Unto Thee I Say
by Kenneth Burch
The pain had gone away, completely and I felt warm and comfortable. There was silence all around me and there seemed to be nothing, I mean nothing around me for as far as my eyes could see. I can’t even describe in words when or where I am. I can only say that I feel very strange in a calm peaceful kind of way. I don’t even remember how I got here, or why. There doesn't seem to be any real reason to explain this place. Doesn’t look like any place I remember or seen before. There appears to be a horizon beyond me, and absolutely nothing more. Above me, nothing but well, light. There seems to be light of some sort, but not from the sun. There is a strange blanket of white hues that seem to illuminate above me and fills this vast open space. There are no hills to speak of, no trees, no rivers, no animals, nothing. I am alone here, but not frightened. I do not feel afraid or sorrowful. I can only seem to think of my past in great fondness and satisfaction of having known that I was, well, alive. Moments tick away as the world around me lacking, substance and vision, unfolds. I look both above and below for unanswered questions, for which I ponder.
I seemed to be able to remember everything about my past life, my wonderful and loving mother whose face was the first I remember. Her warm touch and gentle ways helped guide me though a life that I remember was not so kind. There were people in it, lots, that brought me joy to have known. Others were not so kind and I remember them as well. There were mean and hateful people as well. Some had done very bad things to others and hurt those who loved them. There were evil ones too. They were the worst, beyond my imagination they caused harm and destroyed lives forever. Their actions had changed the world and set in motion a wind of chaos that forever blew hard and strong. Visions come into play now, and then the waves appear, waves of light and sharp seconds of pain that fade in and out, forcing me to question my existence.
This odd and yet wonderful place, is void of color, save for white. I’ve been standing here for what feels like forever and yet I’m not at all tired. I don’t long for anything, no thirst, no hunger, no wants. My anger, or what I remember of it, seems to have vanished as if something, or someone, has removed it, like and old file on a computer. I can still remember being angry, but can no longer feel it. I feel love now, and in my heart, there is such a peace that tends to fill me with heightened praises for Him.
The place below me is now changing. What was once a vast sheet of white light and ground to match, has begun changing, forming somehow as if life, pure life, is somehow growing beneath me. There is movement all around me and yet within me as well. I begin hearing sounds, I can’t make out what kind, although there seems to be a notion that I should know. I hear a blip, then silence. The place around me stops moving and has returned to its original state, blinding and wonderful vast light.
Time makes no difference here. Not sure how I know this, it just feels that way. This place is without anything, yet everything is here. I think and therefore it is. I looked down at myself and to my surprise, I am intact. Absent from me however, is my color. There is a chest and legs, surely because I can see, but the sense of these things are no longer important. I’m not even sure, that the air I breathe is air at all. I’m not sure about anything here, only that I’m filled with wonderful light and ever so wonderful feelings about everything. I was looking down at my hands and wondering, what purpose they would hold here. When I looked up, He was standing there, just looking at me he was. I was not feeling anything one could describe an emotion. I just looked at Him, and before I could think about it, smiled. I smiled at Kim and He smiled back. He was beautiful, ever so beautiful as beauty could be. He was not as we knew him at all. He wasn’t a man as many had proclaimed. He wasn’t an animal either. He didn't appear as anything I had ever seen before. He was of all shapes of the world and yet none of them. He stood very near me, touching every inch of my being, and beyond my soul. Standing there, eyes fixed upon the most beautiful of thing, I’d ever imagined I was amazed at the influx of nerve endings firing off in my brain. I had become transfixed on Him. Not controlled mind you, but in awe of Him. My eyes filled with joy and began to shed tears that ran down my face, collecting on my cheeks and drying quickly. I couldn’t look away from Him. In His presence, I felt safe from everything. With Him I was complete beyond anything I had ever felt, ever believed in my life. There was so much I wanted to say so many questions flooded into my mind and I worried that there wouldn’t be enough time. There I was again, forgetting my place, longing for my place with Him.
Within this vast kingdom of blank light and emptiness, He spoke.
"Are you not complete? Have you been waiting all your life for this?"
His voice came from all over me and through me, like thoughts that were pre-placed in my mind. This beautiful form before me, moving slowly awaited my response.
