The Finale: When the Gods Spoke #PurposefulShortFiction

Easter is nearly here. On April 1, 2018 most of America will wear their Sunday Best and go to a church to give respects and honor to God’s Son who rose on the third day. Still…

Who is God, why does he seem kind and most diabolical? This short fiction is a combination of pondering and biblical research with a mixture of fantasy but the core of the story remains: Just who is God and does he love us as much as the bible tells us?

Enjoy!

*If you have not already, do read parts 1 and 2 of this spiritual fantasy. Thank you!

abstract black art

Beautiful One pulled himself back from Silver One and regarded her as one would a difficult puzzle. “You’ve visited my planet already. Do you not see how much I love them?”

She shrugged. “I see. I really do. But they are in pain all the time. I may not see the light in my creation’s eyes, but yours has so many spirits in one flesh! They are so tortured. You have allowed them to create their own systems of beliefs when you decided to keep silent, then punish them eternally when they do not know you? Yes, Beautiful One. I am perplexed.

“You’ve walked among your people, whereas I have not. However, I have danced with them many moons ago, I’ve implanted my essence in their dreams and song. I have programmed them to be healthy and strong. All of them have made shrines in my image without having seeing me in this generation. I do not hide my face as you do.”

When Silver One spoke, her voice was soft, melodic. Not accusing in any way, but more of stating the facts. Beautiful One stroked his beard and suggested they stay on this planet longer. They both inhabited the bodies of ivory-toned women sipping coffee at a coffee shop(so no one knew who they really were). It was quiet and some bookish jazz music played softly in the background.

Beautiful One had to broach the subject, because there is one area all humans are fond of. “Silver One. My people feel pain and some even hail it as pleasure.” A sly smile grew on his face. Or rather, a pleased one.

Silver One exhaled and blew cool air over her coffee. “Ok. I’m all ears.”

“Take sex for example. That one act can cause affliction of the heart and can heal it. My humans have choices of how they wish to explore it and many times it goes against what is written. I am holy, therefore they must be…but I am kind. My humans have…rhythmic bodies, souls. They hurt, they cry, they moan and shout and interestingly enough, these same outward cries of pain can be one of pleasure. Oftentimes, even under a vow when their bodies belong to just that one, they share their bodies with another. Now their souls are split in two because they still love their first, although they will not admit it. What a funny lot!”

“Hopeless, Beautiful One. You are hopeless. You can regulate their pleasure. Make them faithful only to that one.”

“Silver One,” Beautiful One smiled and sipped a bit on his tea. He ordered green tea macha with sprinkles of cinnamon and they got it just right. “Who says I do not regulate anything?  Some are very faithful, almost to the point of obsession and that is also a fine line to walk.

He continued: “Who says I cannot tell the future? Listen: I see infinite possibilities of each one of my own. It is always the final possibility, right before death that intrigues me. Not their death beds, but the last ten or few years before their death when their possibility is no longer corrupt. When they know who they really are. Right as they begin to burn brighter than the stars I’ve hung.”

“And the children who are sick and dying on your world because you refuse to heal them?” Silver One countered.  “What do you see of their futures, or did see of their futures at all?” Silver One leaned back in her chair casually, a winning smile upon her attractive face.

Beautiful One did not hesitate to answer: “Sometimes there are moments before a human copulates when I peer down on them and wonder if the little signs I gave them would be enough.” He looked into his tea as if searching for more validation of why he allow babies to suffer. He found no way to explain. “All children deserve to be here but…I am God and my creation disobeyed me. All must suffer because they are Eve and Adam’s child..”

Silver One said nothing at first. She let it sink in her mind and drank up some more coffee. “This is what I mean, Beautiful One. You go back to announcing who you are as to why innocents must suffer. I know who you are and most atheists care not to know you but they know wind and chaos did not create them. Still, you understand your people’s anguish. No?”

“As I said. One may see years as years. I see generations as one day. Adam and Eve disobeyed me and then their spawn did as well, but I allow them to live and grow and make mistakes. Parents do that, Silver One.”

“Were they the first to make the mistake?”

Beautiful One gave a knowing smile again. Silver One liked when he smiled. “Oh no. They are not. The ones who got it right, survived a perfect ten thousand years before I began with Adam and Eve. This time when I made man, I used the earth and the wind of my breath, and water. Water is a current that moves constantly and can be beautiful and deadly, like people, Silver One. You may not understand my methods, but if there ever were a war between mine and yours, mine has so much drive, so much pain, so much passion- they will endure. It will amaze you.”

