Monday, April 16, 2007

When the Earth is Young (tidbits 4)

“Then what is to become of us?” Matthew asked.

“What is to become of me, and what is to become of you, are two different questions," said the old man. "I too am caught between two worlds, but in a way that you are not. The world to come has been planted in my soul. Even now its seed is ready to burst forth with new life. My mortal life is all but spent, but soon I will lay this body down, and the seed that has been planted in me—that which gave birth to the new creation you saw—will give birth to me as well. This flesh,” the old man said, thumping his chest, “will rise again. The time of my naming comes ever closer. He has not finished his work in me. I am not yet fit for the world to come, but I will be. I will be.”

Matthew felt he should be offended that the old man so easily placed them in two separate camps, but somehow he couldn’t muster the indignation. There was nothing arrogant about the old man. “How can you be sure?” he asked.

The old man leaned close. He began to speak and then stopped. He glanced to either side. Finally, in a hushed tone, as though he was confessing something rather awkward, he spoke. “Because. . . Because I’ve met him,” he said.

There was long pause.

“Met who?” Matthew asked finally, afraid of the answer.

Him. He’s alive you, know. That’s what the Church has always taught. Do you think that Christians only believe because we’ve been told to do so? I do not believe simply because others have spoken to me of him—though that is how I first knew to look for him—but I believe because I’ve met him for myself. He’s alive, you know,” the old man said again.”

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