"I’m troubled my Lord, my God. I’ve appeared here and do not know why, my life as it stands, is so filled with wonderful memories, so much that makes me happy, yet I do not understand where I am. Have I done wrong? Have I not done as you asked for I have tried oh Lord, I have tried as you asked to live a life of care and love? Have I done wrong? Please tell me."
"What is it that troubles you my son? Have you found this place incomplete, not to your expectations?"
"No, my Lord. This is the most wonderful of places. I feel complete here, there is but love in my heart and the memories of my past, and they my Lord, complete me."
"But you do wonder my son. Being complete is a state of mind. The body however is merely an instrument for which to carry that which you are, that being your soul. This, my son, is incomplete. It is here, that I wish you to look more closely through."
"I wish to hold you dear God, I want to embrace that which is good. I longed to be here all my life and to belong to you as your son, as one of your children."
"You are one of my children, my son. Have these things not occurred to you? I have given you a mind in which to explore the worlds I have created for you, what have you discovered in the years of your life?"
"My sweet Lord, I have discovered that much of your teachings had gone astray and have been somehow misunderstood. I, for one, had been so confused throughout much of my life as to your wants and commandments. So many of your teachers have turned your words against those of us wanting to understand you, wanting to love and do as you ask."
"And why do you think this has happened?"
"Well, for one my Lord, you well……"
"Speak my son, I have given you the thoughts in which to seek and understand, to question and to wonder about those before you and of the time ahead. Do not concern yourself with the correct words. Speak as you have been taught."
"My dear sweet Lord, why have you done the things to us, that would have many questioning your judgment, your ideas, your ways? In what was my lifetime, I had seen things, awful things done to kind and wonderful people. Things, my Lord, that should not have been. I stood watching thousands of lives erased from my planet because of an act of nature, a tidal wave destroying many lives both young and old. Others have decidedly joined cults that preach against your name and turn to other means in which to achieve their petty forms of grace. This too, allowed so many of your followers to be led elsewhere and directly into the bowels of a living hell. A world where loved ones suffered greatly feeling as if they had let that person down. So much has fallen since the death of your son my Lord. Modern times, brought with it modern problems. Man has been consumed by his lust to an uncontrolled state. Our young children have been taken, often from their homes and raped and murdered my Lord, how can you allow this to happened? They were children Lord, unable to fend off an attacker four times their size, with lust burning inside. How do these things come about? How can we go on knowing that someone, you allowed this to continue?"
"My son, my dear son have you not learned anything the life I gave you, had offered?
You look to me for the answers that lay before you. There are answers to those questions and many like them, but now
is not the time. I will however offer you this. I have created the world you live in and billions like it. I have assembled the
greatest collection of worlds ever known to the unknown. I have countless children born of various shapes, sizes
and dimensions. Within each of these countless worlds, I have created children to harvest and grow. I have
made all things, that are known and unknown.
I see all that there is, and all that will ever be. My world is one world, consisting of countless worlds. You ask why?
Why have these things come to pass? Why have so many suffered upon your world? There is suffering
upon every world I have created. You see my son, I created these worlds and allowed these things to occur.
Free will, to worship, to create and yes my dear son, to destroy."
"My life Lord, was made out of love. My mother loved and therefore I became alive, filled with the
life she had given me, by your hand. I tried dear Lord, I tried to live my life as much as I could. I tried to live
my life as she would have wanted me to as well. My mother loved you so dearly Lord, so much did she. In the end, what
good did it do? She died far too quickly and for what? It just didn’t seem right. There are those who were
infested with evil and lived longer. She lived for you my Lord, and in the end, she too suffered. I beg of you
my Lord, why? She was such a good woman, a loving woman, a perfect mother. For her life, closed before its time, seemed
such a waste."
"My son, your memories are not wasted here. I not only know of those very memories, but shared them with you as well. Your mother’s death was not her end, but simply a beginning. What mere life she gave to you and your family was nothing compared to the infinite time she has now. Life with me dear son, is ever lasting. You mother is not only well my son, but alive and among those very few chosen, to populate my Kingdom. Behold, there she stands. And know that she is as real as the life she gave you.
