pebbles filled the air so I could hardly see as I tried desperately to scurry up to the commander who never even looked back for me.

“Fairies help me!” I shouted as my body pushed against the wind. This time they didn’t come.

“You will never make it! He left you because you are a pathetic creature. You dare to aspire for immortality and yet you cling to your ego and your lusts.”

“What! Who said that?” Those words were so hurtful; I didn’t know if they came from my own mind or if I was being haunted by a demon.  

“Go away, I hate you!” I shouted at the air as I tried to run on the pebbles through the sandy wind.

Again the faceless voice tried to torment me, louder it said, “Don’t you know why he left you? How you insist in having it all your way, you write your scripts and follow them, you judge everyone around you by your own standards, and condemn them when they fail to be exactly like you. You refuse to die to self. You wouldn’t be caught dead on a cross. Hopeless, you’re hopeless and the little man didn’t want to waste any more of his time on you, nor did he want to argue with you. That’s not his way.”

I was still running but the Commander was no longer in sight. The pain in my feet became too great and the voice too strong for me so I collapsed to cry. I covered my head with my arms to try to protect myself from the voice. I cried louder and louder so I wouldn’t have to hear the voice. No matter how loud I cried, I could still think. Perhaps the voice was right. I remember trying to challenge the Commander when I asked him if God could love me as I was, and not as the person the commands wanted me to change into.  Then I could see that God wanted me to practice holy-cooperative-suicide, the likes of which accompanied Jesus on the cross and as long as I insisted on being myself and lazy at that, I failed God’s purpose. I could no longer be called a true aspiring immortal, perhaps only a highway Christian.

At that point in my thoughts, I felt a hand touch my shoulder. In fear I cried louder hoping it would go away and leave me alone in my misery. I may as well even give up trying to go to Christmas I thought. Life is over for me. I will succumb to corruption and mortality like everyone else. That thought brought more tears and louder sobs. Who was I to think I could ever hold the infant Christ in my arms? The touch turned into a tap. I had forgotten that perhaps I was not alone.

Whether it was bravery or utter surrender I do not know but I lifted my head out of its cave of arms and could hardly believe what I saw. The Commander and a fairy stood over me.

“Get up!” he ordered. “We have work to do! There are others you must meet on this path before you can get to Christmas and we are almost there. You can’t afford to spend too much more time learning the commands. Get up I tell you. You mustn’t dawdle. Study this.” And he threw a small book at my feet.” 

12- To See God

This entry is 12th in the series God the Love Story

When Abraham told me to be gone I didn’t dare look back. I was so anxious to arrive at Christmas that I walked faster and with a little skip in my step. The air had turned cool and crisp. It felt so good that I took several deep breaths.

I was glad to have some time alone with my thoughts as I reflected on what Abraham told me. "To gain spiritual sight draw near the source of light." That reminded me of the passage in Isaiah where he said, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned." Isaiah 9:2. At Christmas, the light of Christ rises on all who sit in the darkness of mortality. How wonderful it will be to the Christmas light.

Suddenly a man appeared by my side. “I am Moses and I have been sent to teach you about spiritual sight.”  

“Nice to meet you Moses,” I said respectfully, wondering where he came from and then not so respectfully added, “Aren’t you about the only person who actually saw God with your eyes? How can you teach me about spiritual sight?”

Untouched by my jab Moses replied, “Just as God called me to the top of Mount Sinai, you too can see God by climbing the mountain that Noah set before you.”

“Mountain, what mountain must I climb?” I said, fearing the worst.

“Remember Noah told you to ‘Listen to your conscience’ ‘Obey the commands’ and ‘Gain spiritual sight’. The order was no accident; it forms a mountain you must climb to see God.”

The conscience, often easy to hear, is the foot of the mountain. To master the commands is to climb the mountain. You may not ever want to kill or steal, but perhaps you are tempted to lie, and find it impossible to love your enemy. At the top of the mountain you will see God and through eyes like His you will see all of mankind as He sees us.”

“Spiritual sight is easy for demons because they are spirit. Remember in the Gospels how many times demons recognized Christ’s divinity? That was spiritual sight. When a human consciously tries to become like God then the spiritual becomes more vivid because God is spirit. Being like God, we can see others as He does. That is the kind of spiritual sight Noah meant. To gain spiritual sight without obeying the commands is demonic. With all of their spiritual sight, demons will not obey God’s commands.”

