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    Sanctity of Life--ANY Life?

     *However, while the war was no longer beating against the confines of their shelter, it raged stronger than ever inside the minds of those surrounding Rapha.  Adam’s struggle was understandable as he strove to support his wife, stroking the hair from her brow even as he struggled against feelings of revulsion toward the babe in his arms, the perfectly formed, eerily aware baby boy that gazed with innocence from thick-lashed eyes of prismatic beauty.  The iridescent glow was unmistakable.  He had his father’s eyes.

    But even greater than Adam’s struggle was the storm raging in Kal.  The little man was going through the motions of wiping the baby in his arms clean with water-soaked clumps of wool and preparing to wrap it in woolen strips set aside for that purpose, but his mind was tortured. 

    The sight of Eve’s distress during birth, the blood, gore and newborn wails, were bringing forth horrific memories for Kal.  The man’s protruding eyes stared down at the babe in his arms, but he was living another moment:  the beloved Eliana in travail, his own baby in his arms.

    Rapha was pulled into Kal’s emotional sphere even as he completed the stitches on Eve, cleansed the site one last time and added a light poultice of herbs to strengthen and protect the vulnerable wound. 

    Now he must tend the babys’ cords, cut them short and burn the end to staunch the flow of blood.  After heating the sacrificial knife Rapha stepped toward Kal.

    Horror and fear flooded Kal’s features as he leapt to turn his back to Rapha, his bent body forming a living shield for the newborn in his arms.  “No!  It is not his fault!  You will not harm him!”

    Rapha reassured Kal.  “No, my friend.  I will merely burn the severed cord.  No harm will come to him.”

    Kal’s hands remained ready to intervene as the blankets were parted and the glowing knife approached.  When the scent of burned flesh assaulted his nose, the stoic warrior succumbed to his darkest nightmare.  Rapha tossed the knife back into the fire in the center of their shelter just in time to catch Kal’s crumpling form. 

    Smoke everywhere.  Flickering shadows and a sickening scent of burning herbs…the smell made his head heavy while something in his heart fought the sensation.  His heart.  It was his heart he cradled against his breast.  He was handing her over.  No!  He must snatch her back from them, from the men with their flowing robes and noble faces that flickered in the wafting fumes to become hideous, grasping beasts, licking their lips, eager for a kill.

    When Kal came to, he was on his back outside the shelter with a cold rain lashing his face and Rapha’s concerned expression above him.

    Panic once more flooded in.  “Where is the baby?  What have you done?”

    “Both the babies are with Adam.  All is well.”  Rapha’s hand was on Kal’s shoulder. “No, do not rise.  You… fell over.”

    Kal leapt to his feet.  “Ugh!  A great lot of help I am!  Get in there and tend Eve.  I am fine!” 

    Rapha, noting the pounding vein in Kal’s temple and his trembling hands, knew this statement was far from true.  “Of course,” Rapha said as he stepped back inside the shelter’s heavy animal skin doorway. 

    But Kal’s memories continued to asail Rapha’s mind and he peeked out just in time to see Kal sink to his knees, knobby hands covering his face.

    With a quick invocation of Adonai’s peace, Rapha had to train his thoughts once more on the newborns... and their parents. 

    So much balanced on the knife’s edge of that moment.  Eve’s life hung by a fragile thread and, as Rapha continued his ministrations to her, he felt the turmoil in Adam’s heart. 

    There the young man stood, cradling the spawn of his enemy in his arms, his face a mask of fear, revulsion and, remarkably, pity. 

    “I cannot,” Adam gasped, “Please, Adonai, do not ask it of me.”

    Rapha did not need to ask what the Almighty required.  The words were pounding through his frame as well. 

    Adam, with dark circles under his eyes and Eve’s blood yet staining his garment, spoke Adonai’s directive, though each word ripped through his lips as if composed of flaming thorns.

    “Teach them My ways.  Love them with My love.  Nourish, cherish, and instruct them as your own flesh.”

    Soon, Eve revived enough to reach for the babies and Adam took them to her.  With coos of adoration she snuggled them close with an unquestioning maternal instinct.  Even the second-born babe responded well, grasping to a fold of her robe and drinking deep with an expression of bliss. 

