Short Stories


Short Stories Gallery

These original short stories will vary from classic short stories to fantasy and science fiction short stories, to humorous, to Christian short stories, to the totally outrageous. Enjoy – (more will be coming soon.) I hope to create an Ebook or two in the near future. They will be collections of short stories (possibly science fiction short stories, or Christian short stories – or both.) I will provide snippets from these stories on this site, so you can see if they are the sort of thing you want to read.

Short Stories

I have to admit I prefer short fiction to the novel. Short stories are punchier, concentrate more on the idea than developing characters and scenes, have a sharper plot, and get to the point much more quickly. The short story seems more applicable to our busy times than the novel.

 

What Jack Wanted.

It started with a new car. Oh, it was big and flash and red – his favourite colour, and a thrill to drive. Yet it simply wasn’t enough. In a week or two he’d tired of it and then he felt empty again.

So he worked harder, earned more money. Yet hard work was dull and exhausting. He didn’t want to grow old and it was not enough to get him what he really wanted. So he searched inside himself – but there was nothing there.  So he searched externally and found much – especially on surfaces, for that was all he could see.

 

modern deity, spiritual paintings, turtle, mega turtle,

Modendaity $780 Oil on canvas 60 90 cm

 

 

 

 

 

 

He started a business.

Now he needed followers, helpers – and he found them. He filled the holes in their personalities with flattery. They couldn’t resist him. They were like him soon. He owned many of their thoughts.

Soon his business had turned to businesses – all of them booming. Good ol’ Jack was as regular as they came.

Everyone loved him.

Politics beckoned, but he took it slowly. Everything was going too fast.

He wasn’t even sure what he wanted any more.

What did he want?

He went home to his family, but they were only vaguely there. They were like him already.

Soon he owned a dozen red cars and a private plane that allowed him to visit the kids. Yet he never did – only when his wife suicided.

This upset him, so he decided to buy a Swiss Bank – while no-one was looking. In a week or so he felt better.

Now Jack had become a human magnet.

People and possessions gathered around him. He accepted them all and put them to good use. More and more of them were becoming like him every day. Yet something was missing. He needed time to think it through. Yes!

Time! That was it.

He went on a holiday, but everywhere he went people flocked and his time disintegrated. Everyone loved Jack, but they couldn’t give him time, only take it. Still he decided it wasn’t important anyway – for now.

Now Jack owned a parking station full of cars and their red chauffeurs. Jack said all the right things at all the right times. How adorable could a man be?

Then one day he noticed a bald spot on his head. Jack saw red, so he patched it up and carried on. No-one would know.

However, Jack did. This prompted him to feel lonely, so he organised an orgy, but was disappointed because all that his friends and associates did was scratch one another’s backs.

Now questions rained on him. Who was he? Was there a God? What did he want?

What did he want?

It sat on top of all the rest. He answered.

Money!

Power!

Yes. He already had more than most, but he needed more. Where would he get it? He decided politics and religion would do the trick. He formed his own party and religion – but didn’t push it. That would be a mistake. His party and faith were mutually supporting. Soon Jack had become a modern day folk hero.

Now he was the richest and most powerful person in the world. He owned so many people and possessions that he forgot which was which.

Yet it still wasn’t enough. He wanted more. But what?

What did he want?

He lay in a paddock and floated into the stars – and that’s when it came to him.

Of course.

He wanted to rule the world…rule the world…rule the world.

But how? How do you create a world leader? Of course – by creating a demand for one.

So he started World War III. Naturally it was designed in such a way as to destroy as much of the world that he didn’t already own or control – and it worked.

He moved in. The people were quivering shadows of what they once were. They followed him blindly.

He had all the answers.

He had all the questions.

He fed them, shared his thoughts with them. They were his children. His real children were killed in the war, but that didn’t matter. Now he had all the children he wanted – and power.

Yet it still wasn’t enough.

What did he want?

Power wasn’t tangible. Money – that was tangible. Yes, that was it. That’s what he wanted.

