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Chapter 2: The Mystical Forest
The soothing sound of running water caressed my slowing forming consciousness. What’s happened? I moaned to myself. Gradually I became aware that I was sprawled out, face down, not on an exquisite floor but on grass. I feel five hundred years old!
I panicked. Don’t be silly, I chided myself that’s just a figure of speech.
I continued lying where I’d found myself, oscillating between trying to convince myself I was no older, and wondering how I could tell how much time had elapsed since I was last conscious. I slowly fingered my beard, relieved to discover that it felt about its normal length. I decided to revise my metaphor. I feel like I’ve walked a thousand miles. No, better make that “swam.” Every muscle aches, not just my legs.
I looked up, groggily. It seemed through my barely opened eyes and my other senses that the atmosphere, light and general feel of the place were too pristine for shabby earth. But Heaven – or wherever it was that I had seen the celestial throng celebrating – was nothing but a seemingly endless floor that was so exquisite that it somehow had the feel of being an open palace. Now I was in a forest. In front of me was a huge, moss-covered tree that looked thousands of years old. It towered far too high for me to bother stretching to see its top. Brilliantly colored butterflies fluttered nearby. I wished I were more alert to enjoy the sight. One landed on my arm and let me examine its markings.
I tried to stagger to my feet but I was too woozy. I had flopped rather helplessly back on the ground. Suddenly my eyes locked on to the most enormous spider I have ever encountered. It was chubby and at least twice as big as my hand. And it was heading straight for me. If only I could say I was terrified. Instead, the closer it got, the more at ease I felt. Can you imagine a spider that seems to ooze compassion? Ridiculous, isn’t it! So you will understand this spider no more than I did. Its colors and markings and its every movement were peculiarly soothing but I can give no adequate explanation as to why I felt so secure.
As it crept closer I thought I could almost hear chirping, as if it were emitting reassuring sounds near the very edge of my audible range. Was this the way it mesmerized its prey? I struggled to convince myself of this very real possibility but instead I found myself feeling even more relaxed. My senses were overwhelmed by the feeling that I could trust this creature with my very life. Alarmingly, that was exactly what I was doing.
The spider took another step towards me. And another. And another. I was captivated by its gentleness. Despite its size it seemed vulnerable; as if it knew that at any moment I could squash it to instant death but that it was willing, if necessary, to die for my well-being. I was playing life-or-death with either the kindest or most malevolent creature I had ever encountered. I tried to stir myself but I felt mentally paralyzed; quite unable to convince myself of the danger. It inched still closer to my face.
I was staring at death and all I could think of was how beautifully delicate and gentle this monstrous spider looked. How can anything with eight legs and too many eyes make me feel at ease? It kept creeping nearer and nearer until it was on my ear. Then it bit me. I wanted to feel devastatingly betrayed, but I couldn’t muster the emotion. It was a tiny prick that felt too wonderful for me to consider flicking the spider away. The beautiful creature acted as if it were pumping venom into me, except that with every second I felt stronger and more mentally alert and invigorated.
When it had finished I leapt to my feet and shouted in sheer exhilaration, “If only earth’s spiders were like this!”
At least that was my intention. I was so startled by the sound of my voice that I abruptly stopped mid-sentence. I tentatively uttered a couple more syllables. Mystified, I uttered a couple more; and then some more, delighted at what I was hearing. My voice had a richness it had never had before. I guess I’m biased, but I was convinced that my new voice outclassed that of top radio broadcasters. “What’s going on?” I said out loud, just so that I could enjoy what I was hearing, “Are the acoustics different here?” I clapped my hands. That sounded normal. Then I remembered that to avoid the bends, some deep-sea divers breathe a mixture of helium and oxygen. To them it seems like normal air but it makes their voices squeaky. Was the air somehow different here? How could I confirm my theory? I breathed deeply. The atmosphere seemed charged with subtle and delightful aromas. On earth I had had a rather poor sense of smell. Had somehow my sense of smell altered or were these scents quite strong? Remembering my voice, I tried to hyperventilate for a while, then I spoke out loud. It seemed to make no difference to the sound of my voice.
