An action-packed allegory that captures our growth from seeker of God to mature believer. "Written for the entire family to enjoy... the mixture of fantasy and truth will compel you to follow this delightful journey. Bill writes at a kid’s level with adult allegories that help explain spiritual truths. ...extended imagination balanced by sound theological understanding. That combination is a rare breed and Bill Myers has it. He is our twenty-first century C.S. Lewis."
- Light of Life Magazine
(see preview below)
In this section, young Joshua O'Brien is finally allowed to meet Imager (the book's name for God). But, as an Upside-Downer (the term for humans, since our ways are often upside-down from God's) the glory is almost too intense . . .
As he squinted, Joshua slowly made out a large, broad plain that stretched below them. It was so clear and so smooth that it looked like water. But it couldn't be water. There were too many creatures standing on it. Millions of glowing creatures.
And they were singing. They were all singing to an even brighter Figure standing in the center of the plain-a Figure carved out of the most intense, blazing light imaginable. Light brighter than the sun. Brighter than a thousand suns. At first it stood directly in the middle of the plain. Then, suddenly, it was standing much closer. Then far off in the distance. Then somewhere to Josh's left. Then to his right. As if it were everywhere at the same time.
Josh's head began to spin. Everything was too strange, too weird. He grew dizzy, his brain was overloading. Then suddenly he heard a voice. It shook the ground like thunder. It was so loud that it made his ears ring . . . and softer than a whisper.
He spun around and gasped. The Figure was kneeling directly beside him! Josh's head reeled. Instinctively, he bowed to the ground. Still, he had to see. He had to look into the face. Slowly, and with great terror, he forced himself to raise his head. When their gaze finally met, he saw eyes as powerful as the voice . . . and as tender. They blazed with fire-a fire that burned deep into Joshua's mind.
Now he could not look away, even if he wanted.
The eyes held him. They searched his thoughts-seeing inside to his deepest, darkest secrets. Things no one knew. Things he did in secret, said in secret, thought in secret. Things that embarrassed him. Suddenly they were all exposed by the light. Suddenly every thought and action of Joshua O'Brien was in plain view of those eyes.
But Josh felt no fear. Because, as penetrating as those eyes were, as much as they saw his darkest secrets, they didn't condemn those secrets. If anything, they seemed to love and understand Josh more because of those secrets.
It took Joshua forever to find his voice. When he did it came out as a little squeak. "Who. . ." But that was as far as he got. He was too overcome to talk.
The Figure seemed to understand. He motioned toward the plain below them, toward all the different appearances of himself.
"I AM HE."
Josh wasn't sure if he was going to lose his mind or just die. But for some reason he did neither. It had something to do with the way those marvelous eyes held him.
He tried to ask another question. "How. . ." But he shook his head. He had no business asking anything. He had no business saying anything. At that moment he had no business being anything.
The eyes looked on kindly. The voice roared and whispered:
"ASK YOUR QUESTION, JOSHUA O'BRIEN."
Josh swallowed hard and tried again. "How . . . how can you be here . . . and down there at the same time? You're everywhere at once."
"YES, I AM."
"BEHOLD . . ."
The Figure pointed to a withered old woman on the plain below them. Unlike the others, she was shriveled and crippled. And, unlike the others, she was not glowing. He continued speaking, His voice lowered in quiet reverence:
"SHE'S AN UPSIDE DOWNER . . .
"You mean she's cross-dimensionalized just like-"
"NO. SHE HAS GRADUATED."
Joshua looked back to the plain. The glowing Figure of Light was now standing beside the woman. Josh looked back to his side. The Figure of Light was also there. "OK," he mumbled, trying to get a grip. "I can handle this. I hope . . ."
He turned back to the plain and watched as the old woman crumpled to the Figure's feet and began sobbing. But she wasn't the only one crying. So was the Figure.
A hush fell over the plain. All singing came to a stop. The millions of creatures watched in speechless anticipation as the Figure slowly stooped down to join the old woman. At last he spoke:
"I HAVE BEEN WAITING A LONG TIME FOR YOU."
The woman looked up. Tears streamed down her face. Tears streamed down both of their faces. Slowly, the Figure reached out his hands and helped her as they rose to their feet. Smiling, he wiped the tears from her cheeks. She looked up into his eyes, her face glowing in love and adoration. Then gently, tenderly, he pulled her into a deep, powerful embrace.
And with that embrace . . . came another flash of light!
Josh ducked his head as the wave of power roared over him. When it was finally safe, he looked back up and saw the woman was still in the Figure's arms. But she was different now . . . much different. Now, she glowed. Now, she shared a part of the Figure's brilliance-a part of his power. No longer was she bent and crippled. Now she was beautiful. Radiant. Now she was young, vibrant, and glowing with the Figure's own glory.
The two separated but continued gazing into each other's eyes like lovers who'd been apart for years. Finally, the Figure took her hand into his. He said only four words.
"COME, SIT WITH ME."
The entire plain broke into applause . . . then shouts and cheers as the couple turned and headed through the throng.
Josh looked on, his own eyes burning with tears. The back of his throat hurt with emotion. He turned to the Figure of Light which was now beside him. He tried to speak, his voice was hoarse and raspy. "Do you . . . do that . . . with everyone?"
There was no missing the moisture in the Figure's eyes as he smiled.
"I DO THAT WITH MY FRIENDS."
© Copyright 2002 by Bill Myers
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