“What do you mean there is going to be another delay?” Edison T. Fitzgerald’s face was fire red, the bulging veins on his forehead resembled miniature snakes. “We lost another grip? Get Earl over to my trailer now!” The fifty-year-old pony-tailed director threw his walky-talky against the wall.
Earl Wilkerson was the Key Grip on Fitzgerald’s movie set, Melody of War - a New Armageddon. He supervised a crew of workers called grips, which handled the dollies, the camera cranes and worked with the lighting and rigging technicians on the film. The ninth different grip he assigned to operate the big crane for the final scripted scene in the movie had walked off the set without explanation. The veteran of over sixty films wasn’t thrilled about having to go see Mr. Fitzgerald.
“Tell me what’s going on, Earl? I’m behind schedule now. This is the most important shot in the movie. I want tears falling from Heaven as Jerusalem succumbs to the armies of the world. I have the most expensive classical composer available putting together a musical score just for this scene. What’s happening? “
“I‘m not exactly sure, boss. I had put Martinez on the big crane and he quit just like the rest. Once he got the cameraman elevated for the rehearsal-shot, he stood back like he was watching something in the sky. After about a minute, he lowered the cameraman back down and left. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m running out of grips.”
The director let out a deep sigh.
“Earl, we are going to get that scene shot today. If you can’t find anybody else, you will work the crane. Jerusalem is going to fall, and it is going to fall on tape before any of us go home. You get your people over there now; I’ll take care of the rest.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll man the crane. See you there.”
“Is everything in place, Earl?”
“Good, get that cameraman up above the set and let me finally see what this is going to look like.” The director then turned his attention to an actress. “Okay, Sybil, it’s just like we’ve talked about. You’re a Jewish mother holding her baby. There will be fire and smoke all around. The sounds of ambulances, sirens, screams and hysteria will fade to silence as a light drizzle starts to fall. I want your expression to reflect emptiness and defeat, as the hope of your deliverance washes away with the rain dripping off of your upturned face.”
As the director was taking his seat in front of the monitors, Earl started lowering the cameraman back down.
“What are you doing?”
The Key Grip stood there with tears in his eyes.
“You didn’t hear that? You didn’t see?”
“See what, my man? Has everyone lost their minds? Get out of the way; I’ll operate the thing myself.”
Earl walked off to the side and fell to his knees.
God, let him see!
As the director‘s eyes looked up from the crane, he froze in place. He saw Heaven opened, and heard a choir of thousands singing, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” He saw a white horse, whose rider was clothed with a white robe dipped in blood. On the robe was written, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords“. The rider’s head had many crowns. Behind Him, as far as the director’s eyes could see, were the armies of Heaven. They were all clothed in white-and-clean fine linen, sitting on white horses. The rider of the lead horse turned towards the director. Out of His mouth came a sharp sword. His eyes were like a flame of fire. Edison T. Fitzgerald heard the Lord speak.
“Yes, I am coming soon.”
The director fell on his face and cried out so loud the ground seemed to tremble around him. Hours later, he packed his belongings and flew his jet home.
Secluded on an island beach house, as dozens of lawsuits were pending because of his sudden departure from the film, the new Christian sat at his computer and started writing his novel:
The Disappearance of the Eleventh Grip
By Edison T. Fitzgerald
The process of my salvation played like a melody that only Heaven itself could have composed. It all started…
Note: Heaven references from Rev. 19:1, 19:11-24 and Rev. 22:20. NIV
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