Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This is the End

Yep, the book is over.  This whole blog is just one book.  And this is the final page.

I'd love for you to read it.  But for that, you'd have to go down to the first post, and read it that way.

Thanks for your interest.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pockets of the Future

Must justice wait for God?  Absolutely.  Worldwide justice must wait.

Utopia is all about taking power and using it toward justice, especially for the needy.  For this purpose one must have many components:

The moral drive to enact justice without compromise.

The knowledge of how to effectively grant justice to the needy.

The proper sub-leaders who are on the same page as the noble Leader.

And, most importantly, the power of all the world’s resources toward these goals.

The world, currently, is missing all of these components.  Governments, church leaders, the wealthy, the media outlets and the educational facilities do not have this combination of ideal circumstances. 

Even if an entity wishes to enact a certain amount of justice, they typically do so only with a benefit to themselves, and always with a view to tear down someone else’s idea of justice.

If there is a desire to grant justice to those who truly need it, there is never the focused effort to produce the knowledge of the needy and the circumstances that surround them to truly grant them justice.

If a Leader—a president, wealthy person, editor, bishop or institutional president—actually has an idea of how to create justice, those under him do not follow through on her or his ideals, finding loopholes in the system for selfish means.

Even for the few groups that do have a sense of justice for the needy and have the determination necessary to do something about it, they do not have the resources to help all that need the kind of help they offer.

This is why God’s utopia is necessary.  There is no other way for justice, peace, equality, hope to be realized throughout the world. Perhaps this sounds pessimistic.  However, to an eschatologist, this is optimistic, even if it requires prayer and patience.

So worldwide justice must wait.  But community justice does not need to.

Within each church community are the few who truly want to fulfill Jesus’ justice.  Within each local government are the few who truly want to help the poor.  Within each massive media outlet, there are the few that want to break open opportunities for justice.  Within the community of wealthy, there are the few that want to use their accumulated wealth in a way that will really help people.  Within each educational institution there are the few who really think that they have ideas that will change things for everyone’s benefit.

They are not thinking within the boxes of power, because those categories have already proven to be inadequate to create justice.  People are thinking, “If only we had the resources/manpower/community/vision to (insert act of justice here).”  But these people do not feel like they can.  It will never come to pass.  These are the pessimistic.  Those who feel that local justice can’t be done.

It is true, local justice can’t be done through the normal avenues of power.  However, the world is full of just people who do not have world power, but have enough power to create communities of justice.  Not a single solution for everyone.  But a single solution that can be done.

Can a government provide land for a farming community, with greenhouses, on the outskirts of an urban area, with low cost housing for some homeless who would maintain the land and then sell local produce to their city?

Can a faith community provide a listing of the skills of under-worked people— whether mentally ill, retired, homeless, or part time employed— who can be hired for certain projects by the faith community?

Can a particular mega-church or denomination create a local company of painters or landscapers or other kinds of low-skill work, and provide their workers with room, board and a stipend salary?

Can a non-profit group be developed which will pair the developmentally disabled with more functional but lonely people, to live together and assist each other in life?

Can a media outlet provide one column a week telling the daily life and struggles of the needy in their community, so the community could learn that poverty is normal and preventable?

Utopia isn’t possible right now.  That requires the prayer and patience of the saints.  But pockets of utopia are possible right now, in your community.  It requires sacrifice.  It requires the offering up of finances.  It requires love.  It requires becoming poor ourselves.  But these are the people God is looking for to create His final utopia.

The people who are willing to make pockets of utopia now are the people God will use to be the bricks of his final Utopia.

Cleaning Up the City

The glorious city, the New Jerusalem, is resplendent in it’s height.  Upon Mt. Zion stands not just a temple, but a glorious building of gold and domes and pillars, the center of the most powerful government in the world.  It is filled with a thousand offices, each busy with the orders, and paperwork, of thousands of Ministers, what once were called priests. Each Minister is the mediator between God and humanity.  The Voice is Yeshua, the Emperor, the Living Word of God.  And the Ministers work to do the will of the Voice, creating laws and policies that order the chaotic world.

            Outside the gleaming courts of Yahweh, however, Jerusalem is still being reconstructed, as is the Kingdom.  No more than 15 miles away from Jerusalem’s center, in a suburb of the continually growing city, the polished streets are exchanged for filthy, bloody remnants of the Great War. 

Maria walks quickly upon the dirty streets, wishing she had worn her sneakers instead of her fancy leather sandals.  What a way to make a first impression, she mused.  Dirty feet, sweating, hair all out of place after walking fifteen miles from the Center.  Is this the best way to meet the Emperor?  Certainly it is not the most efficient way to work.  I’ve just wasted hours walking the streets, looking for a cluster of well-dressed Ministers—wait, there they are…

            She catches up to the group, walking quickly out of an alley.  At the fore is the Emperor, with the rest of the group walking briskly behind him.  She sucks in an anxious breath, and strides forward to introduce herself.

“Chan,” she hears the Emperor speak, clearly and steadily, “whose building is this?”

“Yasser Muhammad’s, Lord.”

“Does he have the resources to get it up to code?”

Chan glances at his hand-held computer and hits a few keys.  “Yes… but he owns many buildings in this area.  I don’t know how many of them are below standard, but he certainly wouldn’t have the resources to get them all up to code, if they are all in the same shape as this one.”

“Send a Minister to Mr. Muhammad and inform him that he is to work in partnership with Mr. Jacob Eli.  All the buildings are to be in code in a year.  And please send another message to Mr. Eli, informing him of his partnership with Mr. Muhammad.”

Chan presses more keys, then mentions, “Mr. Eli, I believe, is not in good relationship with Mr. Muhammad at the moment.”

The Emperor smiles.  “An opportunity.  Wonderful.  Please note that after two weeks, should Misters Eli and Muhammad not be in cooperation, then they will be required to attend mediation toward forgiveness and the completion of the Emperor’s goals.  Got that, Chan?”

“Yes, Lord.”

The Emperor begins to walk to the next block, but notices Maria standing before him, in shock.  “Hello, Maria.”

Maria quickly gets on her knees and raises her hands before him, “O Sovereign…”

The Emperor interrupts her, “Please, we don’t have time for that now.  We have work to do.  Have we met before Maria?  You are Maria, correct?”

Maria begins to stand, “No, my Savior…”

“Tut, tut… Lord will do just fine.  Well, it is good to meet you.  I’m sure you will work out fine.  And I’m sure you have many questions.  Go ahead to the back of the pack and… um, Drew?  Could you please explain things to Maria?” He turns his head toward Maria and whispers conspiratorially,  “I find that Anglo males like to lecture, and you have some catching up to do.” Then he almost shouts across the line of heads,   “Drew, be sure to listen to her!”

A blonde-haired man in casual clothing steps forward and motions Maria toward himself.   The Emperor stops her, “Maria, one other thing.  I need a lot of folks to follow me right now—there is so much to do!  The work isn’t overwhelming but it requires effort.  Next time, please use public transportation.” He glanced toward her feet, “And use footwear that will be more comfortable for walking!”  He turns away quickly carefully examining the next block.

            Maria walks up to Drew with a questioning look.  He smiles and says, “So, you haven’t been on the Walk before?”

