Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Light in the Darkness

[Originally posted at Slacktivist and Right Behind.  In 2010.]
[Late in the Left Behind Series, New Babylon is cursed with oppressive darkness.  It isn't just that the darkness makes it impossible to see and no light source can drive it back, it is that it hurts.  The woman in the main story is one Rayford bumped into.  Krystall is selfless character first met in the same episode and later ... well, L&J didn't want to deal with the question of how one treats good people who are damned, so she ceased to be.]

Elior walked across the tarmac of New Babylon's airport, wherever he looked there was someone writhing in agony. The screams of the victims blended together into a sort of hellish white noise. He couldn't stop to help them, not yet. Like all angels, Elior was a messenger. He was here to deliver a message.

He made note of the position of every person. He might not have time to save them all, but a little reconnaissance beforehand could help him to save more of them. God hadn't actually told him to save them. He'd said nothing of the sort. But God hadn't told him not to save them either. That left the decision on what to do in Elior's hands and Elior already had his answer.

To better understand the situation Elior dropped his supernatural defenses and experienced what a mortal would. He cried out and raised his defenses. The pain had defied description. Bad enough that he hadn't even noticed falling to the tarmac. He picked himself up and continued on his way.

His goal came into view. A man walked away from her, that was odd. It was clear the man could see, but who else would be able to see in this place? Elior knew it didn't matter, if the man were important God would have mentioned him. Still, it made him curious.

Elior pushed it out of his mind, and approached the woman. He knelt beside her, "Emma, God sent me to tell you that he has heard your prayer." He placed his hands on her. She stopped writhing. "It is never too late to come to God. But neither is it free. If you swear to forsake evil and actively do good, God will take you into his embrace."

She swore it without pausing to think, but Elior knew she was sincere. For now that was enough. Time would tell whether she would live up to it. He granted her the ability to see in darkness and helped her to her feet. "Do you have any questions?"

Emma thought for a moment. "Why is this happening?"

Elior looked around, shook his head, and said, "I don't know. I'm just a messenger. I would stop it if I could, but God won't let me interfere in the Antichrist's plan."


"No, not Nicolae. He would make a piss poor Antichrist. Nicolae is like an angry child who has no real goal in life other than to throw tantrums whenever he notices he doesn't rule the world. The real Antichrist is going to try to pass himself off as Jesus. Can you imagine what would happen if Nicolae declared himself Jesus? There'd be so many questions he couldn't answer, chief among them being who the Antichrist was.

"The idea of an Antichrist is so prevalent in popular culture that anyone claiming to be Christ needs to be able to point to someone as an Antichrist. Who could Nicolae point to? Tsion Ben-Judah?" He paused to consider that. "Actually that's not far off.

"Anyway, Nicolae is not the Antichrist. He is a patsy, and an idiot to boot. If the real Antichrist were as stupid as Nicolae my work would be much easier. I wish the real Antichrist was as ineffectual as Nicolae. The real Antichrist is working with the real Lucifer who has, for centuries, been setting this up. They did this," Elior gestured to the ubiquitous darkness and suffering. "But God let them, and I don't pretend to understand why."

Emma asked, "What does God want me to do?"

God hadn't told Elior. His instructions had ended at answering questions, with no indication of what answers he wanted Elior to give. There was always the standard answer, "Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and come to those in prison." He paused a moment, "Speaking of which, I have something for you," he handed her bread and a water bottle.

Emma snatched them and immediately bit into the bread, then stopped, pulled the bread away from her mouth, and looked at the starving masses around her. Elior knew what she was thinking. "Go ahead. There's enough to go around." It was the fastest he had ever seen someone eat, and he worried she might drown on her water. She survived, coming out somewhat better fed and watered and completely unscathed. "I'm planning on helping them, if that sounds like something you'd like to do, I could use the help."

Emma nodded.

"Now I might not be allowed to make this all go away, but I can preform some miracles." He handed Emma a loaf of bread. "That will feed as many people as needed. You don't happen to have any fish ... no, you wouldn't. Nevermind. You'll find the bottle is full again, and will remain that way. Go around feed people, comfort them, give them a drink, see if any of them will come to God, but most of all get them moving. The overall goal is to get all of these people moving as far as they can as fast as they can that way." Elior pointed. "If any of them will accept God call out my name. I'll see about doing for them what I did for you."

Many of them were quite willing to accept God.



Elior watched as the woman's soul left her body. She was clearly shocked, death by gas grenade would do that to a person. She also exhibited the kind of serenity that only people who had been relieved from great pain ever experienced. "Hello, Krystall. My name is Elior."

When she faced him she filled with fear. "No, no. I'm not here to hurt you. You helped strangers. Even when you thought there was no benefit for yourself. It cost you your life, but it earned you something far more important. I'm here to take you to Heaven, to a place prepared for ones such as you before time itself began."


1 comment:

  1. I've not been reading Fred Clark's Left Behind posts for the most part, so I hadn't fully parsed just how horrible L&J's god is. How could inflicting such agony be right and good? It doesn't make sense.