Had my voice sounded like this when the angels were celebrating? I tried in vain to remember. I did not recall speaking a word back then.
The sound of running water re-entered my consciousness. I headed for the stream. As I got closer I could see more sky. The most amazing flock of birds flew overhead. Yes, they were brilliantly colored but I had seen gorgeous birds on earth. It was their flight that staggered me. What fascinated me even more than their aerial acrobatics was the way their movements were synchronized with each other. Had I not known better, I would have thought their aerial display had been choreographed. I watched wide-eyed, until they were out of sight.
I continued my walk to the stream, all the time scanning the exotic surrounds with seemingly inexhaustible fascination. It was too early to know whether even a stone or a leaf were like those of earth. The butterflies alone seemed enough to keep me intrigued for days. It was not just their breath-taking colors, nor their vast numbers; what boggled my mind was that I never noticed two that were identical. The variety of shapes, sizes and spectacular colors was astounding.
As I neared the stream a fish leaped out, playfully turned a double somersault and splashed back into the sparkling waters. Encouraged by the clarity of the water and that fish could survive in it, I dipped my finger into the inviting waters and cautiously licked my dampened finger. In shock I spat it out. This was not water. Tentatively, I tasted it again. It was flavored! Surely not! I had a little sip. It was flavored, all right, but with a subtlety and intricacy that make fruit juice seem like an amateurish, gaudy splash of color alongside a flawless work of art.
Throwing caution aside, I lay on my stomach lapping up the water – or whatever it was. I was savoring the experience when I was sure someone kissed my cheek. Rather than being startled, I melted in love. I turned and saw the cutest little animal I had ever seen. Warm honey seemed to ooze into my chest where once only granite resided. I have never been a pet freak. I had kept some reptiles when I was a kid and that was it. I’ll have to pull myself together. Could the “water” be intoxicating? Was it the spider bite? I’d better keep my mind active, I told myself, appalled at how my survival instincts kept turning to mush. It was then that I realized the obvious: just because an animal looked a harmless vegetarian did not mean it was not venomous or had some other insidious means of killing or inflicting pain. What if in this world, the more innocent something looks, the more dangerous it is?
Nevertheless, other animals came up to me, sniffing me, and despite the danger, I stupidly found myself unable to resist their charm. One nestled into me. Earth has so many different animals that I could not be certain that they are not found there, but I certainly never recall seeing any of these in zoos or books or videos. Certainly the colors did not seem at all earthlike. The one snuggling me was pale blue with silver stripes.
As I patted a pink and gray, squirrel-like animal it made an endearing sound. It seemed to be expressing utter contentment, as if its idea of Heaven was to spend eternity enjoying my company. Never had I felt such “affection” coming from an animal. And what I was touching made mink fur seem as coarse as straw. I do not get attached to anything subhuman, but this creature was really getting to me.
A fluffy, wide-eyed creature with gorgeous colors appeared. Such colors suggest these animals do not need camouflage, I thought. Never had I ever imagined such an adorable creature. Here I was, a grown man feeling almost compelled to pick it up and snuggle into it. I could hardly believe myself being so tender to a mere animal.
Then it happened. Two more species of what seemed to be mammals appeared. Their ridiculously beautiful colors greatly disturbed me. One was even rainbow colored. You might find this peculiar, but I found this harder to come to terms with than anything I had so far experienced. Fur does not come in these colors! I argued with my eyes. The rainbow colored one looked a little like a skunk. It skipped right up to me. I carefully examined its fur, half expecting to find evidence that the fur had been dyed, or even that the creature was a stuffed toy made to look real.
Am I hallucinating? I worried. Next I’ll be seeing Donald Duck! And yet the animals were so affectionate and playful that I slowly relaxed and began to accept them.