“This is all so confusing…”

“It’s not so hard.  Our Lord is interested in making changes throughout the Empire and he plans to do it one neighborhood at a time.”

“I don’t want to oppose our master, but this is so inefficient!  And so… undignified.”

They have to jog for a moment to keep up with the rest of the pack.

Drew says, “You are probably wondering why he is walking the street instead of making determinations in the main hall of judgment?  No doubt we all would prefer to see him there, receiving the glory that he deserves.”

“Well, yes.  It seems so strange for our Lord to be here in this… ghetto.”

“I’m sure.  The Lord says that to understand the needs of the poor, one must be with the poor and speak to them.  And it doesn’t help to bring the poor into the glorious Center to speak to them.  It intimidates them too much.  So he goes incognito, so to speak, to the poorest places in the Kingdom and improves people’s lives one by one, block by block.”

“I am never one to question my Lord’s decisions, but wouldn’t his time be better served by making policy decisions, and allowing his Ministers speak to the people?”

“He says that he never makes a single pronouncement without speaking to at least a hundred people who it will effect.  It isn’t that he doesn’t trust his Ministers—you’ll see that we are essential to the running of his government—but he says that only the poor can speak to the needs of the poor.  Even those who were once poor, like us, forget what it used to be like.  What I have never understood is that he says that he cannot even trust himself.  That every decision must be checked by personal experience by those who must live with it.  This doesn’t mean he does what each poor person says—that would be chaos.  But…wait.  See what he’s doing now?”

The Emperor had noticed a group of children playing in an empty lot.  There were maybe seven youngsters—they were moving so fast that at first it was hard to determine their number.  The Emperor stopped at the edge of the lot and crouched down, looking at them intently.  They were playing a game with a metal, round garbage lid.  They each had a stick and were all attempting to roll the lid from one side of the lot to the other.  One child would roll the lid a ways, when another child would confront her.  The first would attempt to roll the lid around the second, while another child would block the attack of the second upon the lid.  The second succeeded in knocking the lid away and then the lid fell, flat on the ground. 

“Ali, you made it fall, we get the advantage!”

Ali stepped aside, and the first girl deftly used her stick to prop the lid upright and continued to roll it toward her goal.

The Emperor walked toward Ali, and the boy started, as if the Emperor had snuck up on him.  “Hello, Ali.  Are you winning?”

Ali stared at the Emperor and asked, “Are you one of those Ministers?”

“Not exactly.”

“You glow like one.  I saw a Minister once.  But he was rushing by. Whew!” Ali motioned his arm quickly forward.

“I know.  Those Ministers are too busy to talk to anybody, huh?”

“Yeah.  So what do you want?”

“I just want to talk to you for a minute.  I won’t take you out of the game?”

“Nah.  I’m in penalty for five minutes.  I knocked the disc down.”

“Ah, that’s a disc?”

“Not a real one.  It’s a garbage lid.  But we love playing disc, so we got this.”

“I see.  Where do you live, Ali?”

“With my mama.  Our house is over there.” He points west.

“You live in a house?”

“Not a real house.  You know, we got a room in a big building.”

“Do you have any other family?”

“I got two sisters.”

“How many rooms does your apartment have?”

“Two.  And a kitchen.”

“And does your mom work?”

“She stays at home all the time.”

“What does she do?”

“She’s always tricking people.”

“Tricking people?  At home?”

“Yeah.  She always tells us that when she’s tricking people, we can’t be there, so she sends us away.  I hang out here with my friends.”

“And what do your sisters do?”

“There’s one, there.  With the stick.  She’s too good.”

“I see that.  Did she just make a goal?”

“Uh huh.  That’s why she’s jumping and all that.”

“How many points to a goal?”

“Three.  One point for an advantage.”

“Uh huh.  So could you show me where you live?”

“Well, my mama’d be pretty mad at me.”

“She doesn’t like strangers coming by?”

“She doesn’t want anyone at home unless she brings them.”

“That makes sense.  Could you ask her if I could come over?”

“You want me to go right now?”

“Well, I know you’re in the middle of the game.”

“We lost already.  My sister always wins.  I guess I could go.”

“Maybe you could bring her to me.”

“I’ll ask.  If she’s done tricking the guy.”

“Just go get her.”

Ali runs to her sister and tells her he’s going home.  She begins to command him and he ignores her and runs away.  She yells to him, to no avail.  As Ali runs around the corner, the Emperor begins jogging after him.

            Maria turns to Drew, “What is he doing?”

            Drew begins to chase the pack, following the Emperor’s lead.  “C’mon!  You want to see what happens.  I think something’s brewing.”

            As the Emperor jogged, keeping an eye on Ali, he shouts, “Alyssa!”

            A woman in the middle of the pack shouts back, “Yes, Lord?”

            “What is the current law on prostitution?”

            “Relocation, entrance into Work Assessment.”

            “Thank you, please keep up, I’ll need you on this one.”

            “Yes, Lord.”

            “Ali runs fast—keep up!”  The Emperor runs ahead to match stride with Ali.

            Maria turns to Drew, “What is the Emperor doing?”

            Drew replies, “Well, the motives of the Emperor are difficult to gage,” he says through soft pants, “but I think he’s planning on a personal assessment.”


            “Of current policy.”

            “Obviously, the boy’s mother is involved in prostitution.  The Emperor’s policy is to find prostitutes alternative work, but this one slipped through the cracks.  He wants to find out why.”

            “Why doesn’t he just call the police and have her relocated?” 

            “I don’t know.  Let’s find out.”

            The whole pack remains unseen as they enter a run down tower and occupy a lobby the paper of which is falling off of the walls.  The smell of urine fills their nostrils, and dark stains mark the floor.  The Emperor speaks, “Chan?  Who owns this building?”

“Yasser Muhammad, Lord.  Same as the last building.”

“Interesting.  Please make an appointment for me to see Mr. Muhammad.  We need to speak directly to him of the gifts he is offering the community.”

Above them, they hear Ali cry, “MAMA!  You done?  There’s a Minister want to talk to you.”  They climb up the stairs, following Ali’s path. 

            As they approached the open door (Ali, as all young boys, has yet to learn to close doors), they could hear Ali’s mother speaking quietly but harshly, “What have I told you about coming during the day?  Shut up and close the door!”

            The Emperor motioned toward Alyssa, “Approach with me, please.”

            Just as the mother was closing the door, she saw the Emperor and Alyssa.  “Oh dear God.”

            The Emperor smiled, “Yes, that’s right.  Could you let us in, please?”  The mother stares for a moment, and then turns away, sits on her worn couch, face in her hands.

            The Emperor leaves the door open, sits on the floor, and Alyssa stands next to him.  They interview her for an hour.  At first Janice refused to say anything, but eventually she believed him when he said that she is not in trouble, he just wanted to hear her story.   After it was clear that he already knew all of the shameful facts of her life, she lit into him, blaming him for her situation.  The work assessment was a fraud, she asserted, they had no intention of helping her.  They had no idea of her needs, so she left and went back to the ghetto.  Eventually she got this apartment and got what work she could to support her children.  Yes, the work happened to be illegal, but what could she do?