 “But Moses, all of this seems too difficult, almost impossible. Please tell me about mercy and forgiveness.”

“I cannot teach you about mercy.” Moses bowed his head slightly and added. “Remember that when I hit the rock twice I was not allowed enter the Promise Land even after leading God’s people there for forty years. No, sadly, I cannot teach you about mercy, only that it can’t be assumed. There comes one after me who  better qualified. I must be on my way and so must you. Merry Christmas my aspiring immortal friend, I hope you make it.” And with that Moses vanished as quickly and as surely as he appeared. 

The Truth About Mercy -14

This is the 14th entry in a series entitled God, the Love Story Autumn  

This journey of mine to Christmas began when the leaves were blazing reds and yellow, but it has been many weeks since I could comfortably call this the Love Story Autumn. The world around me now is quite white and quite cold. So much of the living has fallen into frozen hibernation. The best part is that snow has compacted onto and between the pebbles at my feet so the road that tortured me so on warms days is now smooth and quite flat. I can ignore the cold because of the fire that blazes in my heart to reach the infant Christ.

As much as I long to cradle the Son of God and the Son of Man in my arms, I long to understand mercy.  I am pretty sure that King David will soon appear and he will tell me all I want to know. If anyone understands mercy it must be David who was so awful but who wrote all of those exquisite psalms.  

It has been several days and nights since I have met soul or fairy. All of the hustling and bustling to decorate and bake and buy, wrap and send gifts and cards, sing songs and partake in parties has kept most mortals and aspiring immortals alike blinded to this path.

“We’ve been here!” chimed the littlest fairy that appeared in front of my eyes. “You have simply been too engaged in your own thoughts to see or hear us!”

“I don’t believe you! It’s impossible. I haven’t seen any of you fairies in weeks.” I said challenging the fairy to be completely honest with me.

Stopping the argument at its inception, she said, “I know someone who knows about mercy even more than David, you should learn from her.” And then the little fairy landed on a bare branch next to a bright red cardinal.

Astounded, I stopped dead in my tracks in front of the cardinal and fairy and asked, “Who can that be?”

The fairy leaped onto the back of the cardinal in shear merriment and together they circled me like a merry-go-round. “Stop that! I need to know about mercy!”

“It is our Mother, silly!  Who else?” the little fairy chirped.

“Well then where is she?”

“You can’t see our Mother, but you can obey her. She is the Bride of Christ. She is in your heart and in the halls of scholars and in cathedrals and chapels. Our Mother knows.”

Now you are being evasive. My time grows dangerously short. At this point I fear that I will never witness the birth and you are telling me to leave this path to seek our invisible Mother. Impossible!”

“I beg your pardon!” The littlest angel sounded genuinely angry with me. “Our Mother is not invisible by any means. She is concrete and wood and flesh, She is stained glass and volumes, She is blood and sweat and tears.” And calming down a notch she added, “Don’t worry, Annabelle here can tell you what She teaches on mercy.” Then my little fairy friend alighted from the cardinal as Annabelle appeared.

“We must keep moving, but listen carefully.” Annabelle said. “Everything that I say is true; don’t doubt a word, obey mercy and you will be closer to immortality than you have ever been before.”

“Mercy is both spiritual and corporal. Spiritual acts of mercy are (1) to admonish sinners because in fact you do not want them to suffer as a result and hope that others will admonish you when you veer from the path (2) to instruct the ignorant because the darkness of ignorance makes life so much more difficult and dangerous than it needs to be. Yes, instruct the ignorant and seek instruction. (3) counsel the doubtful. Doubt is quicksand, such mercy can save a soul from destruction. (4) comfort the sorrowful and watch mercy turn despair into humility and dust into gold. (5) suffer wrongs patiently, your pride will burn like candle wax to light the path to immortality. (6) forgive injuries that you may be forgiven. As you see pilgrim, mercy is so much more than forgiveness though. Finally, (7) pray for others, both living and dead who may not be able to beseech God to grant their wishes.”

Mercy sounded like more commands to me.  

Reading my mind Annabelle said, “Becoming immortal is active. No one is making you aspire to immortality.”

“Please continue. Of course I will do whatever is needed and I am happy to.”