I tried to reassure myself, Maybe, just maybe, the problem is simply that all my earthly experience has been limited to seeing fauna that need camouflage, either to prey or to avoid predators. Could I be seeing what can happen to animal colors on a planet that has no predators? Then yet another ridiculously colored animal appeared. It was predominately silver gray with a pale blue band down its forehead and around its neck. It had a white belly and a pink fluffy tail that could almost be mistaken for cotton candy. I looked down at the animal I had been patting. Just moments before it had seemed the most wonderful creature in the universe. Now it had a rival. “Sorry, little fella,” I said, scratching its chin.
I almost felt unfaithful as I left it behind to head for this new creature that I ached to hold. It seemed tame, but as I moved closer it pranced down a path in a manner a little reminiscent of a gamboling lamb. Every now and then it would stop and look back at me as if it wanted me to follow.
As I walked, I began to pay more attention to the light. There was something peculiar about it that I couldn’t quite figure. Even underneath the dense foliage of those ancient trees, flowers grew. A thought hit me. I looked on the ground behind me, then turned full circle, scanning the ground. I even looked under my feet. That’s strange. In a flash of panic I touched my stomach, chest and face. “Seems solid enough,” I said aloud in relief. But what if even my hand isn’t solid? What if that’s just the feel of two non-solid objects touching? Surely not!
I hunted for a rock and lifted it just a little. It was comforting to be able to lift something so solid but that was not my purpose. I looked underneath it, puzzled. My suspicion was confirmed. No shadows! Not multiple shadows, not vague shadows – nothing! I looked at all the open sky I could find. I glanced under bushes; in trees. Where is the light coming from? I pondered the problem for a couple of seconds. Is the light in the air? Is everything its own light source? What is this place?
Just then a breeze sprang up, but what a breeze! It swirled and twirled and almost seemed alive. It somehow seemed to be playing, or maybe dancing, and the leaves of the trees seemed to respond as if they were enjoying it – as if they were being massaged or lightly tickled. I almost expected them to giggle in delight.
Pull yourself together! I chided myself. Who’d have though you’d be guilty of anthropomorphism! Ah, anthropomorphism – attributing human characteristics to non-humans. My mind flashed through the years – my years of life-experience; I had no idea if it were past or future relative to where I was at that moment in the forest. I recalled the Behavioral Science lecture in which I was first introduced to that word and to the silliness that unscientific people fall into. Now the very word seemed comforting. Of course! That’s it! I’m in an alien environment. Things are very different here. I had momentarily lost my objectivity but now I’m back on track! Hey, “track . . . !” I finally remembered how I had arrived at this part of the forest. I looked along the path, and sure enough, the little animal was still there. Its head cocked to one side, it stared at me through its big eyes. It seemed to be waiting for me.
Is it my imagination, or are animals more intelligent here? I wasn’t silly enough to expect one to talk to me, or solve a mathematical problem. They just seemed somehow more perceptive. Was I fooling myself or did they really have a greater awareness of my emotions than I would ever expect of an animal? Is it merely something about their features that gives them the illusion of intelligence? I puzzled.
I was coming up with few answers, but stretching my mind in this way was reassuring. I seemed to be acting a little saner.
I was about to follow the creature, when I noticed the rock I had moved. Everything around seemed so perfectly ordered that a single rock moved a fraction from its original position seemed oddly out of place. I felt compelled to go to that rock and almost guiltily return it to the exact place where it had originally been before I had lifted it. The surprising thing is that I am about the most untidy person I know. You should see my bedroom!
Then I headed for the creature. It picked up its pace and I began to run to keep it in sight, wondering why I was even bothering. That cute little animal was certainly acting as if it wanted me to follow, but putting aside that foolish interpretation of animal behavior, what wild creature would know what would interest a human anyway? Nevertheless, I continued to follow it.
