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    « 21-Lucifer Has A Moment of Triumph | Main | Bite 19--Truth Stranger Than Fiction »
    Thursday
    Jan122012

    Bite 20--Myths, Archaeology, Tolkien & Spiritual Cowardice

    (excerpt pp. 37-39)

                          Chapter Four

                                       Grace

    When the hand of Adonai reached to stir away the smoke and fumes, a deafening celestial cheer shook the heavens while the earth roared and rumbled to greet its Maker.  Pure power coursed through Rapha’s frame, renewing him as completely as the freshly formed mountain ranges and lush valleys that rejoiced to hear the Maker’s long awaited summons.  The scent of warmed soil and life-sustaining flora rose to heaven, the sweet incense of Earth’s gratitude. 

    The land once again felt the hoofs and pads of life teeming across grass-covered slopes, the swirl of fins through sun-warmed streams and the stir of feathers on the wind as the leaves of tall trees and the chatter of waters answered Adonai’s laughter.  Earth was pulsing with the life’s blood of its creator. 

    The scent of new life intoxicated Rapha.  Atop a fragrant hill he dug his hands into fresh, fertile soil, all the more rich for its years of disuse, and swore he could feel Earth’s heartbeat throbbing through his fingers, sharing with him an almost unbearable joy.  It had been too long.  He had hardly realized how much he missed the simple stability of Earth’s rhythm. 

    That was it!  The ebb and flow was addictive to a tired soul that had experienced too much.  Perhaps the enemy still plotted revenge for ancient grievances, but the birds, flowers, and padding wildlife were free of it.  Evil had no hold on fresh, earthly thoughts. 

    With a rumbling laugh Rapha flung his arms wide and felt the updraft of warmth rising from the sun-teased mountain lake far below.  If it weren’t a talent he already possessed, that was a day to teach a body how to fly!  Vast expanses of vivid greens and blues with vibrant splashes of crimson, gold, and purple spread before him, a flawless canvas kissed with the Master’s bold perfection.

    Feeling newborn himself, Rapha stooped to grasp a shining stone.  He studied flashing depths as it fractured, bent and multiplied the sunlight into dozens of glimmering rays.  The substance was rare, composed of carbon, compressed and crushed in grinding darkness.  Even to Rapha it felt ancient.  This gem had survived the wars and cataclysms of the planet’s past while those stresses had molded and purified it into a thing of beauty and strength.  Soon enough it would be coveted for its beauty.  But on this day, it too deserved the chance to fly.  With a childish whoop Rapha flung it high, toward the sun’s light, where it seemed to hang a moment, flashing, then began its plummet to join the clear, shining depths of liquid emerald in the lake below.   

    As the gem fell to the water with a distant splash a familiar voice said, “Careful.  You might harm a witty, bitty fish!” 

    In the fraction of an instant before Rapha turned to face his ancient foe, the virgin air around the mountain was stripped of its virtue.  Iridescent light pierced the lingering morning mist even as a choking darkness of deception clutched Rapha’s mind.  His spirit responded to the presence of all that is unholy while his eyes were dazzled by splendor.  Fragrant vapors encircled Luc’s image and formed a majestic train.  He stood, proud and beautiful, his perfect body and diadem-encircled brow proclaiming him the unrivalled Lord of Earth even as the true depraved image in Rapha’s mind snarled, fangs dripping gore.

    “Aw, Rapha.  So serious!  Not even a ‘My Lucifer, you’re looking well?’  But you’ve missed me, I can tell.”  The image changed.  The majestic glow faded until he was simply Luc, Rapha’s old friend with the impish gleam in his eye.  This less elaborate illusion more effectively masked evil and Rapha struggled to recall the repellant specter as he felt his heart drawn to ancient, innocent days.

    “Well, well.  That was quite entertaining.  ‘Let there be LIGHT!’”  Luc made childish thundering noises and broad gestures with his arms before collapsing in a fit of giggles onto the green turf.  “And they say I have a flare for drama.”

    The sight of Lucifer taking on the form of his once beloved friend laid wide the ancient wound but Rapha harbored no illusions of a tearful reconciliation.  “To what do I owe this honor?”

    “Do I detect sarcasm?  I’m so proud of you!”

    When Rapha gave no answer, Lucifer hopped to his feet.  “I merely want to convey my deepest gratitude to Adonai for my lovely new home,” he gestured with his arm as if the fresh beauty was for his pleasure alone.

    When Rapha again remained silent, Lucifer frowned.  “You could at least be polite….”

    “I have not attempted to destroy you.“

    All gentility was dropped as Lucifer’s eyes glittered with malice.  “Attempted, indeed.  You have no idea the power at my command.  With a flick of my hand all could be laid waste once more."

    (end excerpt)

    ***********************

    I love J.R.R. Tolkien.  His trilogy, Lord of the Rings, is at the top of my fiction list and never grows old.  Like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, every time I read them, I discover more.

    One concept of Tolkien's that helped me wrap my head around a broader view of history is his use of the term "Age" as in Age of Elves/Age of Men.  While I totally respect those who believe everything was created from nothing about 6 to 7 thousand years ago, it makes sense to me that the drama we live in has all happened before with a different cast of characters.

    In that regard, rather than just discarding accounts like Greek Mythology or archaeological discoveries that point to ancient, highly advanced societies, new ponderings gave me new eyes.  I no longer had to shut out facts to protect beliefs. 

    Does that make sense?

    Then again, I was no longer playing it safe and the coward in me who hates controversy wanted to squinch them shut again.  For about a day I cringed and whimpered as I considered possible backlash.  But I was too far gone; smitten with God's love in the inklings of insight and the blinding brilliance of Christ's blood in the grand scheme of things. 

    There was no turning back.

    THE FALL is my first published novel. Hopefully there will be many more to follow, but regardless, I'm hooked--addicted to the written word.

    Click the link at the top of the page for more information about The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1: THE FALL.

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