Annabelle went on, “Corporal acts of mercy are more practical, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, ransom captives, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and bury the dead. The more you give, the wealthier you become. Do these things and you won’t have to go around seeking and begging for mercy; mercy will come to you. Got it?”

At this Annabelle smiled such a big glowing smile that I swear she grew.  Suddenly I looked up to see that I was approaching a regal figure.  

“King David, is that you?” and without another thought I fell at his feet.

“Yes, he said, extending his hand to lift me. I took his hand, kissed it in gratitude for the psalms and slowly arose. Once up I became mesmerized by David’s green eyes. He looked at me and said, “Let me join you in these last days. Together we will greet my Son and my Lord.”

The Path of Kings -15

This is the 15th entry in the series, God, the Love Story about walking the path through autumn to Christmas.

In silence King David and I walked side by side. I had many questions for him, but he seemed so determined to arrive at the manger in time that I supposed he didn’t want to waste a minute chatting. I was grateful just to be near him. By his gate and his being David revealed himself to me. Do you know what I mean? When you are near someone, how if you try, you can pick up their vibrations, vibrations of attitude and experiences that emanate from deep within. Well, maybe it helped to know David’s psalms. I had memorized as many as my brain or time would allow.

As dusk fell upon us stars appeared in the sky. It was beautiful! Hundreds and hundreds of stars forming all sorts of constellations. I tried to see if I could recognize any of them, even the big dipper which is the very easiest to find, when David grabbed my hand. “Please, there is no time to look at the stars, the path is coming to an end; look, here are my friends let us join them.”

Sure enough right in front of us was the end of my beloved road and three men wearing long colorful tunics and golden turbans. Before I could ask how we would find our way with no road, David pulled me over to meet the three kings! They looked just like they do in the story books. “Where have you been?” one king asked in an obviously irritable tone of voice.   

“I’m sorry, my little companion here had a lot to learn and it took time. Where is the star?”

The magi pointed to a large glowing star the likes of which I have never seen in my life and said, “Come quickly, let us continue our journey.”

By now I could not contain myself. I had to ask, “King David, how did these men know what the star would lead them to?”

He replied, “When they started their pilgrimage in Persia, you may know it as Iran, and the star first appeared, they were told that the star would take them to the king of the Jews so they followed it.”

Curious, I asked, “What could they benefit by seeing a king of another country so far away from theirs? Why would they want to worship a baby who could do nothing for them?”

David didn’t reply. The kings were walking so fast I had to jog from time to time just to keep up.

But walking fast didn’t keep me from thinking. These are strange men indeed.  They are Persian, barbarians; they have nothing in common with the Jews. What could a Jewish infant king do for them? Won’t they be surprised to see him in a manger and not in a castle? How long will they stay?

Then I remembered something and tugged at David’s belt after I caught up with him. “King David!” I said, “I don’t think we should be walking with these men. They are going to bring much danger to the infant Christ when they tell Herod that they are looking for a rival king! Let’s leave them now! I don’t want Mary and Joseph to hate me!”

King David was nice enough to answer me, “Relax my child. By now Mary has learned that danger is an illusion. God will protect her and certainly her infant Son. She will not blame us, or even the magi.”

Having broken his precious silence already, I asked more, “King David, don’t you know that stars go from west to east and we are going from north where these Persian’s came from, south to Jerusalem. This can’t be a star. Also, we can see it during the day. No one can see stars in daylight. And a star could never point out as small a thing as one little town or a little barn or especially a baby in the barn.”

“Shhh!” David exhorted me to stop the questions and I did as we kept walking fast but in silence. Many hours later, we all paused for a water break. Then kind King David pulled me aside and whispered,

“God neither sent these men prophets nor angels because like the Jews they would not have believed them, but rather he sent something familiar and nonthreatening to their sense of reason, a star. Thus little by little God drew these men to greater and greater knowledge. This so-called star was sent to Persia to bring these three men to the manger to confirm to the Jews what their own prophets foretold.  And as for Herod, don’t fret; driving this holy family into Egypt was important to God. It was to recall Jacob’s (a.k.a. Israel) beloved son Joseph who was driven into Egypt by hatred and there saved all [the tribes] of Israel. What man intends for evil, God uses for good.”   

One of the magi then came to fetch us, “We must be going, come quickly.”