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    Entries in Why Jesus had to become a man (1)

    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)

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    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.