He built a city of mints. All the world’s mines were exhausted, forests leveled. All the money and possessions were delivered to his doorstep – a ten thousand room castle made of petrified hundred dollar bills. He kept everything in the garage. Now he owned everything and everyone in the world.

Yet it still wasn’t enough.

Now Jack got his scientists to design ways of turning rock, dirt and even people into money – and they did it – and did it some more – until only they were left.

But was it enough?

No!

Jack became cross. Nothing made him happy. Now all he wanted was to be left alone. So his scientists showed him how to turn them into money – and they were only too glad to let him do it.

So he did it. Now he was alone.

He had everything.

Everything in the world.

But what world? It was gone.

Now his castle of money had nothing to sit on. It floated. Jack floated. Soon his castle floated into the darkness of space.

Alone in his dressing room Jack was happy. His dressing room was covered in mirrors. He smiled. All his followers smiled with him. He spun like a stray propeller.

Everyone loved jack.

His feet left the ground, and he knew he was free. Now he could fly… for as long as he wanted.

A Story about Heaven

The feathers of light call me. They are clouds in the distance that shimmer with their own inner life. The images they form are an ever changing intermingling of shapes, forms, beings, creatures and ideas that intertwine in ways that might suggest the unveiling of some rudimentary universal component, the birth of light itself or a communal act of self creation. Below the clouds, the City of God sparkles with gold and ruby and jade and sapphire – the larger buildings standing like stately guardians over the smaller. The gardens atop them (or beneath) sway in a gentle breeze that seems to conduct the movements of the clouds above. The breeze is like the whispering of wisdom. It softens yet strengthens everything it touches. Towers point to the clouds as if indicating the most poignant and beautiful parts of these evolving images.

I can see into the massive (fifteen hundred cubic miles in size) City of God from this celestial vantage-point, but it is impossible to enter it. I can only enter the City of God via one of the twelve gates that flank its side walls

 

Short Stories. En Route to a Celebration

En-Route-to-a-Celebration

My soaring approaches the clouds but descends below them towards the outskirts of the magnificent city. Forests of green pine, cedar and oak are complimented by great areas of verdant lawns, wide lakes, and huge sculpted gardens that glitter with a multitude of colours, characters, notions and particular beauties.

From where have I come? It may have been I was visiting some distant cosmic event in the universe for pleasure. It may have been that I was sent on an errand to a remote galaxy to aid a creature in a time of crisis. It may have been that I had been sitting in a council to decide on the fate of a star, forest, quasar, or the single breath of a small ant. I would tend to think it would have been some work difficult but delightful in execution that would have influenced the appearance or character of a single creature, ecosystem, planet, solar system, galaxy or quarter of the universe for the better – but this is not the important point. I know that I will have made the right decisions; that the outcome will be for the eternal good, that all is in control, that all is safe, lovely and ever-improving.

Splash!

The cool blue liquid is refreshing, soothing and easy to breathe. I greet those that I have shared an endless time with. Our eyes meet. We speak – no bubbles rise from our mouths. The smiles never leave our faces. Past sunfish, eels and stingrays I swim – they all have their own voices, their own minds, their own spirits.

They are spirit.

I have known them for as long as I can remember. This has always been my favourite lake for swimming. I pause to share a melody with some gentle souls. Our voices take on the quality of lover’s vows; the soothing liquid surrounds us as a glove. There is something serenely mellow in the quality of voices within this blue liquid. They meld like the softest of embraces, between the purest of souls. When the melody ends it is without melancholy. The music has enjoined us ever closer – a closeness that will ever grow throughout eternity.

I burst from the liquid with a silent “swoosh”, momentarily spiralling in the air, clearing the liquid from my outer garment, glide over to one of the large grassy areas just outside the city.

Here the frolicking of lions, deer, ostriches, marmot and elands seems like a dance outlining the expression of their liberty. Nearby, a band of pipers croon a harmony of notes that compliments the movements of the sentient beasts. The pipers form a single line and circle the company of gentle creatures. Their bobbing and dipping mimic their melodic line and enhance the atmosphere of loving fun.

