Continued from History in the Making
A Recognition of the True Reality
After a nightmarish dream, Jessi awakens to a new day. A knock on the door, then it opens ajar. "Honey, are you okay?" a voice asks.
"Yes, daddy," Jessi answers, she has recognized her dad's voice.
"Breakfast will be ready in about an hour, Sweetie," her dad responds.
"Thank you," she answers.
In her sleepwear, still, she seats herself at her desk back in her own bedroom in Mid-central. Splendidly radiant, a strange glow lit up her face ever more brightly than before. She had realized more fully now the meaning of her baptism when she first believed. Her life now in the flesh, in this time, is by faith in the Son of God, who loved her and gave Himself for her. Having been crucified with Christ, she no longer lives; it is Christ who lives in her. (See Galatians 2:20.)
She realizes more fully, too, her light-bearing responsibility before the world. (See Matthew 5:12-17.)
. Strange, apart from the things of God, her Lord, everything else in this mortal realm is "strangely" becoming less significant to her now—growing strangely dim. (See Colossians 3:1-3.)
She sat still for a while reflecting on her dream—a "nightmare" perhaps in some instances—thinking from Scripture as to what it all meant, quietly before her Lord. As well, contemplating, thoughts of high school days ramble through her mind, a relief from the unpleasantness of her dream.
A Memorable Remembrance
On the eve of her high school graduation, Jessi was alone in her room just before retiring for the night. Too excited to sleep, as her big day was at last looming on the horizon, she sat at her desk with her open Bible before her. Although it was her custom to close out each day quietly before her Lord, anticipating the morrow made this time particularly special.
Her Bible was opened to Exodus Chapter Four. As Moses met God "up close and personal" at that burning bush, so Jessi, too, as it seemed met God most powerfully tonight. "Now therefore go. I will be with you and instruct you what you are to say. (See Exodus 4:12.)
" Contemplating that thought as to what it meant for her, she recalled the words of the King, "As the Father has sent me…" (See John 20:21.)
Ah, but where was she to go? Did God have a particular place in mind for her? "Wherever I send you," the response loudly rang through her mind. She then prayed, initializing God's next phase of His plan for her life after high school. From then on her prayer daily was a fresh commitment of her life to God, that He would keep her quietly listening, ever attentive to the Spirit's leading as to what to say and to whom….
Silence hovered over the entire high school auditorium that commencement day; one could possibly hear a pin drop. All ears were attentive to the speaker; all eyes too were fixed on him. Jessi, as well as her entire graduating class, gave full attention to the speaker's closing challenge. His address caught the ears of all in attendance that June Saturday afternoon, as well as the senior class.
"Who will go for me?" says the Lord.
"Here I am! Send me," Isaiah answered. (See Isaiah 6:8-9.)
The speaker asked, "Who here will say to the Lord as Isaiah did, ‘Here I am! Send me?' Will your response be as was Isaiah's, yet adding ‘anything, anytime, anywhere?"
Sitting among her classmates, Jessi's head bowed, as well as several others of her class. Jessi's parents sitting among the audience and others in the auditorium bowed their heads as well.
The speaker continued, "Perhaps this message is more like a call to missions than a graduating commencement address, but that's the way it is with real life; it's all about service for the King of kings, carrying His light into a dark world. I leave you with this, whatever your vocation, the main thing in it is the task of the King whom you serve being a priest in His Kingdom here on earth. (See 1 Peter 2:7-10; cf. Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 7:6.) And therefore, why not consider your vocation as your avocation, or perhaps as your ‘tent making' skill, and trust God for His provision of your livelihood in this time on Earth as you labor in the King's business…" (See Matthew 6:25-34.)
Reflection at the “Burning Bush”
Minding her thoughts of her high school graduation and reflecting on her dream, Jessi pens in her Journal: Pharaoh was ruthless in his dealings with the Hebrew people (the Israelites), somewhat like King Herod at the time of the birth of Elohim's Son, Jesus (Yeshua). Like Herod, Pharaoh ordered all the baby boys born to Hebrew women killed, throwing them into the Nile River; sparing only the baby girls. But, too, how lovely, as Moses' mother saved her son from the clutches of the evil forces.
Placing him in a wicker basket covered with tar so as to float, putting it among the tall grass at the Nile's edge. The baby's sister, Miriam, watched from a distance, seeing as the river carried her baby brother near Pharaoh's daughter where she was bathing. Viewing the strange sight floating on the water, Pharaoh's daughter beckoned her maid to fetch that basket. Eyeing the child, she saw he was a beautiful baby.
