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    Entries in anger (3)

    Monday
    Jan232012

    22-Rapha's Moment With HIM

    (THE FALL, Ch. 4, pp42-45)

    Lucifer’s voice was in his ear.  “Ooh, you’re in trouble now.  Wait ‘til Daddy hears about this.”  Reaching toward the mound of dead and dying, Lucifer plucked up a tiny, struggling rabbit.  Too late, Rapha realized his intent and fought against invisible bonds as, with one sharp twist, Lucifer detached one of the rabbit’s legs, relishing its pain-filled shriek and Rapha’s mute struggle. 

    “This is a momentous occasion.  A proud angel is taught humility.”  Lucifer squatted beside Rapha and shoved the writhing bunny into his face.  “Take note little beast.  This is the first to shed innocent blood in Adonai’s new world.”  With a gentle caress, he held the mangled creature close.  Then, gazing into Rapha’s eyes, he squeezed tighter and tighter, his gaze never wavering through the cracking of tiny bones and terrified shrieks until, finally, the mound of fur ceased twitching. 

    Lucifer tossed the limp form into Rapha’s face, then brought forth the severed leg and pressed it against the angel’s mouth.  “Here.  Kiss it.  Perhaps it will bring me luck.”

    As Lucifer stood to leave, Rapha felt his body and tongue released but had no will to fight.  With the blood still warm on his lips and proof of his foolishness displayed before him, he remained kneeling, his spirit as broken as the animals’ bodies.

    “Remember this position,” Lucifer stated from above.  “I know I will.”

    With that, Rapha was once more alone atop the mountain.  If not for the suffering before him, he might have crawled away in shame.  Even with countless years of experiencing Adonai’s fathomless love, his faith in the face of such guilt failed.  But he could not abandon the innocence he had helped to crush. 

    “Please, Adonai,” he whispered, “come and heal.”

    At first, the only difference was a new scent.  Instead of the metallic smell of blood, there was a fragrance of sweet, honey-filled blooms and a particular type of fruit that grew only before Adonai’s throne.  All was borne on a breeze of such unreasonable love that Rapha felt he could slip into glorious delirium if he took one deep breath.  As it was, he kept his breathing shallow.   He was unworthy of such a gift.

    Then someone touched his shoulder.  Warmth flooded his being and the sweet scent took physical form in his mouth, becoming the purest nectar that flowed over his tongue.  But the bitterness of guilt welled up to repel this glorious intruder.

    “Please,” a soft voice with the magnitude of a surging ocean spoke, “To heal them, you must first be healed.”

    The kindness of that voice was a wedge to the vault of his pain.  A trickle of purity slipped inside exposing the venom that sought to infiltrate every fiber of his being.  The deep shadows were no match for that piercing light.   Yet still Rapha resisted.  He did not deserve absolution, much less this absolute bliss offered freely to his tortured soul.  Besides, there was a question to be answered.

    With his head still bowed, Rapha asked, “I sense the presence of Adonai, but He cannot dwell with impurity.  Who are you?”

    Rather than words, Rapha heard the most unexpected sound.  Laughter.  With a warm updraft the soil sighed, a flock of graceful birds took flight, the branches of surrounding trees waved as if applauding and, deep underground, Rapha felt the murmur of earth’s bones straining closer.  Even the whimpers of the suffering animals hushed.  Surprised, Rapha looked up.

    It was the man who had offered restoration to Lucifer so long ago before Adonai’s throne.  In contrast to Lucifer’s glory, the man bore a rough garment and unremarkable features.  However, Rapha sensed distilled power as if the sun’s radiation were compressed into an earthen vessel.  Rapha’s sadness and guilt could not exist before those eyes that peered unhindered into the core of his being and pulsed with delight.  The power was soft and malleable, like water, trickling into every hidden place but capable of breaking the proudest rock with its patient assault.

    As a mother might tend a messy child, the stranger lifted the edge of his sleeve to Rapha’s mouth and wiped away the blood.  Rapha blinked in amazement as the garment absorbed the stain, leaving only snowy whiteness in its wake.

    His senses probed into fathomless confidence and unbreakable love.  Questions pulled at his mind but they too bowed, swallowed in this One who embodied the meaning of all things. 

    The familiar stranger breathed across the animals.  One by one every wound healed and the shy creatures crept forward to nuzzle, perch, scamper, and slither to their heart’s delight.  Once again, creation was gifted with His laughter.  This time Rapha, awed that his failure was transformed into this moment of joy, also laughed.

    He stared in wonder at the humble, human profile that contained the sum of Adonai’s character, discovering delight in the paradox.  Why couple earthly flesh with divinity?  Then again, at his lowest moment, this One provided what Rapha needed; not the Almighty surrounded in blinding holiness, but this Holy One choosing to wrap Himself in vulnerability. 