            The Emperor bows his head for a moment and then returns to Janice, “I want to apologize, my dear.  I know that it was never your intention to leave your children on the street as you attempt to make rent and food through this shameful method.  You have been through my system and I have failed you and those who are like you.  I hope that you will help me correct this situation right now.  You are essential to my plans in assisting other women, that none of you would ever have to face this situation again.  Are you willing to help?”

            Janice looked stunned, and simply nodded.  The Emperor smiled and said, “Thank you, so much.  You don’t know what this means to so many people.  Alyssa?”

            “Yes, Lord.”

“I’d like you to pack Janice and her children and bring them to the palace.  We need to do a full evaluation of her situation and of where the system failed her.  Perhaps it is in a single, uncaring worker, but perhaps the work assessment didn’t find her qualified work.  Whatever the case, I want to make sure that she is cared for and evaluated fairly.”

            “Where will I keep her, Lord?”

            “In your apartment.  You will be granted another three rooms, adjacent to your own.  Your current task is to evaluate her situation, following up on every contact.  We must rush this, so I want a full report in a month.”

            Alyssa’s eyes went wide briefly, then responded, “Yes, Lord.”

            The Emperor smiled.  “Fine!”  He turns to the pack, still standing outside the door, “Shall we go on?”

Eyes Only


From:  Secretary of State Roberts

RE: Initial contact with The Kingdom

In light of the current crisis, I request that the President read this discussion with Adoniyah, the ambassador from the Kingdom, immediately. 

Adoniyah: I am sure Emperor Yeshua appreciates your affirmation, Ms. Roberts.  But the Kingdom is a sovereign nation with or without your approval.

Roberts: Um, yes, of course.  Your king prefers “Yeshua”, Minister?

Adoniyah: Yes.  It is only an accident of language that you Englishers call him “Jesus”.  He prefers Emperor Yeshua.

Roberts: The United States is not prepared to call him “emperor” however.

Adoniyah: Many within your nation many have been calling him so for years.  “King of Kings” is simply another word for “Emperor.”  But Yeshua will do.  There is really no other you could be referring to, and the emperor is not one to be sticky about titles. 

Roberts: That is good to know.  Is Yeshua open to a visit to the United States?

Adoniyah: In time.  There is much to consider before a formal visit can be arranged.

Roberts: True.  Of course, first on the American agenda is to open up the possibilities of trade. 

Adoniyah: This could be difficult.  The Kingdom recognizes no form of currency, and there will be no banking or currency within the borders of the Kingdom.

Roberts: That is… unprecedented, Minister.  And perhaps unwise.  After all, black market currency would, I’m sure, circulate freely…

Adoniyah: Not if everything is offered to all within the Kingdom without the need for it.  Why go through the effort of obtaining American dollars when that which you desire is granted without it?

Roberts: Surely you won’t be providing everything to your citizens.  For instance, alcohol.

Adoniyah: What about alcohol?

Roberts: Is it your plan to make it illegal?

Adoniyah: Why should we do that?  Wine is served at most every meal. 

Roberts: Well, then, what about illegal drugs?

Adoniyah: These are minor issues, in fact.  Addiction, as a medical condition, is eradicated by our health program and the social necessity of addiction is also eliminated.

Roberts: What is the social necessity of addition, if I might ask?

Adoniyah: Oppression.  In any case, you can see that trade with the currencied nations is difficult.  For now, we would have to bypass trade, until we can establish a means of trade. 

Roberts: Perhaps we could establish a means of barter.  We would have to work out a measure of value, however. 

Adoniyah: Good.  We can have some of our economists gather and figure this out.  Speaking of economics, this relates to the next item on my agenda.  Your poor.

Roberts: OUR poor?  I’m sure we should be more concerned about your poor, Minister.

Adoniyah: We appreciate your concern, Ms. Secretary.  But I assure you, we are taking care of our own.  We are meeting with each nation to be sure that they all do the same.

Roberts: I am not sure what business it is of yours.

Adoniyah: It is the desire of our entire government that the poor of the world be cared for.

Roberts: Very noble.  But we have welfare and earned income credit.  And there are many social agencies for our poor.  Our “poor” are wealthier than many of your middle class.

Adoniyah: Superficially, that is true.  And I admire your programs.  Although less complete than many of the European counterparts, your welfare programs are far better than most nations of the world.

Roberts: I will pass your affirmation on.  I am sure that the president will appreciate the sentiment.

Adoniyah: However, it is incomplete.  Poverty is sourced in two ways: economic social rejection and lack of renewable wealth.

Roberts: I’m not sure what you mean.

Adoniyah: Economic social rejection is to be of a social class that is prejudiced against.  This perpetuates poverty.  For instance, your homeless and your mentally ill.  For whatever reason they become poor, their poverty is perpetuated by the rejection your society puts on them.

Roberts: But many—perhaps most—of our social programs are for these groups.

Adoniyah: But look at the social programs you have.  Giveaways of throwaway items, such as clothes or food.  A tiny income for a small percentage, who prove to you that they are incapable.  Housing for an even smaller percentage.  These programs indicate that you consider these people to be incompetent, unable to help themselves.

Roberts: Well, perhaps if they would help themselves, we wouldn’t need these programs.

Adoniyah: And, right there, ma’am, is why these peoples are economically disadvantaged.  Because these peoples cannot fit themselves in your narrow economic model, you assume that they cannot help themselves.

Roberts: Narrow?  We have a variety of options for our citizens.

Adoniyah: Few of them provide livable incomes, however.  One must have a particular kind of economic patronage, at least 40 hours a week, in order to have a livable income.  Or be of the top 5 percent of income earners.

Roberts: Be that as it may, I don’t see what this has to do with helping our poor. 

Adoniyah: Perhaps nothing.  Over time, I would like some of our experts on poverty to work with your social programs to create new models of assisting your citizens in poverty.

Roberts: I’m sure that can be arranged.  At your expense, of course.

Adoniyah: What expense?

Roberts: Transportation, housing, income…

Adoniyah: This is already naturally provided.  Anyone who can instantly be transported anywhere on the globe, need not worry about transportation or housing costs.

Roberts: Oh, of course.  I forgot.

Adoniyah: The other poverty issue is the one I really wanted to discuss with you: Renewable wealth.

Roberts: I’m not sure what that means.

Adoniyah: All of the economic benefits you provide to your poor are consumable.  Currency can only be used once and then must be obtained again.

Roberts: We do give welfare every month, of course.

Adoniyah: Of course.  But it is impossible to build wealth with what you give them.  It can only be used and then one must wait until the next check comes.  The same with food or clothes.  These goods are consumable, not renewable.

Roberts: And what would you propose that we do about this?  What kind of renewable income are you talking about?

Adoniyah: Land.

Roberts: You want us to have a welfare program that distributes land?

Adoniyah: We figured that you would want it to be equitable, so rather than a welfare program, it could be a simple re-distribution program.  Every adult member of your society receives some land.

Roberts: This is insane.  First of all it would never happen.  Most of the land is owned by private owners, and we can’t steal their land and somehow I think that they wouldn’t give it freely for us to redistribute to others.  Secondly, even if we gave the poor—or anyone else—land, they would just sell it.  This would not be renewable at all.  It would just be another form of consumable wealth.