Where do I go from here?

So much to see and do.

Will I skirt the outer regions of the city? Will I ride with the wings of light? Will I scour the city streets, the peaceful but busy crowds for close family and friends? Will I join in with a play, a choir, an orchestra, a floating dance or a tranquil conversation about the inner meanings of the stars, life, light, truth and beauty? Will I scale one of the highest towers and view the panorama below from there?

The choice is mine.

Strolling along a path of golden lawn, lined with majestic oaks, rows of multicoloured flowers and magnificent mansions I decide to take a detour. I will enter the city in a short while. An orchard of small fruit trees has invited me with its sweet smell and dancing, glistening shapes and lights. The lights of the orchard cause me to dance. I pass others, who dance with me for a while, and then move on. People wave from the tops of huge trees in the distance, from the roofs, balconies or bell towers of their mansions. I wave back.

All of a sudden the sky is filled with a blinding flare. It may be a company of angels or a celestial phenomenon which makes it a little difficult to see for a few seconds. As my hair brushes the leaves of one of the fruit trees a buzzing sound surrounds me and I experience a crowd of bees landing on my back. I fall face down on the grass, (being careful not to squash any bees) and giggle like a baby as they tickle me. Their affection has never ceased to delight me. Some I already know the names of. Others I have not met formally yet, but I know they all love me and that they know that I love them. When they alight I turn and look to the fading celestial phenomenon and see an unusual sight. A small flat bottomed block of land is floating downwards out of the sky. I decide to follow it as it glides through the air in defiance of the old, archaic gravitational rules. Some of the bees follow me and we chat, enjoying the pleasures of anticipation as we discuss – ‘who is it from?’ ‘Where will it land?’ “What is it for?’ As it passes overhead it casts no shadow – for there is no shadow in the Kingdom of Heaven. When it is close enough to see, we make out that it is covered with moss, red and blue pebbles and rocks. At one corner is a hole out of which a squirrel’s head peeks. Gently, it lands on one the huge balconies and the squirrel and the mansion’s owner greet excitedly – the squirrel has come for a visit and has brought a gift. The piece of land will compliment the other areas of garden on this balcony perfectly.

It is always day here. There is no night, dark or shadow – only light…or more light.

There are also different types of light, each with their own character, ambience and fascination. Some are dominated by particular colours – green, amber, blue, or other colours that you cannot yet imagine. There are forces, powers, traits and qualities in light here that exist nowhere else.

Where to now? I cannot wait any longer; I must enter the City of God. Excitedly I approach one of the magnificent eastern gates. It is made of a single pearl and shines like the love of God. Its surface has the appearance of a silver pool, a mirror that reflects only good, a many faceted crystal that is soft to the touch. An angel of great size radiating with unmistakable power and might guards the gate. He knows me (Oh, thank you Lord) and I am admitted into the City of Perfection.

Immediately I am overwhelmed with the intangible exquisiteness of all that surrounds me. A small child greets me instantly on entering and presents a smooth egg to me. As it is placed in my hands it shakes and cracks open. The pieces of shell flutter off like butterflies as the centre (a star of light) permeates the substance of my hands filling my whole being with joy. Instantly I kiss the child on the forehead in gratitude. Then we spin in the air, hugging all the while, and descend again. I leave her at her post and begin to glide over the outskirts of the City of Heaven.

You find this place too hard to digest? How can anywhere be this enigmatic, this wonderful and this perfect? Where can such perfection come from?

You wonder, “Where will this story go?” If this is heaven then conflict can never enter here…but how can there be a story without conflict? Who will be the conflicting parties? Will it be between Satan and God?

No!

Satan has long been put in his place – his influence is no more.

Perhaps the conflict will be between aesthetic tastes – some of the city’s inhabitants wanting one form of celebration, others wanting another.

No. This does not fit.