    Physically, it appeared, all would thrive.  But Rapha needed no divination to know their struggle had just begun.


    *Excerpt of THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1) from the chapter titled "Birth"


    Do two wrongs make a right?  How about when the offspring in question is, literally, the spawn of the devil?

    This is the quandary of Adam as he holds Eve’s newborn child in his arms.  How can Adonai ask this of him?  Wouldn’t it fix the problem to just undo it?

    But God sees beyond the immediate circumstance.  To perpetrate another evil in order to counteract evil is not the answer. 

    However, we can see the future in this case.  We know from the biblical record that one of these babies will grow up and kill the other—the famous Cain and Abel story of the Bible’s first recorded murder.  So why didn’t God have Adam do the deed with proactive justice?

    And why would God encourage mercy at this juncture then bring a flood later to wipe out everyone on the face of the earth besides one man and his family?  These are valid questions without simple answers.

    These issues and more will be addressed in future posts (can you say “Pandora’s box?).  Suffice it to say for today’s discussion, the urge to “be our own god” is at the root of our world’s ills.  When we put our will and limited understanding ahead of submitting to God’s higher knowledge and fathomless love, evil wins.

    I could easily venture into the controversial waters of abortion and sanctity of life but I think my views are evident on that matter.

    However, what of those who lived?  What of those walking around today who feel unloved, unwanted and perhaps are even convinced they are a mistake?  What does God say? 

    Just know this.  God’s heart of love overflows for you regardless of the labels or experiences you’ve endured.  No, it is not God’s will for a child to be conceived out of wedlock, for a child to have to endure debilitating deformities, for a baby to be conceived through rape or incest or any other of a number of painful ways to begin life.  But even if those are the circumstances in which you were brought into this world, God’s message to you is one of love, grace, healing and redemption.

    Redemption is a strange word to our ears today.  Simply put, redemption is to make exchange or to “deliver by the payment of a ransom.”  Before you were born, God loved you and saw you as worthy of ransom.  Don’t ever believe or let anyone convince you of worthlessness.  When God looks at you, he sees a child worth living and dying for; a precious life worth Christ’s life, death and resurrection.  Jesus’ blood on the cross—literally the most precious substance in all history—was paid to ransom you. 

    That’s your worth. 

    God is reaching for you.  Please reach back.

    Chana is wife, mom of four and author of several novels--most of which are not available... yet.  Her first to make it out of the chutes is THE FALL, a biblical retelling of ancient times through the eyes of an angel who was once best friends with Lucifer.  She brakes for homemade cookies, Jane Austen and old barns. Reading a Jane Austen novel while munching cookies in an old barn--paradise.  Please check out the special holiday offer of THE FALL for only $8!  Click the link at the top of the page.

    Reader Comments (4)

    That was really beautiful! Thank you for posting an excerpt. I love your message at the end. I don't think I've ever heard redemption put into those terms: God sees you as valuable enough to ransom. Amazing!

    I can picture the enemy hunkered over the prison he keeps me in, an evil grin plastered on his face, waiting for God to respond to his demands. And then God: rushing to our aid, saying "This one is worth the price." It brings tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for this post.


    November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTraci

    Another brilliant post Chana. Really difficult components to the message but you navigate so perfectly. The thoughts Adam was dealing with may be the hardest to comprehend. Looking into the faces of children of his enemy and seeing innocence at the same time must've been both confusing and heartbreaking. Choosing to allow them to live proved out to be good and bad for him in the long run. But I'm glad he didn't end their lives, because of what it would've made him become... the first murderer in the bible instead of Cain.

    November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

    Thank you, Traci. It's true, God is our eternal love and our hero who rescues us from the darkest dungeon. Funny thing is, as romanticized as that sounds, the mind-boggling reality of what God has accomplished through Christ is even more astounding.

    Hugs and blessings,

    November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChana


    Yes, my heart breaks for Adam. I truly believe if we could look into the eyes of our "enemies" and really view their souls, especially those unseen victims who should be super-safe in their mothers' wombs, we too would choose mercy.

    Thank you so much for your encouragement :)


    November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChana

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