Adoniyah: The ancient program is still the best one: the land cannot be sold or taken away from the family it was originally granted to.  It can be rented or leased for up to seven years.  But the ownership cannot be transferred, except upon death.  This would not provide much of an income, necessarily, but it would be a resource that every single person can use to their benefit.  If not to make money, at least to have land to live on.

Roberts: You intend to create an agrarian society?  The far majority of our people are born urban-dwellers.

Adoniyah: We are not telling you to be an agrarian society.  Rather, it provides people with an agrarian option, should they prove unable to be urban.  We would also work with the religious organizations in your nation to provide education and the basic resources to begin living independently as agrarian. 

Roberts: I am sure that most poor wouldn’t appreciate this option.

Adoniyah: More would accept it than you think.  And as pockets of subsistence agrarian economies develop, more will join.  It isn’t the only solution to poverty, no.  But it is a better option than you have ever provided. 

Roberts: This is an interesting ideological discussion, but it will never happen.

Adoniyah: You do not understand, Ms. Roberts.  You dealing with your poverty is not a request on our part, but a demand. 

Roberts: A demand?  As a nation not yet ten years old you are hardly in the place to demand things of the United States.

Adoniyah: Of course we are.  If you refuse to give land to at least your poor, then we will stop your rain.  If you continue to reject our demands, we will cast fire on your government buildings.  We will continue from there.  Again, we are serious about having your poor cared for.

Roberts: (Silence for a full minute)  If you threaten us like this, there will be repercussions. We are not helpless, you know.

Adoniyah: Which is the next item on my agenda, Ms. Roberts: weapons.

Roberts: Which weapons, Minister?

Adoniyah: All of them.  Nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional.  Everything from your nuclear arsenal to a handgun.

Roberts: (Becoming angry) And what could possibly be your request?

Adoniyah: Of course, they would not be necessary any more, Ms. Roberts.

Roberts: (Laughs) I hardly think that it would be the Kingdom’s business…

Adoniyah: But of course it is.  The Kingdom is not just interested in keeping peace within itself as its own nation.  Rather, the goal is, has always been, world peace.

Roberts: I assure you that this has been the goal of the United States since its inception…

Adoniyah: That is not true, Ms. Roberts, and please do not begin our relationship on such weak ground as you thinking you can deceive me as to your intentions.  Your goal is to maintain the United States as an economic, military and political leader of the world.  This is no longer the case.  You have a voice, but it grows smaller every day. As you know, you have insurrections within your own borders by the Christians who want to make the United States a colony of the Kingdom. 

Roberts: Small pockets.

Adoniyah: Not so small should you aim your military against the Kingdom as a target, I assure you.  You would have every right to question the loyalty of some of your most loyal troops.  Your Christendom is being dismantled.

Roberts: (Aghast) We have never been a Christendom.

Adoniyah: I agree.  That never stopped your leaders from using Christendom language to support your position around the world.  Would you have had the support in the Middle East to obtain oil were it not for the eschatological assumptions of much of your constituency?  Well the eschaton is here.  And this brought confusion, because it was not what was expected.

Roberts: What does this have to do with out weapons?

Adoniyah: I am simply pointing out that you do not have the world position that you once did.  Not all, but much of your power was based on allowing the Christians in your nation to have assumptions that you were meant to rule.  Those assumptions have been stripped.  I do not know your specific plans for the future, but I do know human nature.  You will want to maintain your power base.  Unfortunately, we cannot allow that.  Transfer of power can be… terribly violent. 

Roberts: I have not noticed that the Kingdom is hesitant to use violence.

Adoniyah: Yes, we eliminated those who enacted violence against us.  We shall continue to do so.  But our goal is to prevent as much violence as possible, including to defang potential enemies.

Roberts: You see the United States as an enemy?

Adoniyah: Not really.  Our hope is to eliminate the United States as a potential enemy so that we might work together as allies.

Roberts: And you plan to do this by eliminating our weapons?

Adoniyah: Correct.

Roberts: Well, we can negotiate a proposal for disarmament, but we would want it to be equitable…

Adoniyah: It would be.  We have no need for technological weapons.

Roberts: But I can tell you, it will be a long process.  And it is in our foundational rights that all citizens have the right to have weapons.

Adoniyah: I want to assure you that we are not interested in eliminating all weapons.  Only the technological ones.  The ones that can kill another person without thought.

Roberts: Even so, this will take some planning.

Adoniyah: Not at all.  It is already done.

Roberts: (Looking around at her agents, smiling)  I can assure you it is not.

Adoniyah: (Confident) I can assure you that it is.

Roberts: (To Agent)  You still have your weapon.

Agent: (Without moving) Yes, ma’am.

Adoniyah: Please check your ammunition.

Agent: (Without moving) Sorry, sir.  It is against policy.

Adoniyah: You can call another guard in to look over you as you check.

Agent: Ma’am?

Roberts: Please.  I’d like to move on, and we need some proof, one way or another.

Agent: Yes ma’am.  (Whispers into his communicator.)

Roberts: (Turning to Adoniyah) You people are really arrogant, you know.

Adoniyah: Becoming rulers of the world does that, of course.

Roberts: I thought that you upheld humility.  Isn’t that a Christian virtue?

Adoniyah: I am not a Christian, ma’am.  But from what I understand, humility is a virtue of the oppressed.  Remaining lowly in the light of rebellious authorities, and awaiting God’s raising.  We are raised now, ma’am.  We wish to be polite, but it is better for everyone if we remain in control.

(The sound of running in the hall, outside the door.)

Roberts: (To Agent) What is going on?

Agent: (Speaking into his communicator, clearly agitated)  Just a moment, ma’am.

Adoniyah: Having found that their ammunition is missing, they are scrambling to find any.  They don’t want me to know that they are now weaponless.  But I already knew that.

Agent: Ma’am, we have to leave. Immediately.

Adoniyah: All your weapons are eliminated, ma’am.  Every nuclear warhead, every gun, every bomb, every bullet—they are all disarmed.

Roberts: (Being pushed out the door, quickly) We will speak again…

Adoniyah: Oh yes, we will.  (And he disappears)

Roberts: What the hell…

Secretary of State Roberts is quickly moved out of the building to the plane outside.  The Secret Security agent brings Secretary Roberts up to date about the situation concerning weapons.  Every weapon on each guard is empty of ammunition.  Because of the lack of protection, it was decided that the Secretary be transported immediately back to the United States.  Before the plane leaves the runway, the following conversation is held:

Roberts: What kind of magic trick is this?  How could they possibly cause our ammunition to disappear?

Agent: I don’t know, ma’am. 

Adoniyah: (Appearing suddenly) Hello again.

Roberts: (Startled) Damn—what the…

Agent: (Grabbing Adoniyah and putting him into a hold) Reinforcements, now!

Adoniyah: Don’t kill him, Uriel.  Just immobilize him.

The Agent’s arm is forcibly, but invisibly, taken off of the Minister, pulled behind the Agent’s back and an audible crack is heard.  The sound of other agents are outside the plane’s office door, but none come in.

Adoniyah: (Facing Secretary Roberts, her eyes wide, staring at him)  This is no diplomatic game, Ms. Roberts.  We are serious about our demands, and we intend to enforce them ourselves, if we must.  We have an uncountable army, because you cannot see them.  Every soldier in our army is stronger than any human, able to instantly transport themselves anywhere on earth and able to do anything, gather any information completely unseen.  We are not asking your weapons to be disabled.  They already are.  All of them.