If all and everything are perfect then all know, love, understand, accept, consider, and appreciate one another, despite differences in character, appearance, ability and place. All are content and satisfied with who they are, with their position, with their work, homes, friends…down to the finest details of their lives. Yet miraculously, no-one is complacent, or at the other extreme seeking popularity. It is because of the work of the Great Spirit that such peace and understanding abides in all – that all know all perfectly. Only in this state of collective heart, mind and spirit can such perfection exist.

Possibly, the conflict will arise between these printed words and the readers themselves. This is certainly a possibility, even a probability. How can a mind crowded with the pains, weaknesses, sorrows and darkness of sin understand such a place. You may be able to imagine it to an extent. You may desire it. You may even believe it – but can you understand it?

For a moment let me speak to you as the writer of this story. You know of course that I am not an inhabitant of Heaven. I am merely an inhabitant of the Earth. My words are conjecture, which may or may not be inspired by God, through his Holy Spirit. Much of them may be true, but others may be fantasies of my own personal design. Undoubtedly God would have his reasons for allowing such fantasies to reach the eyes and minds and hearts of so many readers. It must be true, that to understand what is written here is difficult to conceive. My Earthly words cannot describe what it is truly like in the Kingdom of Heaven.

But ponder this.

If it is the God of Heaven who has inspired these writings (or even if it is not), then how much greater will be their actual realisation within the Kingdom of Heaven’s habitation and making? In other words – if I can think it, then how much greater will it be when God actually manifests it? God has always known that I was going to write this. I do not know in what ways my interpretation will come short of the reality of Heaven, but I am certain it will. I am merely a human being.

I decide to fly to the top of one of the city’s tallest towers – it takes no time at all. I could have climbed it like a mountain – relishing the challenge, holding on with my fingertips to the soft glistening semi-transparent stone – but I want to see as much as I can…now.

There are only a few of us atop this tower. Our love for each other is joined by exhilaration for the scenes below, around and above that strengthens us with a special joy that only this celebration can imbue. Our enhanced senses bring all the details of the celebration below into our hearts with an exquisite clarity.

Directly below, the city radiates with gold, veined with multi-coloured tendrils of living brilliance that seem to travel through the stone, pulsating with their own life force. The City is the epitome of greatness and grandness. Yet it is the home of the deepest humility, the meekest satisfaction and the most comely reverence for its architect. Undoubtedly its cubistic shape allows for many levels that criss-cross in dizzying patterns. Gardens inhabit all levels in various sizes and shapes. There are streets and avenues above and below – some wide and imbued with a welcome dignity, others more modest, genial and cosy. There are some forms of transportation (cars, hovercraft, and small winged balloons) and even elevators which occasionally are used – but more for pleasure than actual transportation – for here all are glorified and can soar from the top of the City to the very foundation of the City at their leisure. Undoubtedly, the widest avenue of all is the one which leads to the throne of God and contains the tree and river of life. Around this avenue are many spacious plazas, parks, amphitheatres and areas of golden lawn where much of the current celebration is taking place. Around these communal areas mansions, castles, community halls and palaces tower above the streets and arenas, yet seem to bow in obeisance in the direction of the throne of God – the centre of the City of God. The City breathes with life and the life of the City emanates from this centre. Near to the throne of God is God’s House. I will not describe it. It is more than beyond description. It is not just the appearance of it, the sounds coming from it, the extraordinary, indescribable aromas and other perceived characteristics of it (which I cannot describe to you as you do not yet have these senses); but it is the power, the sense of perfection, the unbreakable love. If I were to describe the house of God (if indeed I described the appearance of God) to you, you would be left helpless to enjoy anything else. Your longing for Heaven would then become so great as to gently slay you with yearning. This is not what God wants so I must refrain from this for your sake. So I am largely left with a dilemma.

How can I describe what is impossible for a mere human mind to understand?

