I jumped from the roof because my friends had all died. The entire world had been drowned. It was from the roof of the tallest tower in Europe. The crop-producing lands in America, Australia, and Asia had already been swallowed by the rising salt water and the world had starved.
And our conquest to live on other planets had failed us.
I was the last person. I no longer wanted to be surrounded by the dead bodies of my friends and others who had been starved of food and water on the roof with me. So I jumped into the water looming 70 floors below.
And then I woke up.
Peace. Free from all the heaviness of the earth. Lots of light.
And you were here. I felt like I knew you. Better than anyone I have ever known, but I had never met you. Like you had been in everyone I had met, but I didn’t know it was you. Your smile was knowing, as if you were happy that I was about to discover a secret you had for me.
I looked around.
“This place seems nice,” I said.
“I hope so. I made it for us.”
“Just you and me? What about the rest of creation? Everybody else?”
“They are in you. It was you who lived every life. Every animal and insect and plant to every last human. It was you. You are now more complete. You are more like me.”
And as I thought about it, I remembered everything. It doubled me over at the waist, like a tsunami had crashed over my heart. You were right there with me, your hand on my back.
“The pain,” I groaned. “So much pain. So much I did wrong. I’m sorry.”
“I know,” you said. “But we will now judge it, my wrath will be your forgiveness. I will burn up your pain and we will make you new. Because there is so much beauty I see in you.”
I nodded, because by the way you said it I knew it was true. I looked up and your eyes were kind. I knew this kindness, and tenderness would bring my judgement that would save me. Like a scalpel held in the tender hand of a loving surgeon. You walked me to a river. It was steaming. So, so beautiful. It flowed down from a mountain. You led me up the mountain. All was so beautiful. So much beauty and complexity to explore.
“I’ve made it all for you, my son.”
I use the word son here, because it is close, but the word you used also included daughter, and brother and sister, and wife and husband, and created, and servant, and every good thing every life on earth had ever been to you and to each other.
We came to a spring at the top of the mountain and you stepped in. You beckoned me to follow. You did not force me. But I trusted you. I stepped in. The pure crystal water burned parts of me like a liquid diamond excising to my bones. It carved out the pained and ugly and vengeful parts of me. I looked down and saw dark red dross coming off of me, dispersing and disappearing into the vast spring.
“As far as the East is from the West,” you said.
It burned badly, but I wanted to be purified. The memories of pain and sin did not leave me, but the water soaked them through with a new flavor, purified them. And I knew that those hard memories, too, had made me into who I am. They had built into me humility, and empathy, and an understanding of how good was your goodness, because I had seen the great darkness in me. And I knew the water was your forgiveness.
“Thank you,” I said.
“Half of the forgiveness was for yourself; you needed to forgive yourself.” You looked down at my wrists just as they were entering the water. “And now you know the pain I bore for all the forgiveness I have given you. You would be less without knowing this pain as well. This is also how you will know how much I love you.” The blood on the fresh nail wounds stung as my wrists dipped into the water. But as I let them settle in, the water took the pain away. My scars were not removed, but were healed. In fact there were faded dense shapes all over my skin. It made up my skin’s essence. I realized I bore the scars of all people on earth. But it was the scars that made up the material of my skin. And the scars were beautiful, their shapes making beautiful, flat, skin-colored tattoos faded on my skin if I looked close enough. If I did not look so close, I could only see the stigmata on my wrists.
I settled into the water, following you, but of my own will. I kept my eyes open as I dipped my head under the water, because there was so much in them that could be purified. But also that way I could see all the pain lifting out of me and spreading out from me toward the edges of the spring. I could see it would become the soil from which things in this world would grow. But the pain in me was replaced by such a deep, understanding and renewal. Your hand found mine under the water, and in that instant I realized this redemption of my suffering was the secret you had wanted to share.
We gently floated to the middle of the hot spring, side by side.
“I thought there was supposed to be a third among us? The Holy Spirit.”
“He is the one that connects us. There is you, and there is me, but together we are more than just you and me. That is he. Our love that is the invisible bond that binds us. You can see him if you look.”
I looked at you and saw him in your face. In your smile. But behind you I saw mountains and more creatures moving on the hillsides and the great skies with rolling clouds, like those on earth. And I realized that was the Spirit as well. Every embodiment of the love between us was him.” You said ‘him’, but it also meant the spirit was ‘her’.
“What do we do now?”
“Well, you no longer operate on the spectrum of Good and Evil. I created you in that world but you have finally graduated. We now operate on the spectrum of love and more love. It is only limited by our creativity. The only tragedy in this story between you and I will be ways we imagine to love each other that we have not yet fulfilled. And that is how we will live anew.”
I smiled and knew. I started to back away from you, with a coy smile. And you knew too. You would pursue me.
But now I would spend a thousand years creating creatures that could enjoy this love with us. And in that time you would be ever seeking me, and me ever you. Hoping to be with each other like the night before our wedding. But you would learn about me through the beauty in every single thing I could create to give to you. I would learn about you and how you created me. And at the end of that long night you would find me again and you would hold me, like your true created, becoming more and more like the image of you, my creator.
Is this one possible way the judgment day could look? I don’t think this is how it will happen, but I hope this story increases our imagination of God!
This story is a fictional concept of mine. But a friend, Therese, showed me “The Egg,” a story by Andy Weir (the author of The Martian) which is super similar to this. So I thought I’d write my version as well! Here is his version. Check it out! http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html
Raw Spoon, 1-28-16