After a while I broke into a slight sweat. Suddenly, what looked rather like a swarm of pestering flies encircled my head. I was about to shoo them away when I noticed that their wings were fanning me in a most refreshing manner. I decided to put up with the flies until they started annoying me by landing on me. That never happened. I cooled and they flew off as suddenly as they had arrived.
It was simply a coincidence that they arrived the instant I had the slightest need for cooling and left the moment I no longer needed it, I told myself. Nevertheless, in a flash of madness I felt like royalty – as if all of nature existed to serve me, tending to my every need like worker bees treat their queen. I felt humbled by the thought, but hastily pulled myself together. I was in an alien, possibly dangerous environment. This was not the time for fantasy. And yet, despite the protests of my intellect, I strode on with a new dignity and felt a still deeper tenderness towards every plant and creature I saw; as if they were my precious, loving subjects to be cherished and protected. A strange but beautiful feeling – sort of a holy awe mixed with humility and euphoria – settled upon me.
As alien as this place was, I felt a cozy security, as if at last I was where I truly belonged. I felt as if I were so much the focus of loving attention that even the plants were happy to see me. It was quite ridiculous, of course. Through the “water” and the spider bite, I had taken into my system an unknown cocktail of chemicals. That, I rationalized, had to be the real explanation for these weird feelings. Nevertheless, it was a delightful fantasy.
The air, the light, a leaf – everything here magnified my appreciation of its Creator, and intensified my longing for him. Here, creation seemed served up fresh from the Maker’s hands, like bread hot from the baker’s oven. Earth’s freshest sunrise, most exquisite rosebud, most delightful baby, now seemed like stale crusts that had been trampled under humanity’s feet. Prior to leaving earth, I had no conception of the extent to which everything on that dark planet is tainted with an imperfection that is utterly contrary to the nature of God. Everything on earth is in decay.
I knew not whether earth is the only place subject to such corruption. I had often puzzled over Scripture saying that even the stars are not pure in God’s sight. Nevertheless, experiencing earthly things is like trying to discern the artistry in a vandalized, sun-bleached, storm-battered watercolor.
Have you ever bought a car and then started seeing many more cars like it than you have ever seen before? Traffic had not changed, but because that model car now meant more to you, you saw traffic differently. Since visiting other worlds I keep seeing in earthly things the Maker’s fingerprint like never before, because the Maker means much more to me now. And, like finding the key to a puzzle, I find his faded fingerprint more discernible in the despoiled things of earth because I now have a clearer notion of what to look for. I don’t think I could ever again see so much as a snail, a raindrop, or a grain of sand, through the same eyes.
I presumed the place I was visiting was so exquisite because it was somehow quarantined from sin’s corruption. If so, that raised a most disturbing thought: what if I ruined Paradise? What if I had killed that spider? Or would I have been struck dead before being allowed to take a life? If I had left that rock out of place would this Paradise be then less than perfect for the first time ever – all because of me? Could my every step be upsetting some delicate balance? “God help me!” I prayed, chiding myself that even in this place God was too rarely in my thoughts.
When philosophically discussing environmental matters, one of my favorite sayings was that humanity is out of harmony with creation because humanity is out of harmony with its Creator. This, I believed, but I still ran roughshod over the environment. It was on par with my certainty that through committing my daily life and spiritual destiny into Jesus’ hands, God viewed me as having the moral perfection of Christ. That allowed the Holy One to take up residence within me. It meant I would end up perfect in the life to come and in everyday life this perfection was being worked out in me such that I was gradually breaking sin’s strongholds in my life. But I was certainly not perfect yet. Now that I was trampling through this paradisiacal place, could my imperfections have disastrous consequences for me or for this world?