She took him in as her own, although not unaware that he was a Hebrew child, because of the blanket that wrapped him. She named him Moses. Carrying no milk herself to feed him, however, a Hebrew woman was called for that purpose, amazingly, Moses' own mother. Moses, then raised with all the fineries of Pharaoh's court, had everything he could ever want, but Elohim had a better plan for him.
Moses, himself, in his young manhood, having looked upon the oppression of his people in their slavery, killed an Egyptian who was beating up on one of his own. Other's hearing of it, Moses fled to another place, far away from there. There in the wilderness, Elohim trained Moses for forty years, preparing him for his special mission – to rescue Elohim 's people from the hand of Pharaoh. When the time was right, Elohim called Moses from amidst a burning bush. (See Exodus chapters 3 & 4.)
Ah, that burning bush, Jessi writes, burning yet not consumed. God poured out His heart before Moses concerning the oppression of His people, the same sort of oppression, Jessi continues writing, the people of that other world experiences—that other world of fancy things, bright lights, worldly goods, all designed by that Evil One aspiring a hateful glare to distract those people from the essence of the real life which Elohim, their Creator, had intended all along for them to live. Wanting it their way, being deceived, they'd gone astray from that narrow path, liking the broad way more—that "yellow brick road"—paved with good intentions, blinding those traveling down that path, obstructing their viewing of the true way and thus unable to see that bridge where they can cross over, if they so choose.
Ooh, Jessi writes, being suddenly reminded of her own people; how many of them seemingly have no concern for the things of God. How indifferent they seem to be to matters of the spiritual (eternal) world, content with the life of the familiar "status quo," purely of the physical and temporal desires. Though perhaps enjoyable for now, such things will all perish come with the end of time. My joy, she writes, concluding, is that real life found only in God's Son, Jesus—a life that will last beyond the doors of time….
A Surprised Morning Phone Call
Startled at the ringing of the telephone, Jessi lays down her pen; she had finished her writing.
"Hello," she said, in a vocal tone that reflected her bright smile.
"Jessi?" a male voice responded.
"Thomas-John." Jessi returned, pleasantly surprised, recognizing the voice. "You're calling rather early, aren't you, for a Saturday morning?"
"I know, but I just had to call now to find out how you're doing. Are you okay? I mean, you're still there, obviously, having answered the phone. Nothing has harmed you...."
"Harm me? Now, what do you mean? Of course, I'm fine, just lovely."
"Oh, I know you're lovely, Jessi," Thomas-John started and continued for a while in rapid succession as if counting the ways he loved her. "I love seeing your long blonde hair flowing down and settling on your shoulders... And oh, those blue eyes... You have the sweetest voice, too, I've ever heard, and those dimples...." Then, turning to a more serious note, "But I woke up this morning in tears, my pillow practically soaked, from what just has to be the worst dream I've ever had, a nightmare for sure, and...."
"Oh, Thomas-John, you're so sweet. I love you, too, but please stop," Jessi interrupted, continuing likewise in rapid succession. "Thank God it was just a dream. Yes, I'm fine. I've had an interesting dream myself. Oh, how beautiful it was, too. There were some ‘nightmarish' spots in it, however, but mostly it was beautiful. Mine, too, ended frightening. For sure I'll tell you all about it someday, or you can read it in my journal.
"Oh, Thomas-John, I saw the end of time, ah, and the beginning. It was like taking a course in world history, unlike I had ever taken before, through any history books."
She then concluded, expressing a desire to see him this morning, "Hey, my good friend, let's get together over breakfast at Pancake House near the mall?" she paused, then continued, "But I guess I better let my folks know first if we do, as my dad just announced breakfast a little while ago. Ah, but this being Saturday, I'll be helping at my dad's store anyway."
"That sounds good," Thomas-John agreed. "I'll be by in about an hour?"
"See you in an hour then," Jessi said, switching the phone off. Hmm, she thought, it's always good to see you. She had not heard that expression since she was a child, coming from Timothy. She beamed at hearing it again from her new best friend.
A Throbbing Awakening
It was midmorning when Alex, at last, rose from his bed, with a throbbing headache. Sitting on the edge of his bed, head in hands, he groaned, sniffing the air. Looking up and about, something sure smells sour, he thought, stinks even. He stood to his feet slowly, trying to maintain his balance. Staggering to the bathroom, he drenched himself with a cold shower. " Brrr," he shivered, the water pellets hitting his bare skin. But it was what he needed.