“Maybe one day we can arrange a War of the Made, how’s that sound?”

“Good.”

They both got up and anyone watching the reflection in the glass would see one was a tall proud bald silver woman while the other was the color of jasper with a long white beard. Not necessarily giants but they shone like the stars.

They both took a stroll down a well lit park and spoke of things not so cosmic and profound but joked and laughed about mundane things, simple things like how rabbits chase foxes on Earth 2 and how the men are more “sensitive” than women here as well. They also do not understand television and laptops, and social media at all. They understand it, but find it amazing what people tinker with.

After their stroll, Silver One took Beautiful One’s hand. “We are so different but I am glad we have these talks. Do you see why I run things like I do now?”

Beautiful One covered her hand with his own. Who said gods do not love or fall in love? Her large eyes were discs into unknown futures of futures and her lips were pouty as well and skin dusted with light from the moon and stars above, making her glow. “Silver One, you do what you must. I will do the same. You have given me…thought in my actions, or lack thereof.”

Silver One nodded but Beautiful One would not reveal to her his true nature. It would scar her poised shell and leave her blistered in the void. He will not tell her that he is neither male nor female. He will not reveal to her that she is an extension of himself. He will never tell her that these brief talks with her(himself) is what he needs all the time to balance himself.

“Oh! I forgot! What about Satan. Is he still around?” She asks letting her hand slip from his. “It would be cruel if he is still hanging on to tempt people.”

Without a second thought, Beautiful One took Silver One’s slender hand and pulled her hard and fast to his body so he could whisper in her ear: “The light bearer still lives.”

Silver One shivered as confusion riddled her face.

The Beautiful One was still cruel as fresh molten lava spitting upon the innocent in its path.

The End…Maybe.

Copyright 2018 Erica Jean Smith

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You Can’t Read This Book Like Any Other Book

bible
Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

 

**This is not meant to be a “preachy” post. Sorry. It is a post for those who love to read, but who discern the contents of any collected writings. Enjoy!

The bible is one of the most popular, bestselling, beloved and hated book of all time.

Even so, people still worry over whether the book containing “Dead Sea Scrolls” is really the voice of God, or stories penned from wildly imaginative people trying to give others hope.

I remember one discussion with someone years ago who stated, “It is not right to read the bible from Genesis to Revelation because then you are treating it as you would any other book.”

I did not have a comeback for that because I questioned myself: “Lord, am I disrespecting you for reading the bible front to back?”

Silly me.

Listen.

I love reading all kinds of books and the preferable start is at the beginning of a story. You get maximum entertainment that way(unless you are reading choose your own ending books). However, the bible is different.

Since that discussion, I have “bible dipped”, choosing to read chapters and verses I felt I needed to read or that God whispered to me to read.

Then one day, I felt an urge to begin at the…

Beginning.

From the garden of Eden to the lake of fire.

I had to do this because when a person just dips into the center of the bible often, there is a whole journey that could be missing. There are still books of the bible I am unfamiliar with!

One day, I may feel the need to read from Revelation to Genesis. That would be cool.

The point I am trying to make here is that it is impossible to read the bible as a fairy tale whether you begin at Genesis or elsewhere. Impossible. It is a collection of prophecy, history, and divine letters.

This is not a post to preach, but hopefully an encouraging word for those bookworms who are Believers and who may have had this discussion before. I have read maybe hundreds of books in my lifetime so far, and let me tell you, when you are about to begin a book with collected writings of over a thousand years, you can never just read it as you would any other book.

Because it is not any other book. Even those who are not Believers can attest to this.

Anyway, these are just my morning thoughts. I love being random like this.

Don’t be afraid to subscribe and share, and I welcome comments!

~Ericajean

Prayers for an Anxious Heart( a review)

Prayers for An Anxious Heart

Compiled by Barbour Publishing Staff(July 1, 2017)

ISBN: 978-1-68322-171-5

*Book received for free from Netgalley

_________________

These prayer collections(there’s many of them!)published by Barbour, are really hard not to love.

If you are a Christian Woman then this neat little devotional is definitely for you.

Now, if you are not Christian or just need a pick me up to remind you of what’s really important- then the soothing words of this book is for you too.