I suddenly froze. In the middle of the path was a swarm of ants. In their midst was a pile of cherry-like objects. I had just moments before discovered I was feeling a little peckish and the thought of cherries now heightened my hunger. Without moving my feet, lest I injure an ant, I squatted down to inspect the scene. Teams of ants were carrying individual “cherries” and adding them to the pile. Then one team brought a “cherry” right up to my feet and gently rocked it back and forth as though they were offering it to me. I took it, then peered underneath, expecting to see ants dangling from it. That’s strange! Each of them must have let go the instant I took it. It certainly looked like fruit. Using my fingernail as a makeshift blade, I tore it apart. It was juicy and fleshy with no stone or obvious seeds. Was it edible?
I dredged from my memory an instance when I was advised that if faced with starvation and I found some unknown berries, I should rub one on some sensitive skin, such as my armpit, and see if I have an allergic reaction. It was claimed this would give a valuable clue as to whether the possible food source is edible. It sounded messy and I assumed one would need to wait quite some time to be sure the skin does not react, and even then it would not be foolproof.
I looked up, and to my surprise the animal I had been following was right in front of me, looking inquisitively at me. Almost as soon as it caught my eye, it ate a “cherry,” then looked up at me, then ate another. While this was happening, I noticed that the ants were leaving.
I recalled how as a child I sampled the exotic fruits of ornamental trees and shrubs. I had felt secure because I always waited until I had observed birds eating the fruit. It was not until years later that I heard to my horror that birds can feed off things that are poisonous to humans.
I had already taken enormous risks in this alien world and each had apparently paid off. Dare I take yet another risk? It certainly looks good to eat, I thought. Then I remembered how Eve had said something very similar. Yes, even Eden had its forbidden fruit. At last I realized that yet again I was on the verge of making a small but possibly critical decision without bothering to ask the only One who knows everything and therefore the only One whose guidance is fully trustworthy.
So I prayed.
My furry friend looked at the “cherries,” then at me, as if trying to urge me to eat them. I tentatively licked the juice on my fingers left from when I had opened one. It was delicious. Tossing caution aside I hungrily gobbled handfuls until none was left.
I smiled to myself, At last I’ve found some ants I’d be happy to picnic with! Then I wondered if I had done the right thing. Was I headed for a serious belly ache, or worse?
The animal was off again, waving its fluffy tail in the air as it pranced along the path. I followed, careful not to tread on any remaining ants, but all had left. I pursued the animal, pondering how my needs had apparently once again been met by a surprising coincidence.
The path drew close to the creek again, and passed a particularly idyllic spot where trees laden with flowers drooped over the water. Then it hit me: Australian aborigines used to make a sweet drink by swishing flowers laden with nectar in a crude container of water. Could flowers dropping or washing into the creek explain the water’s taste? It was just a theory, but the possibility of a fairly simple, natural explanation was satisfying. No, it was more than that. I found it comforting. I desperately needed assurance that this strange world was real.
A bird began to warble and another joined it with a melodious sound better described as a chirp. It hardly surprised me that each bird sounded more magnificent than any birdsong I had ever before heard. I was coming to expect such superiority in this place. But what enthralled me was the way their quite distinct calls harmonized and blended perfectly. There was nothing random or haphazard. If ever I have heard a duet, this was a duet. “Antiphonal singing,” I said out loud, priding myself in knowing the term, and once again enjoying the sound of my voice. In some species of earth birds, after pairing off to raise young, the male and female blend their birdcalls into a duet, perhaps to maintain their bond.
I must see those birds, I told myself. After a few moments of peering up trees and through leaves I spotted them. I was taken aback. I looked from one to the other, confirming they were definitely the source of the sound. The large one had a toucan-like beak and powerful claws and predominantly green-blue plumage with a red head and yellow collar. The other, at about a fifth its size, was finch-like. It was silver gray with a bright pink breast. I realized that this was a totally different world and that even on earth, birds can differ markedly in appearance according to their gender and maturity. Nevertheless, I was convinced that the birds harmonizing like I had never heard two earthly birds harmonize, were completely different species. “Birds of a feather . . . ,” I quoted to myself, amazed to see this earthly saying not applying here.