Eventually, dressed and gradually returning to his right mind, having gauped down a cup of black coffee, he began recalling the happening the night before, noticing his unsightly messy apartment. The TV was still blaring, broadcasting Saturday's Early Show. Entertaining the thought, I don't need that now, finding the remote he turned off the TV. He then cursed to himself, "Oh, man, what happened here?" Several crushed beer cans and a couple of empty whiskey bottles were strung over the floor, the source of that sour odor filling the apartment, he discovered. Then, noticing a bunch of lottery tickets scattered helter-skelter, he recalled quite distinctly the happening the night before. He fell into a chair at the dining table. His elbow perched on the tabletop, where into the palm of his hand his chin dropped, he then contemplated all over again his great gambling loss.
That Evil One aspiring a hateful glare was enjoying the sight, as he does with others going through trying circumstances. He watched with great pleasure the chaos, disarray, and depressed condition in which Alex now found himself. His world was tumbling down now quite rapidly.
A moment of uncertainty sweeping over his brow, Alex pondered his next move. Suddenly, he donned a light coat. Leaving the chaos of his apartment, he walked the city streets for a while. It's a Saturday he didn't have to go to work. Realizing the day of the week seemingly brought some comfort to his situation, obviously of his own doing. He didn't have to face his companions so soon after his big loss after all. How long he would walk or where didn't matter, he just had to get out of his apartment – for fresh air. He walked those streets, that evil one making sure to keep him on that "broad way," that "yellow brick road" that leads to nowhere. Perhaps at its end, Alex would find that "wizard" who would supposedly get him straightened out, giving him a new brain, heart, and courage, and show him the way to go home.
Music blared from car radios passing by, blasting that rock music he was so accustomed to. Therefore, it wasn't much of a disturbance to him as he walked. For some reason, he'd rather enjoyed it. As the day wore on, the sidewalk, too, filled up with people scurrying about their business or pleasure, seemingly unaware of any evil that may be lurking about. They were too caught up in their own affairs. This was the way of the evil one, whose goal was to keep even Alex so wrapped up in his own concerns, keeping his mind off everything and anything otherwise.
But then, Alex spied a "Sports Center," that offered all kinds of sports' activities for exercise and fitness, etc. Strange, he had not seen that place before. Yet, because he was so captivated by sports of all kinds, he decided to check it out. Because of that, too, the word "Sports," in its name stood out boldly to him. He didn't notice the words "Two Worlds" in that name, apparently indicating the company, which owned that business, the Os resembling just that – two worlds. The words were in lower case, the 't' stretched out, perhaps by design, resembling a cross.
That evil one shuddered as Alex contemplated entering that building, knowing the purpose of that particular establishment, one that had the potential to foil his evil scheme. His alluring attempts to prevent Alex from entering, however, could not persuade him otherwise. Even women sent along his path, looking for the pleasure of some male, could not distract him, he being so immersed in sports.
Alex stood there momentarily looking into that building through its broad glass front. He could see everything inside clearly, the lobby area brightly lighted, nothing hidden there. A large world map covered the entire far back wall. To the right of center was a picturesque garden under a roof that permitted the entrance of sunlight to nourish its organic growth. A simulated waterfall flowing down a likewise simulated mountain formed a pool at its base to water that garden. A circular glass elevator, taking guests to a second, third, and fourth floor, was constructed near that garden and pool.
A New Sports Venture
Upon entering that Sports Center, to the dismay of that evil one watching, yet still afflicting Alex's mind with contrary thoughts, Alex was awed at the decor of the lobby area, breath-taking to say the least. It was unlike any other sports facility he had ever seen, nothing fancy like what he was taking in now, plush in its design including a thick carpet.
He slowly walked toward the front reception desk to the left of the center, where he was greeted pleasantly by a woman's voice, "May I help you, Sir?" He being too amazed to respond immediately, the woman spoke again, "Sir?"
Alex then turned toward the attractive dimple-faced woman with long, light-brown curly hair. "Excuse me," he said, "But I'd never been here before. I've never seen anything quite like this. Have you been here long?" he asked.
"We've been opened for about six months," she answered.
"Really," Alex responded, then realizing, he added, "Hmm, well, I rarely come to this side of town. I guess that explains why I've never been here before now. This being a sports center, you just may find me here more often. But it must cost a ‘pretty penny' to join," he questioned. "Ah, I'm sure there must be a fee?"
"Well, yes, of course, a member's fee," the woman said.
"Of course," Alex shrugged, perhaps indicating he wished to know the cost. Then, noticing the welcome to two worlds sports center on the wall behind the woman, asked, pointing toward the wall, "And, ah, what's this ‘two worlds' part of the name?"