Before me stood the first woman, I had ever loved. In life, she spent her final years racked with pain, her eyesight poor and fading. She was barely able to walk in her last months with me. But here she stands, strong and beautiful, loving and caring and her look of gentle kindness, untouched by time. "Hello my son," she said. Her voice tore through my ears and ripped into my heart, bursting apart any sad memories that may had been lingering. I ran to her, grabbing her with once transparent arms and held her tight. I whispered, "Mother," in her ear and released a stream of real tears that raced down my face, and collected on her shoulders. She was here, in my arms again, I could smell her and feel her breathing as she held me tight comforting me as I was her child. All those years, years of tears and anger, hopes and dreams had faded in an instant, in a whisper of her name. I lifted my head from her bosom and touched her face. She was warm and soft, just as I remembered her. I wanted to ask so many questions that I found myself overwhelmed and confused about where best to start. She smiled at me and held me, telling me there was no need to rush, time here is forever.
"I have been watching you my son, my loving son. I have kept watch over you and your sister and many years. Our God is a good God and allows us to continue loving and protecting our loved ones, even from here," she said. I struggled with words now, wanting still to say and ask so much, my eyes continuously flooding with tears. "Mother, oh my dear sweet mother, I wanted so much to thank you for the love you gave me, I wanted you to really know how much I loved you and how much you meant to me. I wanted you to know mom, really know from my heart." She smiled at me in a way that words could never describe, it was beyond the use of language and required only a feeling that could be shared between a mother and son. She looked at me and said only one sentence. She said, "Son, giving birth to you and loving you all my life, was never a duty but a pleasure and I thank you for it." My mother, standing next to my God in a perfect place of absolute pleasure and love.
The form remained in front of me forever changing, and yet remaining the same. My surroundings that were obscured of substance slowly came into focus. Color patterns took shape and began draping the area above and beneath me. What was once silence, now made subtle rumblings and high-pitched melodies of wonder that dance in and around my eardrums. Voices, once wordless now took on sounds of common speech and terms very known to me. Fragrance of times long ago quickly evolved into wonderful scents of wild roses. Light, once bright white and perfect blended with radiant reds and greens, purple and blue. My senses kicked into overdrive and before me, the very hint of wind, began blowing. I looked around and below me to a sight of pure wonder; a vast and distance world laid before me filled with every imaginable and most magnificent thing. Life moved before me in perfect harmony and light. Trees blanketed breath taking hills of pure beauty and rivers of silver fish and bright colored butterflies flapped their delicate wings of beauty. A hawk, strong winged and proud took flight into a perfect sky of blue, its wings spread wide. A sun of pure burning amber, kissed the sky and ground below, filling it all with the most warmest of rays. Night brought with it, a nocturnal dance of rhythms and strings of insects. Crickets chirped and frogs croaked to a sleepy dream state of tomorrow’s promise. Fireflies danced amongst a pitched black sky illuminated by a crystal blue night sun, painting the ground below with neon light. Mornings came at a perfect time and the start of a new day, was simply the continuation of the one before. Oh the beauty, oh the love for such a perfect place. I closed my eyes, holding out my hands and embraced the world of perfection created just for me. My God the beauty, my God the beholder, My God I embrace and give myself to you. Let me stay here Lord. Let me stay with my mother again. Let me hold her and touch her my God of gods. Let me sit beside her, in the world you created for me and bless every moment, we have together. Let me be with her again, I beg you. For I have tried my God. I have tried to live my life right, please let me in. Let me stay.
"Okay hit him!….Thump!….Thump!….clear! Again, come on again!" John, were losing him!"
"Again! Come on, again! Forget it, he’s gone. Make note of the time and contact his family. We’ve done all we could here. Damn! For a minute it seemed like he was coming back, what the hell happened? His vitals were strong and things were looking good!"
"It's okay John, sometimes despite what we can do here, some patients just give up. John, don’t look so down you’ve done your best. Sometimes people feel, as if life is not worth fighting for, there’s really nothing we can do about that. Just log the time as required and lets finish up. We’ve got more coming in from that fire let’s just hope they want to be saved."
On a plain of existence countless worlds away, beyond the reach of mind, man or machine, a man sat underneath a giant Mimosa tree and talked with his mother. His dog King, a black Cocker Spaniel from his childhood, rested beside them in the shade. All around them was the peaceful sounds, of birds singing.