How can words portray the depth of such magnificence and beauty? From atop the tower my eyes can see, ears can hear and my heart can feel an endless combination of movement, colour, spontaneous expression, music, power and love. I know I am already an integral part of the celebration, although I am presently just viewing it. I know that this is a celebration of my eternal existence and that it is the same for every living entity I see, smell, hear and feel (using a multitude of new senses that I cannot begin to describe). I speak using the word “I” for your understanding, yet there is such an all knowing and feeling connection between my individual spirit and all other living spirits here that my existence is as much “our” existence as it is mine. Here in the city of God all know all and all is in all, bound by the grace and love of the Great Spirit. It is not that we are equal to God in all His greatness, but that we have been made like God through His benevolence, grace and power. I will not go into details on the depth of this connection with my fellow inhabitants of the City of God, as it is beyond mere terrestrial human conception. However, I will say that all the best wonders of the terrestrial world cannot compare in excellence to the smallest atom of the Kingdom of Heaven. Oh Hallelujah!

The pealing of bells rings through every corner of the Spiritual Realm. They mix with the joyous chirping of birds, the lilting harmonies of choirs, conversations of people and beasts of all types, the songs of children. It all echoes round the walls of the City as if in counterpoint – but it is just the prelude to the sounds to come. From my vantage point I see patterns of people weaving tapestries of gilded light just above the City, scattering tiny lights, like balls of tinsel ablaze with energy, love, privilege or mercy upon those below; rows of athletes testing their fleet-footed speed over manicured lawns or various teams of men, women and beasts vying for some prize in games of skill, intelligence, patience, strength, meekness, or valour. Others play more sober games involving just the intellect or some other faculties, senses or barely imagined potentialities not yet invented. Yet none of these events are a competition – just a celebration of the gifts bestowed upon each individual, an expression of camaraderie, an exercise of will, faith and joy. I soar downward to an open square of the city where a great fountain shoots multicoloured liquid into the ether. Children play within it, shooting up and down, chasing each other, racing each other, bobbing upon the peak of the fountain. Their laughter is like the twinkling of stars and reaches every corner of the City – for ‘of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”.

How can I describe the profound feelings and emotions which live within all the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven? How can I put into words something which is not yet understandable? Even if I describe the facial expressions, the gestures and stances of my fellow inhabitants it will not suffice. And what of the words of gratitude, love and peace which flow from all as a natural consequence of abiding in this glorious existence? Surely, a mere terrestrial would not comprehend their meaning, despite the words themselves being comprehensible. They may tear your heart asunder with light. They may confuse and confound you to the point of madness (although I think this unlikely). They may simply land with a dull thud on the sinful imperfect, terrestrial heart having little or no effect at all, excepting a mild dose of cynicism. The clearest illustration I can think of to describe the feelings and emotions felt by all the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven would be for each individual reader to reach back to their earliest memories – before the effects of accumulated sin had taken a firm hold on their moods, before toxins had started to fill the earthly body, before adverse experiences had dulled the appreciation of life. There as a child there would be memories of how things could be, of how things should be, of how things are constantly in the Kingdom of Heaven. How did you feel when you glimpsed your first falling star, experienced your first day at the beach, enjoyed a cherished moment of affection with a parent or sibling, or shared in the excitement around those early Christmases? Trust me, even if you have a clear memory of the feelings you felt at one or two of these times – it does not come close to every waking moment here in the Kingdom of Heaven. Here there is no sin and the mental and spiritual affects of it. Here our renewed bodies are forever without toxins, without imperfections of every type. Here no-one is ever hurt in any way – there are no adverse experiences. Every word spoken is in harmony with all around, every action is for the pleasure, benefit of all and the worship of God. Even every thought is in line only with the truth, with perfect love, with the consideration of others in mind – and it is a constant joy for it to be so – Oh, wondrous miracle of miracles! Yet how can this be? If God’s light illuminates these heavens, it is his “third person”, the Holy Spirit which fills us all and helps us to be fit for the Kingdom Of Heaven. This Spirit is all around us and within us. It guides, nurtures, teaches and loves us constantly. What a supremely fair and lovely Spirit it is that warms us with its eternal wisdom and perfection. Oh, Hallelujah!