    Ultimate power choosing humility?  Yes, that would be inconceivable to Lucifer. 

    But, wasn’t this One destined to appear thousands of years in humanity’s future?

    The Son of Man addressed the unspoken query.  “What I will do is already recorded in eternity.  That moment is as the pinnacle of this mountain.  Those on either side can look up, ponder, and climb toward its height.” 

    Even as Rapha grappled with this concept, he noticed something odd.  The tiny, abused hare struggled on only three legs as it tried to climb into the lap of its healer. 

    Once again the man answered his thoughts.  “This small one is a sign to all creation.”  As He spoke, the three-legged creature stepped timidly onto His palm, drawing Rapha’s attention to a scarred gash in the Holy One’s hand.  As He drew the animal to His breast, Rapha noted a matching wound on the back of the other hand as well.

    The soothing voice continued, “This age will be well-acquainted with corruption and cruelty, yet the greatest beauty and strength will thrive in that environment.  Adonai will never leave them comfortless.”  He placed a kiss on the animal’s head, then set it upon the ground.  As if understanding its purpose, the creature hopped toward the forest without looking back.

    Rapha pondered the Holy One’s words as he watched the small outline merge with shadows.  When he turned toward his mysterious companion, he discovered the man was gone.  There were two spots of bruised grass where His knees had rested and, as Rapha watched, they filled with water as if an underground spring had been tapped.  When the puddles overflowed, they began to trickle in opposite directions down each side of the mountain’s face.  Rapha raised himself to hover above the ground and watch each shallow stream become a widening river.  Within moments they were digging deep grooves in solid rock and splashing to the valley below, their force carving twin canyons that rejoined for the journey to the sea. 

    In the pounding waters, Rapha heard echoes of the Holy One’s laughter.

    (end excerpt)

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

    It's your turn. Please give your feedback... and remember, this is for posterity, so be honest.

    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.

    

    Tuesday
    Dec202011

    Bitesize-7 The First Degree of Separation  

     

                                           CHAPTER TWO

                                                           Rebellion

     

    Rapha woke to celestial war. 

    Many had joined Lucifer’s rebellion.  Heartbreak and devastation infiltrated the fabric of the heavenlies threatening to strip creation from its foundation, attempting to topple the very throne of Adonai.  Finally Lucifer, the instigator and accuser, stood before the assembly proclaiming Adonai’s treachery. 

    Into the midst of this firestorm of severed trust strode Rapha, his eyes and voice aglow with faith in Adonai.  In ages past Lucifer had ruled in the celestial court, his arguments the most compelling, his voice and mannerisms irresistible.  But that day belonged to Rapha.  Many who were prepared to cast their lot with Lucifer hearkened to the authority of Rapha’s testimony, moved to repentance by his absolute trust in Adonai’s goodness, while those who had remained faithful were ignited with renewed passion. 

    Even as Rapha spoke, flowing with eloquence, joyfully describing his rebirth, he could feel Lucifer seethe.  Lucifer had been certain of victory, now Rapha could sense the shift as thousands hearkened to his words, “There is no room in Adonai’s goodness for deception or betrayal,” Rapha stated.  With a surge of bliss, he felt Adonai’s pleasure. 

     It was at that moment Lucifer did the unthinkable.  He attacked Rapha before the very throne of Adonai.  Rapha’s words were cut off by searing pain as he realized a shard of light was protruding from his chest.

    But Michael was prepared.  While Rapha crumpled, eyes wide with disbelief, Michael’s forces, scattered strategically throughout the faithful and treacherous, leapt to action. 

    The brawl that ensued was decisive, not in determining a winner but in revealing loyalties.  When it seemed every hand was raised in violence toward a brother, Adonai spoke one word. 

    “Peace.”

    The heavenly inhabitants froze. 

    If the moment had not been tragic—and painful for Rapha who wrenched the shard from his chest—Rapha would have thought it comical to behold his celestial brothers caught in suspended animation, expressions of anger and surprise etched on their faces, bodies arrested in various violent postures.

    “Samael,” Adonai addressed Lucifer who had one hand on Michael’s throat while the other grasped a jagged bolt of light aimed directly at Adonai’s throne.  “Observe what your pride has done.”

    Lucifer’s body shuddered as his hands were forced to his sides and the bolt of light turned to dust.  Finally, his tongue was loosed and he said through clenched teeth.  “I hate that.  Never call me that.  I am Lucifer, the bright morning star!”

    “Even in this moment, when all is brought to the brink of ruin, you consider only yourself.” 

    “Someone must watch out for my interests, as You once did.”

    “Your lack of faith separates us.”

    “My lack of….  Do you hear this?”  Lucifer spoke to the motionless witnesses around him, “Adonai betrays us.  Then he would lay the blame at my feet!”