Roberts: That is impossible…

Adoniyah: What was impossible is now everyday, Ms. Secretary.

Roberts: What gives you the right…

Adoniyah: The destruction of good people throughout the globe.  Yahweh had given you the opportunity to rule the globe.  And instead of creating peace on earth, justice for all, including the poor, you did what every other empire did.  Re-shape the world so that the majority of resources were available to your people, for the benefit of your wealthy.  We will admit, you were not the worst of empires.  No, there were many empires in the past that were worse, and this last evil empire was far worse.  Nevertheless, we intend to make it certain that such wars that took place this last century—nay, for the last millennia—would never occur again.  You want war?  It will never come down against the Kingdom, that we will be certain of.  But even should you war against other nations, it will be with spears and arrows.  Even your planes will be disabled for now to eliminate any possible repeat of 9/11.  Any planes will only be able to take off by asking permission from the Kingdom.  We are serious about creating a new world of peace, Ms. Roberts.  We are serious about seeing the poor of the world have equality.  And we have the means to make our demands occur.

Roberts: Are we allowed to take off and go back to the United States?

Adoniyah: Yes, of course.  I will visit you in Washington soon.  That will be our next communication.

Roberts: Then please leave the plane. 

Adoniyah: If you wish.  I am sorry to have embarrassed you.  I hope we will be able to work together toward similar goals, now that the ancient goals have finally been set aside.  (He disappears).

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Your Faithful Reporter at the End of Days

Your ever present journalist, Marcella Gibbon, live at the biggest celebrity event of all!  

All of us clearly remember the events of just a few weeks ago, with Yeshua coming from the heavens with an amazing array of white-robed, delicious young men coming to take over Jerusalem.  How your reporter would have loved to take one of them home!  After this, Yeshua called together his own special form of government made of powerful anthropomorphic beings appeared almost out of nowhere.  They have amazing abilities, such as to transport to a distant place in an instant, through walls or mountains.  But their most powerful feature is the peace and gentleness they constantly have no matter what faces them.  The official statement is that these magnificent but strange beings are special people from the human past, but it is rumored that they are actually aliens from a distant star.

But none of this means anything, for tonight we are to part-eh!  Now that he has solidified his power over the Middle East region, Yeshua has called all of the movers and shakers of the whole world to join him in a celebration of the new world order!  And what an array of celebrities we have tonight!  I stand beside the red carpet glorying in the magnificence of the bright lights before us!

Oh, look, there’s Jenny Carmichael, star of the new hit show, The West Hills in a daring new outfit!  A long silver dress with a slit that goes all the way up, and I do mean all!  I hope she’s wearing some kind of body suit beneath that, for I understand our new ruler is a bit of a prude!  There she goes, smiling all the way!  How proud all of our best and brightest must be tonight!  To meet the new, popular king in their own private audience!  Fantastic!

Oh, my there is General Wainright, all decked out with every medal he ever earned on his chest!  Age does not eliminate grandeur, does it?   His steps are powerful, taking his time walking down the carpet.  He waves at the crowds, slowly and—look, is that a grin on his face?  One for the record books!   I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before!  The great hero and political leader of Asia, smiling!

And here is the most famous of all, the rock god—no offense intended Yeshua!—Alexx!  Listen to the girls scream!  Seeing him almost makes me want to scream, as well!  But he just wears his sunglasses and quickly rushes into the stadium.  What a disappointment!

Look at the magnificent spectacle before us now!  Archbishop Tenelon, the famous living saint of Tunisia, who completely transformed the political landscape, making it safe for democracy!  How wonderful he is in his tall, golden hat and his white robes all lined with red stitching! 

Well, we should go in, because I understand the ceremony has just begun.  It is time for Yeshua’s big speech.  Let’s sneak in and see if we can get a peak….  I’m whispering because I want to creep past the guards without them seeing… Oh, too late!  Hello there!  Yes, I’m Marcella Gibbon and I’m the reporter for Daytime, the most watched morning show… what?  Yes?  Oh, fans, it looks like the voice of your reporter has reached the highest, after all!  Not only are we welcome, but it looks like we are on the list!  Well, I truly am blushing!  Sir, please, allow Rob in, too.  He’s my cameraman and my access to the global audience.  Can’t he come in… oh, he’s checking.  This is just so exciting… Oh, yes!  Wonderful!  Come in, dear viewers, and let’s see what kind of a seat we can get.

Yes, let’s stand over to the side.  We aren’t breaking any fire codes are we?  No?  Oh, this place is set aside for us?  Wonderful!  We are the only reporters allowed in tonight!  Take that, Mike!  Now let’s hear what Yeshua is saying…look at him!  Isn’t he marvelous?  Such simple elegance!  A basic white robe, down to his feet, a long white beard—it just makes me want to put my fingers through it!  Of course, I woudn’t.  Oh, yes, I will hush for a moment…

“…our new ministers of State.  These are the newly resurrected men and women, some from the ancient past, some from the recent past.  But I would like to call attention to these hundred that stand before you.  These are but a representative of the literally millions that recently lived in your nations.  Allow me to introduce some of them.

Now one of the crowd who stands behind Yeshua with a neatly trimmed beard and thinning hair step forward in—dare I say it—rather shabby fatigues.

“First is Byron, who, until a few years ago lived in the Western United States, homeless on the street.  Perhaps few of you recognize him, but he was featured in the past as a menace in Seattle for proclaiming the downfall of those who killed the innocent.  He heard my voice, dared to declare aloud the wrongs of that nation and the visiting dignitaries.  Although he provided an important, but dissenting, political voice, did any of you—in either the conservative or liberal sides of the debates that raged in almost all nations provide him a place to stay for one night?  Or even a meal?  I know many of you saw him and those who saw him noticed him, for he has a powerful voice.  But did any of you support him?  To support him would be to support me, for he represented me while I was absent.

“Second is Melinda.”

A woman in a plain dress steps forward.  She has brown, mousey hair, and a sad smile.  She almost seems familiar… Oh, Melinda Gravitas, formerly of our competitor… she really isn’t the same without her makeup, is she?

“She also spoke on television against the sanctions and killings that were happening during the previous regime.  How many of you offered her shelter after she was fired?  Did any of you seek help even for her children?  Perhaps you feared the regime and the time when you would stand with her, locked in the ‘secret’ concentration camps?  The refuge centers that you all knew about, but dared not to speak of?  She was publicly hanged, but not before her fifteen year old daughter was raped before her eyes and her son castrated before his throat was slit.  You knew her.  Some of you knew her fate.  But who of you, all of whom had the public eye, would speak a word in her defense?  How many of you would even visit her?  She was there for me.  She represented me.

“Now, Bobby.

Oh, Bobby…. You are still alive.  I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.

“Bobby was well known among you.  He was an acoustic folk singer, although little of his earning he kept for himself.  He lived on a trailer among the poor in Africa, but he never spoke of this fact.  The only time you saw him was in his concerts.  He spoke of the poor and preached the need to be right with God.  When he spoke of a woman, begging in the streets with her sick newborn babe, he spoke out of his own experience.  He granted her shelter on her own and gave food to her, allowing her boy to live.  He saved many of his neighbors, and a few who were willing to live with him in his poor conditions, he flew from India, China, the streets of England and Mexico.  They built a community of love and restoration there.