Ahead players act out the nativity scene for a crowd whose eyes are filled with tears of joy and gratitude. The gratitude that all feel in the Kingdom of Heaven for this moment in history cannot be described – it is a place of serenity in our hearts that will never leave. Yet there are other moments still greater – What height, breadth and depth of love so moved the Son of God to sacrifice Himself for us – we once loathsome, sinful, proud, selfish, unfeeling, wicked inhabitants of old Earth – now joy filled, lovely, humble, thoughtful, ever-caring and (Oh! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!) perfect inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven. What unfathomable greatness, what heroic bravery, what tender sympathy moved our saviour, our God, to perform such an act?

(You may be offended at my description of our former state of existence on Earth. Is this description too harsh? From your point of view it may seem so – but you do not yet understand the beauty and radiance of all who inhabit, and all that exists in the Kingdom of Heaven. “Wicked? Loathsome?” Surely I am not speaking of you? You feel you try to do good whenever you can. You believe that despite your weaknesses you are ‘not all bad’. You believe you also suffer; your sacrifices have great meaning, and cost you dearly.

Not so.

All the Earthly sacrifices performed are but dirt in comparison to the perfection of God. It was only the one sacrifice that had any true import. It was only perfection put to death that could save us. We did not deserve this. We could not earn it. We could only accept, believe and receive it. Only the free gift of God has found us here in the glorious City of God. Only the unspeakable humiliation of the Son of God, the heart shattering anguish and pain, of feeling His Father’s wrath upon him when he bore all our sins, only His bearing up amidst this ultimate crisis in the history of the universe has given us eternal life. Yet I describe our former state on Earth in a moment of supreme lucidity. Most of us have little memory of the former times. They have become an unwanted memory – such is the overwhelming power and beauty of the Kingdom of Heaven. That God Himself took all our sins upon Him and destroyed them forever is unbelievable – but true. Once again I cry out – “Oh! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

As my eyes clear I behold still another troupe performing a play comprised wholly of feelings and sounds that permeate all who view it with a levitating light, extricating wonderful emotions that are impossible to describe. One person stands out in this troupe. She glows with a beauty that cannot be described and in seeing her, my gratitude swells once again. She is my mother of old. Her skills in this indescribable art have greatly improved since the last I saw her perform. The look of serenity on her face fills me with wonder. Like all here in the Kingdom of Heaven she has grown in grace, in knowledge, in wisdom, in joy, in peace and in love, and because of this her beauty has grown beyond description. I cannot hold her as I would like, as she is performing, but we exchange a look of the purest love imaginable and a connecting smile that we both know will last for all eternity. Nearby, on the leaf of a pumpkin plant five tiny grasshoppers hum an impossibly soft tune which the plant itself appears to sway to and feed on. Everyone can hear them – they are as much a part of the celebration as all.

Here in the City of God all are as important, as majestic, as beautiful, as gifted, and as loved as everyone else. There are no divisions between the powerful and the humble; there are no favoured and less favoured inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven. All in the Kingdom of Heaven feel perfect love for all. Although some have been graced with greater responsibilities than others, although everyone has their own individual spirit, personality, talents and preferred entertainments, all know their place and know that it is right. Here there can be no pride, no competition, no misunderstanding and no judgement. There is only an understanding of the way things have always been and will always be.

“Surely, this must be tedious?” you ask. When I say “an understanding of things that will always be,” does this mean that we all know of all future events, feelings, conversations and social developments.

Of course not.

It merely means that all are loved and love one another equally, and that this guiding principle will dominate all movement, learning, height and depth of the City of God forever. This is more than just knowledge; it is a foundational basis of each individual soul in the Kingdom of Heaven. It does not mean that surprises do not lay in store for all. The Heavenly Realm’s very nature is all expanding, growing, improving and perfecting (if perfection can indeed be perfected even further). Even for the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven what is yet to be realised is still a mystery. An eternity of creation will give birth to new wonders, new beauties, new existences; but all will be based on the one unchangeable truth.

