A Gate, and a Vision
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The following his meant to be historical fiction. It takes place between Paul’s meeting with Jesus on the road and his baptism in Damascus. I have taken the liberty to imagine more than we could possibly know. I hope it is motivating and enjoyable at the same time.
The long road ended here; at the Bab Sharqi (east gate). Paul could feel the cold rough stone under his hand. Resting against the wall he imagined the majestic arch high above him. He raised his eyes as if to behold the ancient portal and the tower overlooking the coming and going of the people. Only darkness greeted his efforts to see. Soldiers called out, hustling the masses along. It was late in the day and the sounds of people passing filled his ears. Merchants and pack animals, peddlers and paupers, they all passed with the humming sound of business.
On the voyage here an impossible event had taken place. A flash, a visitation, and now he was blind. His mind was racing with the wonderment of the Lord’s words. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do,” was the command. Here he would find answers; at least that was his hope. Everything he had worked for had come crashing down like the walls of Jericho. How could he have been so far from the truth?
Three days later he sat waiting. It seemed that a long time had passed since the meeting on the road. How long would he have to wait? It was agonizing. Would he be punished for all the terrible things he had done? How could the Lord forgive someone like him? Again he wondered how he could have been so misguided.
A knock on the door rattled his thoughts. His attention was riveted as a voice requested to see him. Could it be Ananias? His body shook and his heart raced as the footsteps drew closer. What would he say and what would happen afterward?
Strong hands gripped him by the shoulders, “Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Abruptly his vision cleared. A man stood before him with eyes fixed on Paul. He looked as if he was waiting to learn the meaning of it all himself. Paul let his eyes take in a new world. The other men in the room shifted from one foot to another as they looked at one another. They did not see what Paul saw. The busy street outside the window was full of Damascans going about their daily routine. They did not see what Paul saw. He imagined all the places he had been and where he would go. He vowed to help everyone see what he saw now.
He could finally see.
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