Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)
TITLE: Her Life on Holy Paths
By Birdie Courtright
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Instinctively she clinched her fists and pushed. Two cries pierced the night as the matrix between the seen and the unseen forced its way to completion. In exhaustion, tears of joy mingled freely with the streams of sweat that glistened on her cheeks. The flicker of candlelight danced in silent shadows of holy praise.
The child had come.
The God of creation suckled contentedly at the breast of his created: a more pure moment in the fabric of time, was never known to men of earth than this. The redemption of the planet had begun.
“No, no…no! Not my son, not my son…no…” John reached for hand, praying for some way to soothe the mother of his Lord.
The men, the twelve; surrounded her, shielding her view as the sound of hammers and cries of anguish filled her ears.
“No Mary…do not look. Turn your face from this.” John held her tightly.
The stench of evil filled her nostrils. Her knees gave way to the weight of the horror that played out before her. The merciless mocking continued, pouring down upon her soul like rancid rain. She was entombed in the darkest moment ever lived. The planet trembled in agony.
The final breath of God on earth, slowly and painfully drawn, the shallow sound of its release haunted her every waking moment.
The ache of His departure settled into the very marrow of her bones. Death had surely come to take her captive. The rising of each sun a bitter reminder of the moment her son bowed to the gathering darkness allowing sin to claim the sinless.
Was He Light and Life? He had abandoned her into a blackness so deep she might never know light again; her faith as violently torn and shredded as His flesh.
She would not speak, she would not eat; she would not have breathed if it were her choice, from that moment on. She was too utterly destroyed to step beyond the moment of her desolation.
Her hours were barren, stripped of communion with the God whose spirit had come upon her to change the world. Her silence before Him reverberated through the tomb that held His body.
She closed her eyes, searching for His breath. She knew this quickening in her spirit, lived it before. Dare she hope? It was true!
The grave was empty. The murmurs rippled throughout the city, the mockers held their tongue as she made her way through the streets.
‘Life? Light? Are you there? Son of man, have you wakened?’ Her spirit trembled in recognition.
The sound of the breeze stirring in the leaves of the olive trees as she passed the garden gate resounded in her ears. The resplendent melody wafted through the air; the angels were near. She knew their presence.
‘My son…my son!’
His life in her rising to a crescendo as her feet tried to keep pace with the rhythm of the universe. Joy, joy unspeakable…’the kingdom of God is within you’ He’d said…the veil was rent, the plan fulfilled!
He lives! He lives! He lives!
John held her fragile hand, watching intently. Even in old age, the beauty of holiness was always present in her face. This last hour he’d spent at her bedside was perhaps the most peaceful hour of his entire life.
As he studied her expression, he wondered where her dreams were leading her. She was slipping away from them, he knew, and the thought brought deep sorrow and immense joy. He blinked back the tears that were clouding his vision and tenderly kissed her hand.
Her breath had grown shallow over the last hour, but her radiance seemed to fill every corner of the room. The Comforter was with them.
Her eyes opened, meeting his as a smile began to form across her parched lips.
“He lives, John.” Her last words would fill his heart forever. For a brief moment he saw the eyes of His Lord shining into his, and then she was gone.
He held her lifeless hand to his cheek, and closed his eyes.
“My Lord” he whispered. “your mother.”
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