It is time for me to make a contribution. I spirit ever upwards to the heights of the City and beyond, up and up and up – until I reach a point in the ether that likens itself to the uppermost reaches of the City of God. There I join the clouds of light in the sky and begin to paint images of new and exhilarating landscapes; portraits of feelings; a profile of true freedom; sketches of new and desirable movement; a representation of representation itself. From time to time I join with other artists in the sky. We form pairs or teams creating through a combination of our individual spirits and the one spirit that inhabits us all.

We are brethren.

It is an act of friendship, an expression of love. Others join us. They are not artists, merely viewers, some interacting with the artwork, others just wanting to see, hear, feel and experience our work more closely. Many of them are children. Recordists join in – their modes of recording vary from writing on parchment to expressing in tones and shapes, to recording the actual images and sounds and other sensory phenomenon using a variety of techniques not yet known.

I cannot tell how long I spend in this act of praise, for time has no place here. I cannot describe whether we manage to avoid colliding through the use of supernaturally heightened senses, perfected skills of flight or whether we sometimes fly right through each other because we are spirit. I cannot describe a multitude of the events which occur within these clouds like feathers of light for just their description might destroy you with their beauty, greatness and power. I cannot…

Unexpectedly the joy of celebration is broken by the sounding of a horn of the most imperial majesty. The deep, rich, exultant tone of it permeates every fibre, mind, atom and spirit of the City of God – its volume, timbre and beauty improves exponentially creating an even greater reason for joy until ecstasy and elation are the only feelings that remain among the inhabitants of the City of God. Then it ceases and a cheer resounds like the happy crashing of a tsunami.

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, to the Lord God on High.”

“Praise be to God.”

“Great is the Lord.”

The phrases intermingle but their meaning is clear – gratitude, praise and expectation.

All around the City, bells, drums, flutes, trumpets and voices resound.

It is an announcement by all.

The Festival of Rapture has begun.

At once the stars in the surrounding universe explode in a blaze of colour and splendour. They are like fireworks, but their depth and power are like nothing ever experienced before. Colour and light are superseded by layers of colour and light. Each shade or spark holds within it a universe of life, timelessness and joy. The light-within-light show continues for an inconceivable time, accompanied by a multi-layered voice and orchestral piece signifying the greatness of all creation, until the firework-like shapes and forms begin to shimmer and fade. As they sparkle into an alternative existence the music melts into the mellowest tryst comprising innumerable harps and pianos all singing in unison at one moment and answering each other at others. Whether these pieces have been rehearsed for aeons or are the direct prompting of the Holy Spirit, I cannot tell. Then just as the tears of joy seem to have reached their zenith the melody turns again, as a single voice of thousands pierces the air with the simplest but purest of melodies. A retinue of robust yet beautiful angels descend upon the City of God. Each holds an instrument of some sort and they play these instruments as if they are stroking, gently blowing on or plucking an object of great intimacy. Their faces are as bright as the first morning – their facial expressions, even brighter. Serenity, love and perfection shape them. They play from the heart, and sing from an even greater inner depth. As they descend their song ascends to heights never before dreamed. They sway to and fro, swoop in and out, arranging and rearranging themselves in concert with their musical expression. They resemble a galaxy in flight, a coexistent composition of light and being, a succession of celestial understanding. They swoop inwards, praising all the while, until they are so close together that their collective radiance becomes brighter than all seen before it. It is only in this way that the prince of this celebration can be presented. How else can the prince of light and life, the creator of love and truth, the nurturer of faith and hope, the essence of wisdom and all glory be introduced to his bride, his lovers, his brothers and sisters, his children, his people? And when the angels part, and his appearance is manifest a cheer of gratitude resounds like never before heard in the heavens. The universes themselves shake and ferment at the sound. For He is the Saviour of all who inhabit the Kingdom of Heaven; He is the giver of all life; the Creator of all things; the lover of all existence. He is Jesus.

