… and a crossroads the voice which spoke like a voiceover to the blood the new covenant David made there. And so see it the cameras in movement capturing the drama the scene the blood the loss the fast sequence of a shotgun blast David being pushed aside Maddie taking it full on in the chest his eardrum punctured as the blast goes by his head the residual shock as time turns to slow motion Maddie being blown back how the blood sprayed across David’s face and the moment he turned away from the gun almost like he saw it all in reverse and for a moment he saw what he could have done how he could have wrestled the gun away and not been pushed aside but the next thing he sees the next thing he knows he’s bending over Maddie her eyes wide flat on her back a few feet away from where she was standing in fact one of her slippers still there where she stood the force of the shotgun blast knocking her clean out of her shoes blood trickling from the corner of her mouth how she tries to talk but can only spit and cough up the black blood as the dark red human stain spreads across the front of the silk white robe she was wearing and you see her you see her clearly in death outside all the posturing what her hair looks like her face the shade of her eyes what she looks like naked the color of skin… (And an identity. I saw it for the first time. Her identity. And mine. I saw my life as her life passed before her eyes. The mirror there. The reflection in death. I saw clearly what separates us from our Maker and all I thought I was before that and I wanted a drink I wanted to smoke pot I wanted a cigarette dangling from my fingers all this who I thought I was and what I wanted to be for my children I saw it all in the ringing in my ears as I kneeled beside her dying body I saw all these idols crushed and not just the habits their physicality but my spiritual essence in doing them what I wanted to be and who I thought I was how little and unimportant it was the superficiality we seek in their fulfillment how you’re merely not a glutton in this feast of life because you don’t want to become fattened—the image the false reflection of how we see ourselves and how I was really just a pile of sin the fertilizer of all those to follow that choose to reach for me choose me as their idol merely because they can never truly reach me how in my own death I too would fade away like all the others like all my heroes and loved ones what I mourned as they passed as they remained out of my reach the men I saw die in the war that drug deal gone bad so long ago the fruit of adultery those friends of mine who died Pete Southhouse Bethany’s first husband and later our firstborn and now Benjy and Maddie my father when he died all of them all of this out of my reach and I knew now why I made them my idols and not that love which never fails the love never out of my reach what Bethany found in Christ what I could have if I only loved her again and not all these other things how we set ourselves up to strive and fail because we want it out of our reach so that we may strive and fail so that it gives us a direction for all our hoped for happiness a destination but we never get there and I said, “Why?” I said why to the Devil.)

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