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

    Ah, the fine art of denial.  How many times have I spun around in anger in my life, firing accusations and blame everywhere but where it might do some good--at myself.

    But often, the last thing I'm willing to admit is that, somehow, I'm mad at God.  Disappointments, betrayals, sickness, contention--you name it--somehow there is a little voice deep down inside saying, "If God was REALLY everything He's supposed to be, things wouldn't be like this."

    And if I can't admit what's there, what's festering away in the darkness like an ignored cancer, it just gains strength. 

    How are you holding unforgiveness toward God?  For a failed relationship?  Sickness?  Death of a loved one?  _________________ (fill in the blank)

    Let God turn a searchlight on the hidden, dark things.  Bitterness, disappointment, betrayal, grief--none of it is worth separation from God.

    "In Him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28 (NIV)

    Time to shake off the graveclothes and come back to life.

    

    My favorite things are God, family, and the written word but I also brake for chocolate, old barns, and people who live passion

    ately. 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 if you would like to order The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1: THE FALL

    Holiday Special--free shipping on orders of three or more.  Gift wrapping and personalization on ALL orders until Jan. 1 of 2012!

    Sunday
    Dec182011

    THE FALL--bitesize--5 Why I Shouldn't Have Superpowers

    (from chapter 1 of THE FALL, p. 11)

    Rapha’s mind skipped immediately to a more recent memory. 

    It was another day atop Luc’s favorite mountain.  When Rapha appeared, Luc was tracing a lazy finger in the air to swirl a dark cloud in the sky above him.  “You heard?”

    Rapha allowed a tight smile, “How could I not?  Your anger still resounds through the cosmos.” 

    Luc sneered, “Gabriel.  Michael.  ‘Thank you, Adonai!’” he mocked, “‘We will honor and obey.’”  A spasm of fury flicked across Luc’s features, “They grovel while Adonai humiliates….”

    “No!  They were chosen because they refuse to stir contention about what they do not understand.…”

    “Unlike me.”  Luc finished, his eyes piercing, his hands clenched into fists.  “I, who have been closer to Adonai’s counsel than any other; I knew this was coming.  I warned you.  I understand all too well.”

    “And make assumptions based on a glimpse of His plans.”

    “Assumptions?”  Luc’s volume rose,  “What more is there to know?  Adonai announced it.  He plans to elevate these creatures,” Luc spat the word, “to give them dominion over this place.  Can you honestly say that is no insult to us, His servants of light, His firstborn?”

    “You mean insult to you, Adonai’s favored.”

    “Yes.  Insult to me.  If anyone should be offered dominion it is I.  I, who have been Adonai’s most trusted, the morning star of all His creation, not some vile creature of dust!”

    “But you told me Adonai will dwell within them.  They will be children of the Most High in every sense and one day His highest purpose will be realized through one of them—“ but Rapha’s words were cut off by a whizzing blow and his mouth tasted earth from the chunk of mountain that had hit him.  Immediately he transformed into his transparent body but Luc was one step ahead.  Cords of light were flung ‘round Rapha’s chest and were tightening their painful grip even as Lucifer, arms outstretched, summoned a continuing barrage of rocks and trees as he spun in the air like a malevolent cyclone.

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

    And there it is... the reason I CAN'T be trusted with superpowers.  How many times have I felt rage take over, that horrible moment when nothing else matters but me-and-my-feelings!

    I hate to think of the destruction that I would have caused, and then regretted, if I had been capable of acting on flashes of anger.

    Then I look at today's headlines--public beating of a woman in Egypt, killer typhoon in the Philippines, wars, racism, cruelty, pettiness--and I think, how does God do it?

    How does God see it all, everything at once, and remain holy?

    If it was up to me, I woulda raised a hand at some point in history and just wiped them all out!

    Thank God it's not up to me.  But there is something that's up to me.  God asks that I worship Him, inspite of, because of, in the midst of the chaos of evil.

    "In everything give thanks."  (Ya gotta be kiddin' me, right?)

    "I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise will continuously be in my mouth." 

    Why?  Why does God ask us to do what is SOO counterintuitive when hell seems to be winning?

    Because THAT is when and how we knock evil off the throne--when we focus on the fact that God is forever and always worthy of praise--especially when we don't understand.  Especially in that moment when we would love to be the big, bad God raining down a can of whoop-a*# on the world.

    But when we worship, even through gritted teeth and bitter tears, we are proclaiming that HE is Lord--not the emotion, not evil.

    Then, when the emotion is spent and our eyes are fixed on Him and His endless-still-waters-of-holiness, we listen... and proclaim "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." 

    My favorite things are God, family, and the written word but I also brake for chocolate, old barns, and people who live passionately. 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 if you would like to order The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1: THE FALL!