From where each inhabitant of the Kingdom of Heaven views Him he is a clear vision. He glows with perfect righteousness, smiles with the warmth of a million stars. His eyes behold all his subjects at once (although to an outsider it may appear that he only looks in one direction at a time.) His movements are dignified yet modest. Humility is His greatest adornment – for He has been where we have been in body, mind and spirit and knows from where we have all come. For this we are eternally grateful. I will not repeat His words at this moment for I have not the right to repeat them, and you could not possibly grasp their beauty, import and majesty. Although I will say that His words are words of encouragement, simplicity, truth and supreme love. They are exhortations of congratulation, expressions of divine passion – edifying, honourable words that will live in our hearts forever. Our praises resound in response, we speak to him from the very centre of our beings and we all know that he hears each and every one of us. When he answers us it would appear that he is merely speaking to a crowd of immeasurable size. Yet our personal responses to his initial words have all been met by his response in such a way as to touch each of our individual hearts. It is only God Himself who can do this? How can a few sentences of words answer the many heartfelt praises, the many different expressions of gratitude, the differing exhortations of love proceeding from the hearts, minds and lips of all the saved?

They can; for with God all things are possible.

Then He descends and mingles with the crowds. Is it possible for Him to mingle with us all during the celebration? The only answer I can give that might help to explain, is that there is no time here and that even space itself is in many ways different. Of course he would. It would be all his people’s wish and He is both desirous and of the ability to do so. When I meet Him I am overwhelmed with love. We walk up a wide avenue paved with translucent gold. It shimmers with its own light. There are two sides to this avenue for down its centre runs a river of the clearest waters in all creation. They sparkle as if the essence of life itself lives within them. They come from the throne of God Himself and feed the tree of life which flanks either side of the river in the middle of this avenue. The fruit of these two trees changes constantly, producing twelve different fruits for the healing, nourishing and preserving of all the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Heaven.

As the celebration continues the Son works his way along this majestic avenue at the centre of the City of God. An endless time passes before he reaches it. There where the throne of God dwells are twenty four other thrones – twelve flanking each side. Seated on them are “twenty four elders clothed in white garments and adorned with golden crowns.” Before the throne is an ocean of glass, shimmering like the choicest crystal. Before and around it sit the four living creatures – “one like a lion, one like a calf, one with the face of a man and the fourth like a flying eagle. All the living creatures have six wings and are full of eyes, around and within.“ Yet it is the throne of God which is the most marvellous sight of all. Its majesty cannot be described with mere words. From out of it “proceed flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder.” Before it are the seven lamps of fire, which are “the seven spirits of God.” Is this merely an object? Is this a living thing, this throne of great power and might? We cannot be sure. It may be for us to know at a later time. Eventually, the Son takes his place on the throne at the head of this avenue. The throne rumbles and flashes louder than it has since the beginning of the celebration. The crowds applaud. Their exhilaration cannot be measured, yet it is an exhortation tempered by meekness and the gratitude for our maker. Around the throne of God more gather – all sorts of angels of different sizes, shapes and character. They all praise God. The crowds praise God. The rumblings and flashes emanating from the throne increase even more. Around it the songs of joy, the clapping and cheering, the pealing of bells, the humming of bees, the melodies of countless souls fill the very substance of Heaven until the universe begins to shake. Only one cosmic panorama remains. Only one appearance is left. Will I describe it to you?

I will surely not – as it would certainly destroy you.

It is the appearance of the greatest mystery of all; the essence of all knowledge; the author of joy; the collision of space and time; the begetter of peace; the parent of beauty; the centre of eternity; the palpitations of the stars; the reason for, and realisation of all.

The excitement of the worshippers fades to the barest whisper. Even the throne of God is overtaken with an omniscient calm. All is more still than ever before. All witnessing this event have been overcome by the same feeling. We all show the same facial expression. We all breathe in unison with each other and the One Spirit.

Tears well up as we await the appearance of…

…The Father.

© 2012 Leonard Aitken. All Rights

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