I remember Bobby.  I met him in his penultimate concert tour.  His music was heavenly, but not passive.  It was powerful.  He spoke to me about…me.  He didn’t talk about his tour or his work.  He wanted to know about me, about my life, and my longings.  I laughed him off.  It wasn’t appropriate.  We were in an interview, and he was too—personal.  But I never forgot him.  I wept when…

“Eventually, the false Democratic Republic of God attacked his village and kidnapped him.  He wrote to many of you, pleading for help.

            …I received his letter.  I couldn’t believe it was happening to him.  I had heard no official reports.  I checked with the police and they said not to say a word.  That it was better not to…

“Many of you were told not to negotiate with terrorists.  But the authorities did nothing to help him, either, because the Democratic Republic of God was in the pay of the largest nations in the world, to do their work in Africa.  To keep it poor and hopeless.  To focus the attention of the do-gooders in the world away from their own streets.  So the farthing granted to the poor would never go to the needy in front of you.  Did any of you assist Bobby?  I think you know the answer to that.  He was beheaded when the three weeks of ransom were up.

“Why are you all here?  Because for all of your stances about justice, for all your liberal platforms, for all your charity organizations, for all of your benefit concerts and your budget lines for the poor, you never brought justice to the people before you.  These hundred, as I said, represent literally millions.  The people who lived on the street you never took in.  The starving beggars you passed without dropping even a coin.  The innocent that were killed for your political agenda.  For every person you saw before you and never offered an ounce of help. 

“I am Al-mashiach, the anointed one.  I am the final ruler, and the only one who truly will work for the needy, the persecuted and poor.  I have been hungry, and lived among the hurting and oppressed.  You leaders who have ruled—you have failed the majority of your citizens.  This is due to you having lived only among the powerful.  Perhaps some of you lived in your childhood amidst the needy.  But as soon as you tented with the important and wealthy, you took up their cause and stood for the powerful  You failed the ones who depended on you most.  Now I will truly stand for them, and the oppressed will take over the governments.

“You, on the other hand, are condemned.  I send you all to the outer darkness, for eternity.  Should any of you wish to appeal this decision, I will meet with you personally.  But, apart from that, goodbye.  I will never see you again.”

Your reporter stands, stunned with all of the leaders of the nations around us at the message they just received.  At the far end of the hall, masses are exiting, each of them receiving a mark on their cheek.  It doesn’t look like much, just a black mark from a grease pencil.  I can hear a few protesting, but most just move along the lines like cattle. 

This is a shame to have all these world leaders fail in the very thing they were claiming to uphold.  It is terrible to have to see this, but your reporter must admit that there is some justice to these charges, although….Excuse me?  Sir, what are you doing?

“Marcella, please move along.  We have many people to process and exile…”
I’m just a reporter, sir.  I don’t belong with these others.

“I hate to contradict you, ma’am, but you are on the list.”

Ridiculous!  There must be a mistake!  I demand to see your superior!
“You wish to make an appeal?”

If that’s what you call it, then yes.

“Come this way, then”— (cut)—

This is Marcella Gibbon, still with you.  What a relief!  Due to a mix up in paperwork, your reporter was almost sent to hell for all eternity!  Now, we sit, awaiting the Great One, Yeshua, so we can fix this.  Happily, he allowed my cameraman to remain with me, so we can all see firsthand what this so called justice really looks like from the inside.

While we wait, allow your reporter to make a few personal comments.  I must admit, that this situation angers your reporter greatly.  This is similar to the Nazi regime.  They will send these poor folks, who knew no better, doing just what they were told, to a place of torture.  Actually, this is worse than the Nazis, for out of the millions they killed, they only tortured a few.  But this man with his “loving God” behind him is going to torture every single one for all eternity.  Why does he do this?  Is God, ultimately a torturer?  Choosing a few who must kowtow at his feet, while the rest who were only keeping the world system running, must be deformed without the relief of death in sight?  What a horror this has all turned out to be.  As you know, your reporter is not often about the unfortunate, wishing to focus on the happier side of life, but for once I think I must speak out!

Oh, wait, I hear the door opening…

"Yeshua!  I am so glad you were willing to see me!  My viewers want to know…"

“Marcella, I am glad to speak with you.  What is your concern with my judgment?"

"I am sure that it is all a simple mistake.  I was here to report on the proceedings, and your guards began to push me out with the others, but I am only an observer…"

“Yudah, do you have Marcella’s file with you?  Fine, thank you.  Give me a moment here…”

Now that true justice is here, I am sure that your reporter will be let go…

“Well, it all seems in order, here, Marcella.  You are supposed to be exiled with the rest.”

What, but I don’t understand…

“It’s very simple, Marcella.  You are a world leader, just like all the rest.  You had the public eye for ages.  And yet you did nothing to assist the needy or oppressed, despite your frequent association with them.  You ignored Bobby’s letter for instance…”

Just as I was told to!

“And would you excuse anyone else who had the means to help the innocent but refused to because they were told to?  What about your trip to Calcutta or Brazillia?  Didn’t you see hundreds of the millions in poverty there?”

I didn’t really notice…

“Marcella, it’s all in your record.  We have you on record speaking to your boyfriend, Glen about how sorry you felt for them, but that there was nothing you could do.”

That was a private conversation…

“Nothing was ever private, Marcella.  Everything you’ve ever done was recorded.”

Wait, what about my private times with Glen, and Tony…

“Nothing was ever hidden.  And trust me, we have seen it all time and time again.  Nothing you did was surprising or unusual.  The point is that you, as a world leader, chose not to help those in front of you.  Perhaps you gave a hundred or so to charity out of social pressure, but you never really helped anyone.  Not with your life.  Yet you were responsible to.”

But I was not!  It was my task, as a reporter, to remain objective.  To keep my perspective even for the sake of my viewers!

“Marcella, there is no such thing as objectivity.  When a poor child holds his hand before you, begging for a coin, there is no such thing as an objective position.  You could interview him, have pity on him, even pray for him.  But if you have a load of money in your pocket and refuse to give him any kind of help, then you are not objective.  You are greedy and selfish.”

But who knows who that money would go to?

“Then you could have taken him into your home and off the street.  I know it’s all complicated.  Love is always complicated.  And it’s not easy to make the right choice.  But you spent your life avoiding right choices.  Or any choices.  And so you chose evil, by choosing nothing.”

"Well, Yeshua.  This is terribly judging.  I thought you were supposed to be about forgiving, not judging."

“I am not about my own judgment.  But this is God’s judgment.  Neither he nor I can abide with those who have been apathetic to the needy to be in our Kingdom.  We are all about justice, and the just are what make up justice.”

"So you condemn us to torture?  I can’t abide heat!  My makeup can’t handle it!  And I burn easy!"

“Of course you are concerned about that.  Well, you are still alive, so there is a possibility you might avoid that.  For now, we are sending you out, never to return.”

"Out where?"

