The line lay before me like a fat, lazy, brown snake. With each individual shuffled step it collectively slithers forward in the dull light. All is a wash of brown: umber dirt, tawny sky, terracotta robes draping each one.
I’m clothed in such a robe. How I came to be here I do not know. There is no recollection of a past. There is no hope for a future. There is just now. One shuffle step, slither, two shuffle step, slither.
I have no need to look behind. I know it’s the same: a long continuous line of brown. One shuffle step, slither, two shuffle step, slither.
Eventually, how long I do not know for there is no time here, the one before me disappears into a brilliant ball of light and is no more … one shuffle step, slither, two shuffle step, slither.
Now I am first.
Suddenly I am surrounded by luminous sound and light. A song is swirling around me. Beings of light are dancing overhead. Their movement stirs up the very air around me and I am propelled forward. It’s like I’ve been thrown into a strong current of living sound and colour: vermeil, jacinthe, meline, emerald, sapphire, indigo and violet.
Soon the movement slows and I am deposited before a golden throne. Immediately I fall on my face. The ground is no longer dirt but smooth and clear with a thousand lights shining out of it. They originate from the throne and are reflecting off the floor. Gone is the terracotta robe. I’m naked.
No harsh sounds. No condemning accusations. Only patient waiting. I come to understand the One on the throne is waiting for me … I glance up timidly.
A large leather bound book is opened before me. I see my name. It’s a ledger. My heart sinks.
I have no means to pay the debt. There is no way to make ends meet.
Someone on my left grabs me by my arm. He hurls me to my feet while shoving my face into the ledger.
“Look at it! Look! You have been weighed. You are found wanting!”
His voice is like icicles dropping on my head, piercing my very mind. Immediately, every act of selfishness, every harsh word, every thought of despair comes back. I see my sin. I know who I am: the unfaithful, the failure, the lost. I drop to my knees, my head buried in blood stained hands.
“Wait!” a voice like liquid gold speaks. Reverberations of that one word wash over me like the sun rising. I slowly feel warmth return to my soul.
From somewhere on my right He steps forward. He’s reaching out a hand. It’s scarred. I want to clasp His hand but shame holds me back. Looking down once more I see the blood stains splattered on my hands. Some how I know it’s His.
“Let’s look again,” Patiently He waits for me. With tenuous hope I grab his His hand.
A jolt of pure love shoots though my being. Only by His hand do I remain upright. Gently He leads me back to the ledger.
On the left, in black, is my debt. On the right, in red, is His gift. At the end of the page the columns are equal.
“You’ve made the ends meet, my Lord!”
“No, I have not,” He states emphatically. “Keep turning the pages.”
The first one hundred, or so, pages I turn look the same: two neat columns, one black, one red, equal at the bottom. I thank Him as with each page I turn my hands lose a spot of stain.
“Keep going,” He encourages.
As I turn the next page things are different. The left column is vacant of black ink while the right column is full of red to the very end of the page. Quickly I turn the next page and see the same. With joyous rapture I pick up the ledger and flip through the pages. Only red. Red as far as I can see.
“My Lord! You have more than met the need!” I embrace Him with clean hands.
As He enfolds me into His being I am clothed is brilliant white.
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