Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)
TITLE: An Eternal Church Service? Think Again, Jamie!
By Helen Curtis
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God...would it be really sinful of me to say it doesn't sound all that exciting? Not that I don't like worshipping you, God! It's just, well you know how much trouble I have staying awake during prayer meetings; how on earth - pardon the pun! - will I stay awake for all of eternity?! And if I can't grasp the joy of heaven, how can I possibly 'sell' it to others? "Hey, you wanna come to heaven and be part of a church service that lasts forever?!" I know, I know, "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."* I guess I'll just leave it in your very capable hands, God. I know you'll show me what I need to see in your time.
Speaking of seeing things, is that...a light up ahead? That's odd, I've never met anyone else walking along this riverbank at this time of year before. Wow, that's not just any sort of light, it's...shimmering. It's beautiful!
I feel like it's surrounding me, as if it's infusing my entire being with its essence. It's so surprisingly warm, and the fragrance. How delicious!
I wonder where it's going? I have to follow it...I...I can't find the road, I have no idea where I am, but I don't care! I feel...safe. It's almost as if I were...home?
The light has stopped, the mist is beginning to clear. It's... Oh dear God, this is... indescribable! Such beauty, such radiance! The depth of the colours is... unbelievable. I mean, I can actually sense the colours! I can touch colour! It feels as if it's...moving? No, dancing, right there in my hands! And I can taste the unique blend of...spices? Yes, but so much more delightful than anything I've ever tasted before. And the aroma! The deep, earthy base notes; the fruity middle notes; the lingering, playful top notes of each colours' perfume, all merging together in a perfect balance to make ... ha ha! It makes COLOUR!
Oh dear, am I...crying? Yes!
Am I scared? Ha! Not in the least! How could fear live in such a place as this, in this...
Think, think, think. Ummm, haha!! Could it really be?!
No, don't be silly.
He he he.. what is going on? I feel... Delirious! Delirious and really...thirsty! Maybe if I kneel by that river I can scoop up some...
No WAY! Either that was a really huge cat, or I just saw a lion playing with a flock of little sheep...which, of course would be lambs. LAMBS AND LIONS!! Why does that seem so logical in this place?! Right. Maybe I just need to rest a moment, perhaps close my eyes for a bit, so I can see more clearly and fully know what's...going...on...
I'M IN HEAVEN!
"Hi Jamie! How are you liking it here?"
Who's there? I can't quite...make out your face. Uhhh..is that really you, Lord?
Oh, my soul is overcome! Such ecstasy is too great for my puny little being to contain! I have never been so...whole, so completely saturated by pure love.
Um, why is the mist rolling back in? I can't see you anymore.
Jesus?! Please, I want to stay with you! NO! How can I go back when I have tasted this side of Paradise?
"Jamie, it's ok. Your time is not yet come, but one day all of this will be yours to share!"
"Well, hi there, Miss Jamie! Great to see that you're awake. No, don't try to speak. You're in hospital, Jamie. You are one lucky little lady. You fell into the icy Collins Creek; if a camper hadn't seen you through a chance break in the mist, we would have lost you. It's their quick thinking that kept you on this side of Paradise."
*1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV
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