“Everyone is so concerned about God being a torturer.  My loving Father tortures no one.  That’s not the issue.  The important thing is that the Kingdom be a land of and for the just.  Those who have assisted the poor and oppressed, and who have honored the Father by doing this, they will be welcome into the Kingdom.  This is heaven, living in a place where all the gentle, the helpful, the loving people dwell.  There will be no poverty here, and everyone will be kind to each other because that’s the sort of person who lives here.  And the oppressed but kind are resurrected and will rule, both because they deserve it from what they have suffered and because they have been proven worthy.  They know how to deal with oppression.”

"But how can what you do to the rest be considered kind or just?"

“Frankly, Marcella, hell is not fire.  The torture you receive is not from demons.  Rather, hell is living in a place where every miserable, greedy, selfish, judgmental, proud, self-righteous, hypocritical, lying, fearful, hateful person lives.  Sarte was correct when he said “Hell is other people.”  Hell is living with the people who think that they are more important than love.  Hell is living with people who take more than they give.

“And what makes hell particularly hellish is that fact that there is no redemption there.  For now, the peacemakers, the merciful live throughout the world.  But they are beginning to all be drawn to the Kingdom.  Some will still wish to live among the hateful, because their compassion is that great, but for the most part, all the nations but the Kingdom will be without them.  Yes, there will be civilization—you will continue to have your entertainments and your governments, but it will be civilization based only upon greed and judgment.  Only the selfish, not the merciful.  Only the hurting, not the healing.  Only the hateful, not the loving.  This is true misery.” (cut tape)

Your faithful reporter, Marcella Gibbon now stands outside the hall of Yeshua.  And why, although raked over the coals by Yeshua himself, is your reporter so happy?  Because she has it on direct authority that it is not the end of the world!  Yes, your reporter is judged, but not down.  We will be reporting for years to come, with all the impartiality and hard work you’ve come to expect.  Although she has received a permanent ban from the Kingdom, there is still the rest of the world to look into.  And frankly, it seems as if it is outside the Kingdom that the real excitement exists!

Until next time, ta ta!

A Second Chance

A voice from far away was calling her.  “Joanne?  Joanne?  Can you hear me?”

Do I really have to wake up?  Just when I was getting comfortable… “Hmm?”

“Wake up there, dear.  Time to wake up.”

“But I was having such a pleasant dream…”

The voice was male.  And old.  It didn’t crack or break in any way.  But it still sounded as coming from an old man.  And he was surprised. “Really?  What was it?”

She pondered for a moment. “I’m not sure.  I don’t know it really matters.  It was kind of fuzzy, but bright.  It was just… pleasant.  It’s been a long time since I was comfortable falling asleep.  You know, I’m sure, how difficult it is to remember a dream just after waking…” She stopped in shock.  Her eyes opened to a older man in a long, white robe bending over her.  “Wha?  Who are you?”

He nodded at her, as if she had not asked a question at all.  “Yes, I know.  There are many things that I am happy to forget.  You too, I am sure.”

She tried to back away from him, but found that the bed wouldn’t allow her to. “Excuse me, sir?  What are you doing in my bedroom?”

“Actually, Joanne, you are in my bedroom.”

Joanne opened her eyes.  He was right. The walls were bright, not covered with smoke residue and mold.  It was constructed as if from adobe, and the doorway was curved and thick—maybe a foot thick.  With no door at all.  Apart from the bed, where she was covered with only a thin, white sheet, there was only a desk, a closet and a full length mirror to mar the perfect emptiness of the square room.  It was small, but she’d lived in smaller spaces.  Heck, she’d lived in tents. Before.

“This isn’t my… why… it looks all strange.  As if I’m in a foreign land.”

“Actually, dear, you are home.  For the first time.”

She looked at him hard.  He seemed almost familiar.  Clearly an older gentleman, balding with a white beard.  But his olive colored skin had few wrinkles to blemish his open expression.  Still, there he was.  With her.  Alone in this strange room. “Again, sir, I ask.  Who are you?”

He spoke quietly, “I am Avraham.”

“Your name is Abraham? Not Abe?”

He chuckled, then repeated, “Avraham.  With a ‘v’.  At least, that’s how I’m used to having it pronounced.  And I think you might think of me as ‘the’ Avraham.”

“The” Avraham?  Lincoln?  No, wait…“Abraham in the Bible?”

“That’s the one.”

Realization came over her.  She wasn’t in a hospital, or her room or with a friend.  She was alone, talking to this nice but odd gentleman.  If he really was Abraham…

“So… I’m dead?”

“Do you feel dead?”

Joanne stretches her hands and arms out, feeling the strength in her body.  “Well, if this is dead, then I wish I would have died a long time ago.  I feel great.”

Avraham chuckles.  “I do too.  Unlike you, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

Joanne stares at him, confused.  “Where are we, then?  Heaven?”

“Better than that, my dear.”

“What could be better than heaven?”

“The Kingdom.”

“Isn’t that heaven?  I mean, it’s called the Kingdom of Heaven.”

“Yes, that was Matthew’s term.  But it’s not in the spiritual plain.  It’s here on earth.  And trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted to be without a body.”

“But I’ve been working so hard to be in God’s presence.”

“And you will be.  Truly.”

“I thought I would finally be free from my body—this cursed body.”

“This body you have now isn’t cursed.  It is glorious and perfect.”

“Now isn’t the time for fleshly compliments, sir.”

“I didn’t mean that in a sexual way.  I am much past that,” he chuckled.  “Look at yourself in the mirror.”

Joanne gets up off the bed and marvels at the strength of her legs.  She has never felt so light, so energetic.  

After standing for a moment, she spun in a little dance.  I’m so lightheaded, no, wait.  I am thinking so clearly.  This isn’t lightheadedness.  I don’t know what it is.  I wish it would just last for a moment more before the darkness descended.  Walking across the room was like walking on air.  The room seemed so light, so joyful.  Joy.  I’m happy.  Have I ever been happy before?

“Come here, child, look at yourself in the mirror.”

She almost skipped to the full length mirror then stood before it, almost unable to keep still.  Before her was a complete stranger.  “She’s beautiful”

Avraham smiled.  “She’s you.”

Joanne shook her head, but Avraham spoke before her, “Look at the face, dear.  The same nose, the same sky-blue eyes—you just don’t have your brow descended over them.  And you are smiling.  Have you ever seen yourself smiling before?”

She hadn’t.  It really is Joanne, standing before herself, amazed.  Her eyes were wide, and yes, they truly are sky blue.  Why have I never seen that before?  It is like she had never seen herself before.  She looked down and noticed something even more remarkable.

“I’m nude.  In front of a man.  And I don’t care.  I don’t feel ashamed at all.”

“You are past shame, dear.  We are family, and we can be nude before each other if we want, because there’s nothing shameful about it.  Like I said, I am past sexual feelings.  And so are you.”

“But I don’t look old.”

“And I do?”

She tore herself away from her new beauty and looked at him.  “You are… ageless.  I have no idea how old you are.  You are… almost… young and ancient.  So wise.  So kind.  Like the perfect grandfather.”

He brightened even more than before, “Thank you, my dear.  That’s how I feel.  And I love you like your grandfather was never able to.”

She started and looked out the door, “Is my grandfather…”

“Please, don’t fret about the past, my dear.  Everything that was old has passed away.”