“Just when I think I might have it all together, something happens to remind me that I am not in control.”(Prayers for an Anxious Heart, 2015)

The everyday stressful moments that seem to stunt our spiritual growth is real but having this powerful book with prayers in it is a great way to begin or end your day.

I think the beautiful factor of these books is that it offers biblical guidance without the need to bash you over the head with rules and structures on how to pray.

For instance, many of the “prayers” offered in the book are inspired by life and Scripture. Well, Scripture is life, but you get the drift.

You can take the prayers and tailor it to your life. Not repeat it word for word. But if you must repeat the prayers exactly, that is your choice too. Hey, it could strengthen your prayer life!

In sum, there is nothing bad to say about a neat book for women who face real troubles.

Five purple hearts!

P.S. I will try to post more reviews of the Spiritual/Christian nature on Sundays or once a month! Please subscribe if you’d like more reviews  and writing tips!

Come to the Garden Review, Was it all a dream?

Come to the Garden book with blue sky and lavender flowers
Cover Design courtesy of Howard Books

Did Jennifer Wilder Morgan have a powerful dream about an angel? A vision? Or was this something else?

Come to the Garden is marketed as a “Inspired by True Events” novel. However, is it really true and at the end, does it matter?

Here is my opinion of the book:

I really love angel books. I do. And Jennifer Wilder Morgan has penned a lovely, enriching story that’s captivating.

I have done many blog posts on angels: from what angels are made of, to fiction involving angels.

In the Author’s Note, Jennifer states,

Soon, the character of an intriguing angel named Margaret began to shape in the eyes of my heart. I would write a fictional story about her.”(Come to the Garden, pg. xiii)

In the Acknowledgements section, Jennifer even states: “I had a dream and wasn’t going to settle for a personal journal.”

So in essence, what we are reading is an allegory. Which in itself isn’t a bad thing.

Jennifer’s guardian angel explores her dreams. These dreams Jennifer has are about loved ones passing or being ill, and some dreams bring about hope, such hope that even you as the reader will stop and praise God for her vision, and then other dreams are wholly prophetic.

And her gentle, beautiful guide is right there explaining the metaphors and symbols(pay attention to these!)

I felt invited while reading. I felt that even my own dreams and fears were finally explained just by reading this book.

At the final page, I took a breath, read some of the Scriptures offered in the back and reflected on what I’ve read.

Perhaps Jennifer’s own events inspired her to create the angel Margaret. Now, whether this is real or if angels are guardians versus messengers is set for another discussion elsewhere. All I know is that I am now inspired.

*This book was received for free from Howard Books through Jennifer’s publicist.

Book Details:

Come to the Garden, Jennifer Wilder Morgan

Published by Howard Books(2016)

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3133-2(paperback)

*Also available in audio. Want it free? Please visit my Come to the Garden free audible giveaway which ends May 16,2016 so you can share the experience! Also narrated by Kathie Lee Gifford, the Today show host.

Why ‘Waters Fall’ is worth your 48 hours

Waters Fall Becky Doughty
Waters Fall

You read that right. Within 48 hours, you will finish this book. Perhaps sooner.  Please read a bit of the review below so you can get a “feel for it now.

 

In a story that can only be called raw and amazing, ‘Waters Fall’ is certainly a book that will make you flinch. It has infidelity, pain, bitterness, and is so well told that Becky Doughty now has fans under her hooks.

Waters Fall is about a marriage falling apart. Nora is tired of something or wants something more and the prologue introduces her sinking under icy waters at Anderson Hollow(the water is a very significant symbol in this book).

Eventually Nora meets Tristan- the very attractive, carefree artist and suddenly she begins to adore everything about him: his art, his his studio-his charm. All to the destruction of her marriage and what makes things worse, she has two children and a husband.” (Waters Fall Review continues here)

Okay so here is how I feel about each character- SPOILER ALERT!

Oh, and it is Christian Fiction.

My psychological profile for Jake the husband

Jake in the beginning, seems like such a great guy. However, in the prologue it seems he is bugged by Nora as she goes under the water fall at Anderson Hollow. All is revealed later. He fixates on Nora too much. He is addicted to her, he worships her and this is what the bible calls Idolatry. I could tell from the first thirty or so pages that Jake really adores his wife. Sure he had his drinking days a decade back, he has changed and he is a caring father and actually likes to be around his wife. Who wouldn’t want that? In my opinion, Jake failed in two areas: 1)Putting his wife on a pedestal, and 2) appearing too needy of her.