"Two Worlds is the organization which owns this Center," the woman answered. "And our ‘business' here caters to more than just the physical," the woman continued. "We're here for the total person – soul and spirit, as well as the body.
"Hmm," Alex questioned, puzzled. "You mean as in some religion, a church?"
"Perhaps, Sir. We are here to share the love of Jesus to all who enter here, to introduce the real life to those who haven't found it. Those who have found it has also come to the realization that the body is the temple of God's Holy Spirit and therefore the need to care for it, and here is where we help the physical as well as the spiritual."
With that, she may have said too much, as Alex, shaking his head and gesturing with his hand, interrupting her, said, "Oh, I guess I've come to the wrong place after all. I don't need any of that stuff." He then turned and started to walk out.
That evil one aspiring a hateful glare, gleamed, ready to escort Alex out of that building.
"But, Sir," the woman said, starting after him. "Let me have a tour guide show you around and introduce all this to you, the Center and the 'two worlds' idea."
"Yeah. A tour guide," Alex rubbed his brow. "I believe I know what to expect from that too: he will show me around, get me fascinated with it all, and talk me into paying a tremendous price for it all. Oh, no. I've heard that pitch before."
"Sir," the woman still being very polite and courteous, "It's not like that at all. No sales pitch..."
"That's what they all say," Alex interrupted and started again to walk out (that evil one pressing him all the more) only to be stopped in his tracks at the hearing of the name spoken by the woman seeing a person coming toward them, "Thomas-John." Alex recognized that name from somewhere; he tried to recall exactly where. Turning around, he saw a good-looking young man with brown hair and shimmering blue eyes coming from the direction of the elevator. Dressed in a pinstriped baseball uniform, the name Panthers scrolled across the front, he moved toward the woman who called his name, motioning for him to come toward her.
A Renewed Acquaintance
"Thomas-John," she said, "Here is someone whom I believe would like a tour. Do you have the time to show him around"?
"Ah, never mind," Alex interrupted a third time. "I don't need to see anymore...."
"I would love to," Thomas-John spoke, offering his hand of greeting toward Alex. "I'm Thomas-John Melleson. And you?"
"I'm nobody," Alex responded, not accepting Thomas-John's warm hand of friendship. "I'm just one out for a walk this fine Saturday. Now, I'd better get back home, as it's getting late..."
"Please sir, let me show you around first," Thomas-John insisted. "I promise there's no pressure for you to accept anything, but you may be disappointed if you go out without seeing what we have here. If after seeing it you then decide it's not for you, you may leave."
Alex then gave in, "Well, okay then. But first, what's with the baseball uniform? Are you a ballplayer? And have I met you before? I recognize your name from somewhere."
"I'm a little leaguer," Thomas-John answered, in a manner as if saying, "once a little leaguer, always a little leaguer." He then continued, "The Panthers is the team that I played on back east as a child. I haven't played ball since then, having accepted a 'higher calling'. I wear this uniform, well," chuckling, "Just for fun, but also when I work here instructing the kids in the game of baseball. They seem to get a kick out of seeing a 'real' baseball player, as they put it."
"What?" Alex asked. "You found a job that pays more than baseball, or any other sport. For sure nothing pays more than sports."
"Yes, indeed I have," Thomas-John, answered, most assuredly. That ‘higher calling' offers greater benefits than anything here on earth, not in material remuneration for one's services, but in eternal rewards."
"Oh," Alex simply stated, "You're a religious man, are you?"
"No, I have a faith. Now, I may be ‘religious' about my faith, but I don't have a ‘religion,' rather I enjoy a personal relationship with the living Elohim, the Creator, and Sustainer of all the universe."
"Fine," Alex simply responded to that, then changing the subject back to baseball. "I love baseball too, as a matter of fact. All sports really. There are even some people who think of me as 'religious' about sports, hmm, perhaps as you are about your faith, as you put it. You got any baseball cards you'd like to trade?" Alex asked, chuckling.
Thomas-John then going along with him on the subject of baseball, responded, "I had a collection of baseball cards, a whole team at one time, from my dad. Oh, I still have that collection," he then remembered, "Framed and hanging on my bedroom wall at home."
"You said your name is 'Thomas-John'?"
"Yes, Sir, Melleson."
" Hmm, where have I heard that name before?"
"Well, I'm not a famous baseball player, if that's what you think."
Alex pondered, then suddenly recalling, "Ah, do you know someone named Jessi..."