I was just beginning to come to terms with this, when a third, utterly different voice joined them. It, too, blended with perfection. I looked in the direction of the new voice to discover it was coming from the animal I had been following. I looked wide-eyed at the animal, then looked back at the birds. Now I was truly flabbergasted. If I were not above such emotion, there would have been tears in my eyes; not because of the matchless beauty of their sounds but to see such diverse creatures uniting in song.
While their wordless song continued, something on the ground caught my attention. I peered down to discover ants engaged in the most peculiar movements. I smiled at the thought that an uneducated person might come to the preposterous conclusion that the ants were dancing to the music.
A swarm of flies appeared in the air. They alternately swarmed into a dense ball and dispersed into a less dense swarm, rhythmically repeating this over and over, with variations, creating a visual display that could be mistaken for being in time with the music. Of course I sensibly dismissed that interpretation as impossible. Nevertheless, it was both a fascinating phenomenon and aesthetically pleasing.
What sounded like various species of frog started up. One species gave a syncopated croak. Others were more melodious, but none clashed with each other. I admit I am not musical, but I am neither tone deaf nor totally without rhythm. I swear that each of these sounds added to the birds’ song, emphasizing the beat.
Then another out-of-sight creature sounded, and then another, and another. There were crickets and monkey-like animals and all sorts of fascinating creatures but most were hidden by the dense forest. Some creatures seemed limited to a single pitch, with the pitch varying from species to species. Each broke their silence only at appropriate musical moments. Before long it was like a vast orchestra of hundreds of completely different instruments all blending together under the hand of an invisible conductor.
A swam of red insects joined the flies, sometimes mingling with them, sometimes not, thus making more intricate than ever, the varying patterns the flies were creating. Then bright blue flying beetles arrived, followed shortly by brilliant green dragon flies. Were I looking at a computer-generated screen I could simply say it was beautiful, but the fact that it was a living display left me flabbergasted. And I could no longer resist the conclusion that the pulsating, ever-changing patterns matched the music.
That peculiar breeze sprang up again, giving the illusion of each leaf and flexible branch in every bush and tree joining in this amazing concert. It was not that every plant was blown at the same time. It was a bush here, then a tree over there, then one closer. It was a little like someone would use hand bells for musical effect. Different trees and bushes seemed to yield slightly different sounds but for the most part the subtlety was beyond my ears.
Finally, I could resist no longer. I, too, joined in. This was an even greater surprise than what was going on around me. I sing like an asthmatic cow. I am capable of appreciating music but I usually regard it as brain-numbing, sentimental waffle; a mere distraction from intellectual pursuits and worthwhile endeavors. Nevertheless, I raised in song the new voice I had somehow gained in this world and, like a river, words flowed over my lips.
I have no idea where the words came from but I certainly could not produce such a torrent. Writing is my preferred medium because it gives me the time I need to get my words together. I’ve been known to spend an hour to knock a single sentence into shape. And I most certainly cannot produce original tunes. It’s beyond me how anyone achieves that. My few attempts at musical originality have inevitably ended up being a tune I have already heard. Nevertheless, I was singing a continually new song, and it blended exquisitely with the music around me.
I skipped a note or two, just to satisfy myself that I still had control over the words and music coming from my mouth. The words were too numerous and spontaneous to be originating in my mind and yet I was contributing to this musical miracle. I could stop at any moment, but who would want to end a miracle? Every word and every note seemed to pump new life into me. It was as if for my entire earthly life I had been semi-comatose and only now was I at last coming to life.
Words and melody cascaded from my mouth without repetition or interruption for hours. Equally surprising was that as my voice rose and fell in an unrehearsed musical treat, so did that of all of nature, as together we joined in song. I felt I was harmonizing not only with all of creation but with the Creator himself.
To me it was priceless, but I will not risk your patience by filling a book with all the words that came from nowhere and bubbled through my lips. A tiny sample will suffice.
Trees, reach up to your Maker;
Shake your leaves in celebration.