My psychological profile for Nora

Readers may disagree with me, but the entire time I was like, “Really Nora? Really?” She basically drives her hubby to drink again with her nagging and passive attitude towards him.  Yes, she nags and is very passive at the same time. My heart hurt when the oldest child, Leslie –told her father, maybe he can help out a little more and that “Mommy made it because she is smart.” Why can’t he be like her…or something like that. Nora’s response was not that great of a defense for her husband.

I think Nora is a person who never forgives-we all have this trouble on some level. Maybe Jake did so many bad things that now she hates him for it. Funny, but in two separate scenes, they both scream that they hate the other(not in each other’s presence). Also, I think she fails to see that Jake may actually enjoy staying with the kids- that is not called earning a keep. There are so many deadbeats around here and here she has a husband who cooks, cleans, and cares for the kids.

He did have some kind of job that was not doing well, but he needed encouragement, not a stingray in his behind all the time. Nora fails in two places: 1) She is unforgiving and 2) well, she cheats on her hubby.

My psychological profile for Tristan

Oh, Tristan. The carefree artist who is very, very tall, very handsome and very much available to Nora. He was in her sights for a reason. Right when Nora began to let her spirit roam and fall away from God, here comes trouble(same syllables and word count as Tristan- hmmm.)

I think he never loved Nora, but he was in lust with her. He told her all the things her flesh wanted to hear. And maybe on some level he may have been truthful about wanting her for himself, but he is not her husband and he displays protectiveness over her in one scene.

To dally in lust and play in another’s garden is enough to encourage the blood to sizzle and roar and who doesn’t want that fascinating feeling of pure passion. Who doesn’t want someone to want them? Tristan fails in one area: messing with another man’s woman.

Question: Is Tristan the bad guy here?  Who’s the big baddie here out of all three characters?

This is why the book is worth your 48 hours(some of you may take longer to read this book, it is okay). You will literally be glued to the pages trying to see if Nora can get her act together and will Jake even take her back.

buyDefinitely a book to buy and own!

Book Details:

Waters Fall, Becky Doughty

BraveHearts Press(May 2014)

Ebook Edition

 

Do You Know Phyllis Wheatley? Celebrating Black Poetry

Phyllis WheatleyIt is never too late to congratulate the African and African American writers who have contributed greatly to our thought and literature. African American history is definitely American history…

One in particular is Phyllis Wheatley. I remember being taught about her while I was in elementary school and that was long ago. But here are some brief points about Phyllis Whealey.

  • Phyllis was the first African American poet to be published.
  • Born 1753 in Gambia
  • Has been a slave since she was 7 but,
  • Was emancipated from her owners once she reached publication success
  • Even George Washington praised her work
  • Sadly, she and her husband- a free black man tried to have children- both children died.
  • When she was pregnant with her third, her husband leaves her.
  • She dies during childbirth at the age of 31.

Want to learn more about Phyllis Wheatley and read one of her poems? Head to The Biography of Phyllis Wheatley.

Phyllis Wheatley wrote poems about religion and morality

Let’s try and gauge what Phyllis was trying to say in this poem, “On Being Brought From Africa to America”

Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic dye.”
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.´

I am not much of a scholar , but when Wheatley writes “Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land” all I can think is that Africans had a very different belief system than what were taught to them in America. Christianity according to the bible was not their native belief(according to my limited knowledge) in fact, paganism, Shamanism may have been what Wheatley was referring to. Not saying Africa was bad or had evil folks, but after finding the Lord, she see her former land as Pagan- which can be any land really.

It was a knowledge of holy redemption which she never knew. I keep saying she, but I am referring to Speaker of the poem.

Then the Speaker says, ” Remember Christians, Negroes, black as Cain” I am perplexed…what does the Speaker mean by Cain? Was Cain black? If you look for the Curse of Cain, you may some info there but beware there are some websites that promote hate instead of theoretical information. Some say his blackness was his mark but as usual, I am skeptical of all that.

Finally Wheatley poses a solution to getting rid of our paganism. Get “refined” so we may join in the “angelic train” or that ride up to heaven to be with the Lord.

I really enjoyed her rhyme scheme and rhythm for this poem, but the words make you pause and think for a moment. These are thoughts of a slave brought to America. Her own life seems dim-losing children and then husband leaves her but her poetry of hope and religion does still live on.

What other poems by Phyllis Wheatley or any other black poet have you read? Do share! 🙂