"Jessi Whitcombe? Sure do. She's my girl friend—my girl," Thomas-John beamed.
"And you've been at her church's college thing at that restaurant some months ago, right?"
"Yes, Fireside Grill, the Monthly College Night. That was a while ago. Were you there? I haven't seen you since at other of those gatherings."
"Of course, I was there that evening, having received a free ticket from your girl." Alex began recalling that night. "I haven't sensed the need to attend any thing of that sort further. That evening was enough. It just may have been the beginning of the ruining of my mind."
Thomas-John, being careful how to respond at this point, simply said, "Come, let's begin our tour," Thomas-John said and started the tour. Alex followed although somewhat reluctantly.
Thomas-John then showed Alex all about that Sports Center, from the fourth floor to the bottom. As the tour continued, Alex had seen that it was for the most part quite typical of any sports complex—boasting gymnasium, weight rooms, handball courts, indoor tract, an Olympic size swimming pool... The outdoor facility included a little league ball field, where Thomas-John introduced Alex to his little league kids who were practicing there. Typical as any other such complex, yet Thomas-John had not yet shared with Alex the two worlds idea. His countenance was beaming all during that tour, as still fresh on his mind was his splendid meeting with Jessi at that Pancake House that very morning.
That Morning Breakfast
"Are you two in love, or something?" asked the Pancake House waitress waiting for the order from Thomas-John and Jessi.
Their long stare at one another finally broken, the two newly hatched lovebirds turned their attention to that kind woman patiently waiting. "Oh, sorry," Thomas-John apologized. "What was your question?"
"Are you..." the waitress started.
"Yes, we are in love," Jessi interrupted, beaming. "We've just discovered..."
"Just discovered?" the waitress asked before Jessi could finish her sentence.
"We've just discovered," Thomas-John continued, "That is, we realized that God does indeed have a plan for us together as a couple."
"You mean as in marriage?" the waitress asked. "Lots of luck. You must have lived together for a long time to want to do something like that?"
"Lived together, Ma'am? Oh, no," Thomas-John quickly responded. "Nothing like that at all," he answered. "And luck has nothing to do with it. It was God who brought us together in His time. We haven't even so much as shared a kiss."
"We've just been seeing each other, dating as it were, getting acquainted with seeing what God's will for us is in our relationship," Jessi added. "We'll become officially engaged after my dad gives him," pointing to Thomas-John, "permission for 'my hand in marriage'."
"You think your dad will give him," the waitress, too, glancing toward Thomas-John, "that permission?"
"Most assuredly!" Jessi quickly beamed. "My dad has just been waiting for us to discover God's will in this. And I know he and my mom have been praying with us."
"My folks have been praying for us, too," Thomas-John added.
"Well, I'm certainly happy for you both," the waitress concluded. "May I be the first to congratulate you on your new found love affair, not like me who have literally suffered miserably through three marriages. Needless-to-say, I've had my fill of such a life."
"I'm sorry, Ma'am, that none of your marriages worked out for you. We'll be praying for you. Thanks, too, for your good wishes," Thomas-John said. "Just to clarify, Ma'am, our 'love affair' is based upon the grace of Almighty Elohim and faith in our Lord Jesus, the Christ. And when He gives us children, we'll be sure to raise them as our parents have raised us, and their parents have raised them, and so forth." Jessi looked at the waitress with her bright smile, nodding in agreement with Thomas-John.
Having then placed their order, they enjoyed their first breakfast together as unofficially an engaged couple. The waitress, with permission from her supervisor, gave this meal to them as their first wedding gift. "Just let me know when the wedding will be," she said.
"Oh, that won't happen probably for at least four years, as our college will come first for both of us," Jessi responded.
The Two Worlds Idea
Alex's heart was being filled up with all that sports stuff when he and Thomas-John returned to one of the spacious lounge areas in the lobby of that Sports Center.
"Well, thanks for the tour," Alex said, now I'd really better be going."
"But first how about some refreshment," a woman spoke, coming toward them, offering a tray of bite-size sandwiches and a glass of lemonade for each.
"Thanks," Alex said, not refusing the hospitality.
"While we relax here for a moment," Thomas-John began, reaching for a small book from a nearby table in that lounge area, "Allow me to share with you, Alex, this two worlds idea."
"I SAW TWO WORLDS," sipping some lemonade Alex read the title of that book Thomas-John was holding.
That evil one aspiring a hateful glare, looked on, dismayed at just what may be taking place in Alex's heart.
© 2018 Charles O Newcombe