The Estates, Part II

Those helpers of the man that had rejected him had come to be known as The Fallen Ones.  These cast-offs were broken creatures, perched on the edge of starvation, they were filthy things, unkept and unwashed.

The one who had become king of all the Fallen Ones approached the servants.  The servants had never seen such a creature before.  But they had never known fear, either.  They did not know to beware of him.

“You should eat from that tree over there.” The fallen one said.

“But we were told not to.”  The woman said.

“Didn’t the owner of the mansion tell you to enjoy anything in the garden?”  He asked “Didn’t he say that all this was yours?”

The woman nodded her head, considering this.  “Yes, he did.” And the man agreed with her.

“And isn’t that tree over there in the garden?”  He continued.

And the man and the woman nodded.

“Then doesn’t it stand to reason that you should be allowed to eat from that tree?”

And this is why they ate from the tree that they had been told not to eat from.

When they did, everything changed.

It was as if an extra dismention was simply added to the world.  Things were exactly the same, except that nothing was the same anymore.  The man and the woman looked at each other.  And they looked at the fallen one.

And they realized that they were vulnerable, and they realized they were weak.  They realized that they had stepped out, from under the protection of the man who had made everything.  If that man could not trust them, then surely they could not trust each other.  And if they could so easily be lured into this great betrayal, was anything safe?  Was anything secure.

They hid.

They hid from each other and they hid from themselves.  They hid to hide their vulnerabality.  They hid to hide their new understanding.  They hid, most of all, to hide from the man who’d built the mansion, and they both wept.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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