“I’m not afraid.” She remembered clearly her grandfather’s face, twisted in anger, as she sat crumpled, blood streaming from her nose.  That image haunted her throughout her life, fearing that the next person she met would be him.  Why am I not afraid?  She thought of him with sorrow, certainly, but without the anxiety of the next punch.  Is it because Avraham is so unlike him?  Or because she is so different.

Avraham continued to smile, “I’m sure you are not.  It is so wonderful to see you like this, my dear.  You are so brave.  I admire you so much.”

She cast her eyes down, remembering who she really was.  “I’m not so brave.  I’ve been a coward all my life.” Although her face expressed guilt, she felt none.  What have I become? Some shameless slut?

“On the contrary, you are the bravest person I know.”

“You don’t know me.”

“I know you better than you know yourself.  You are famous, you know.”

She laughed aloud. “That cannot be true.”

Avraham cocked his head at her, “What reason would I have to lie to you?  What’s the last thing you remember?”

She thought back to her grandfather again… no, not that far back.  “My friend was talking to me.  She’s from that church I go to sometimes.  Lindsay, that’s her name.  Huh,” she pondered, “I could never remember her name before.”

“And what were you doing when she spoke to you?”

“I was preaching.  About the Beast.”  She pauses, considering her message.   “It came, didn’t it?”
Avraham’s face fell.  “Yes.”  He was almost in tears.   Yes it did.”

“A government that was determined to destroy every last remnant of love of God.  And it did so by destroying those who loved God.”

“Yes.  And what else happened?”

“The police came.  Oh dear, did I call them the Beast?”

“Yes, dear.  But it’s alright.”

“No wonder they kicked me.”

“He didn’t kick you because of what you called him.  He kicked you because you were right.”

“He was the Beast?”

“A part of it.  The Beast is a whole system of people organized to destroy Yahweh’s glory.  To be so concerned about security that they would destroy anyone who threatened it.”

“Did he consider me a threat?”


“I was so afraid… how could he think that I was threatening?”

“Because he read your features too well.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.”

“The police work very hard at reading non-verbal communication, especially facial expression.  They focus on two features: an expression of guilt and an expression of enacting violence.”

“There are expressions for that?”

“Not exactly.  But there is an expression of fear, which is the same expression of being caught.  And there is a wildness in one’s eyes that some have when you have lost control.  You, my dear, had both expressions.  But the officer misread them.”

“I would never have hurt him.  I thought he was going to attack me!  I knew that he was!”

“And he did, because of the fear in your heart.”

“But fear is no reason to attack someone!”

“No, dear.  But among the gentiles it is common.  Now, let me tell you something about your story you didn’t know.  Your ‘friend’ Lindsay was seeking you out specifically.   She had seen your behavior and was fearful of you.  So she decided to get you into a mental hospital.  So she met up with you on the corner with a recording devise. She brought it so she would have proof of your insanity.  And there you were, on the corner, saying what she considered to be ‘crazy talk.’”

“But I really saw it.  And God told me to speak.”

“I know, dear.  But even if she had known it, she would have labeled you schizophrenic and been more determined than ever to lock you up.  After the police killed you, she gave a copy of your speech to the officials, and she also posted a copy of it on the internet to defend the officer who killed you.  Carefully doctored, of course, so the officer could be held in the best light.  But it contained the entire recording of your speech.  Well, not the last sentence or two.

 “A few years later, as the Beast truly arrived and started working within churches against the true lovers of Yahweh, the recording was rediscovered by these oppressed religionists.  They passed it around on the internet, and made transcripts of it and it became a message of hope and strength as the lovers of Yahweh dwindled.  Martyrs died quoting your words on their lips.”

“And this is how I became famous?”

“Yes.  Perhaps only among a certain group, but you became one of the most important Christian figures of the last days.”

For a few moments, she sat in stunned silence.  “But how could you possibly call me brave?  I had no control over what I said.  It was a compulsion.”

“I love your false humility!  Don’t you remember who you were?  You were the most frightened woman in your town.  You ended up on the street because you feared your family and anyone else who might offer you help.  You ended up in church only because the Spirit compelled you to, not because of any good reception you received there.

            “Before any resurrection is completed, there is a brain and personality scan done on every raised body. There is an ideal model which each brain is compared to.  There are infinite excellent variations to each model, but genetic modifications from generation to generation caused many terrible flaws.  Before a person’s resurrection is completed, we make minor adjustments to perfect such minor flaws as make it a trial to live in the Kingdom. I have read your file.  Your fear capacity was over the top.  This has been corrected, as well as your schizophrenia.  Yes, you really did have a mental illness.  It wasn’t all demons. Or God.  Your schizophrenia made it more likely for you to accept messages from the spirit world, both good and bad. But your brain was dysfunctional.  We’ve corrected that.

            “My point is this: Before you stood at that street corner, as the police spoke to you, you were crazy with fear.  You were overwhelmed with it.  But, despite that, you stood and did what God wanted you to do.  You said what needed to be said.  You did it despite your crippling weakness.  And because of that, you brought a message of strength to the one of the most oppressed groups that ever lived.

            “You, my dear, are a hero of the highest order.”

Despite the surprising lack of guilt she felt, Joanne’s relief was immeasurable.  She was so overwhelmed by her joy that tears spilled from her eyes, descending quickly down her face.  “I—   I’m not a bad girl?”

Avraham’s eyes became moist as well.  “No, my dear.  You were very, very good.  We are all so proud of you.”

If it were not for the new strength in her limbs, she would have collapsed.  As it was, she fell  upon Avraham’s shoulders and sobbed on his shoulders.  He knew, though, that she was not unhappy.  He knew that she had needed this for a long time.  He held her, patting her on the back, crying tears of joy for her.

            After many minutes of washing her guilt and weakness away from her, she stood and wiped her face.  “I feel… I feel so good!  I’ve never felt so good! I could just… sing!  Have I ever sung before?  Out loud?  Maybe in church, in a whisper.  But I just want to… shout!  Run!  I’m ready for anything!”

Avraham laughed, “So, then!  Are you ready to meet Yeshua?”

“Yeshua, who’s that?”

“You would know him as Jesus.”

“Jesus… Jesus!  He wouldn’t want to meet me…”

“Stop that!  Of course he wants to meet you.  He’s been waiting for you.  He wants to thank you personally for your bravery. And give you your first task.”

“Jesus himself…”

“The very one.”

“…Wants to thank me.”

“He’s in his public room.  There will only be a few hundred there before Him.  But I need to let you know that hundreds of thousands will be watching from afar.  You’re very popular, you know.  Oh, yes, I told you that.”

“I couldn’t possibly… wait.  Actually, you know what?  I CAN do that.  I’m looking forward to it, actually.”

“There’s my girl!  Let’s get you dressed properly.”

“What have I to wear?  I’ve never been at a formal public function before.”

Avraham laughed, “In Jesus’ court?  A white robe, of course.  It’s in the closet.”

Joanne dressed quickly, then requested some tools to fix up her hair.  Avraham nodded, “I’ll get you an attendant who will help you get fixed up.  I’ll leave to get the public room ready for you.  I’ll see you again soon.  But I just wanted to ask you one question before you left.  In your life, have you ever felt that you wanted to start life over again?  To clean up your past mistakes and to do things right?  Have you ever felt like you wanted a second chance?”

“So many times, you can’t imagine.”

“Well, my darling, this is it.”