Waters, rush to serve your God;
Rivers, dance in jubilation;
Smooth the rocks; refresh the land;
In all you do, boldly proclaim
You’re the work of the Father’s hand.
Lord, all creation praises you.
All good things come from you.
Every creature delights in you;
Kicks off its shoes and dances before you.
We thrill in the love that flows from you;
Endless love that we return to you.
You give all things to all.
Our lives are in your hand.
You are good to all;
By you alone we stand.
We’re overawed by all you’ve done.
You give and give and give again;
Your love outshines ten thousand suns.
We thrill with joy because you reign.
We give to you
What comes from you.
We delight in all that you do.
No one is worthy of love like you.
Our greatest longing,
Our deepest joy,
Our highest honor,
Is to be your slave.
We yield to you in everything.
Perfect our lives by being our King.
Be our Ruler,
Our loving Master,
Our matchless Lord.
Have your perfect way in us.
Complete our joy,
Fulfill our need,
Grant us our hopes,
By reigning over us.
Assume your right,
Reveal your power,
Show forth your love,
By reigning over us.
I confess to a little silliness in the midst of the most beautifully artistic thing I have ever been a part of. To my horror, I found my arms rising heavenward in worship. Don’t misunderstand: I have never before done this, nor have I since broken my vow never to act like a fanatic. Nevertheless, at that time it seemed perfectly natural. It seemed, in fact, that I was harmonizing with the trees as their upward branches waved in that peculiar wind. This, in turn, made me feel closer to all of creation, as on their behalf I worded praise to our Creator.
Yes, I was guilty of being carried away with emotion. I don’t think I was high on spider venom. You are free to form your own opinion. All I can say is that as I write this I am coldly sober and yet the memory still floods my heart with praise.
After perhaps an hour of delighting in God and listening in fascination at the ever-changing words and tune, I heard myself sing:
Recalling stories of animals seeming to sense oncoming disasters, I took comfort from the way the creatures seemed quite unconcerned. As both the quake and nature’s symphony continued, I slowly relaxed, and even began to enjoy the rhythmical, almost exhilarating movement of the ground beneath me. It seemed to add bass to the music and it seemed to vary in rhythm in a way appropriate to the music. As the quake continued I tentatively tried to sing and words began to flow again. Soon I was back to full volume.
I felt like the piece missing from a sophisticated machine. Now at last I was fitted where I belong. The switch was flicked and finally everything functioned like the maker had always intended. Reference to a machine, however, belies the fact that I, and everything I fitted in to, was vibrantly alive. In fact, I was like a suddenly healed spastic. The unresponsive part that had sprung to life was all of sub-human creation. Nature now seemed to act in harmony with my mind, almost as much as my physical body acts according to my wishes. No longer was nature a separate entity that usually refused to respond and sometimes caused me pain. At long last, sub-human creation was almost a functioning part of me, with every part serving me by fulfilling my goal of worshipping the God I was made for. And worship was not some formality. It was the height of intimacy; the purest, most uplifting, fulfilling experience in the universe. Worship joined me to the Source of my joy, enabling God’s life, love, goodness and perfection to gush through me in an inexhaustible torrent of perfection. It turned the intimacy of earthly lovers into an empty, childish game of make-believe; like pretending that a toy is the real thing and that a mud pie tastes delicious.
Finally, what seemed to be an unseen angelic choir joined in, completing the masterpiece. Yes! I told myself triumphantly, This is the final element. Now all creation is united in praise. Eventually, the music came to its finale. The ground stilled, along with the wind and every creature. There was total silence, like a hushed yet, joyous, love-filled reverence. I stood motionless for quite some time, allowing my emotions to wind down, like a pounding heart returning to normality. Then my furry friend, showing off its gorgeous tail, took off, and I followed.
Not to be sold. © Copyright, Grantley Morris, 1994, 2004, 2008. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Not to be placed on any other website. For much more by the same author, see www.net-burst.net