Worship: Chapter 1 – The Invisible Girl

This is a piece I started a while ago. I am going to be writing another chapter this week. Let me know your feedback. Also, if you would like to be a “beta reader” and give me pre-publish input, comment below and I’ll send you a draft to eviscerate.

Fictional Kevin

And G-d said, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” 

– Genesis 22:2

Beginnings are important.

While it is often said and accepted as fact one can begin again, it is a lie. A lie clad in white but a lie none the less. There is one beginning of a thing. There is one beginning of a person. There is one beginning of a story. And the beginning of a thing or a story or a person will determine its course – and its demise. The beginning of this thing and this person and this story were all the same: 32 years ago Abigail Upton was born.

Everyone is born into a different circumstance. Abigail, unfortunately, was born into invisibility.

She…

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Good Versus Evil

good versus evil

Tom Halcomb awoke from the deepest sleep to a gentle nudge on the shoulder. As he opened his eyes, he jumped back, falling out of the bed. There, crouching next to the bed, was The Being.

He was human like in appearance, but huge, with white, luminescent skin and bright blue eyes. He appeared naked.

“Don’t be afraid, Tom,” The Being soothed, “I will never harm you. I love you. I am here with a special gift.”

Tom screamed, “Who are you? WHAT are you? How did you get into my house? You need to leave NOW!”

Again, the soothing voice: “Listen to my voice, Tom. It will calm you. Be at Peace, my son. All shall be revealed and you will have peace and joy beyond measure.”

As Tom listened, his fear somehow dissipated.

The Being unfolded himself and walked around to Tom. Tom could see him clearly now and the glow from his skin bathed the room blue-white light. Now with a clear mind, he could examine The Being more closely. He was massive, bowing his head slightly to keep from hitting the ceiling. He was thickly muscled with no visible genitalia.

He reached out, his massive hand enveloping Tom’s and encouraging him to sit on the bed. “Sit here next to me. I have great news for you.” Somehow the voice and the gentle touch gave Tom a confident euphoria.

Tom sat in awe next to The Being.

“You are highly favored and I have come personally to give you a special message and a mission, my son.” His voice was deep.

“Are you an angel?” Tom whispered.

The Being let out a joyful laugh. “More than an angel, Tom. I am the one who has loved you and all of your brothers and sisters since the Creation.”

“I never believed in God.” Tom bowed his head, his words were so quiet as to become little more than breaths.

“Do not be ashamed, my son, shame is from the Evil One. Look at my eyes and see the love and acceptance I’ve always had for you.”

Tom looked into The Being’s glowing eyes. Somehow their light penetrated his mind, his brief shame was replaced with an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance.

“I came here personally, my son, to give you a special message, a special place and a special mission. You can accept the mission or not, your place will always be secure with me. I gave you free will. I gave you knowledge. I gave you wisdom. You are free to choose.

“I have loved you and all my children from the foundations of the world. There are no conditions on that love. I accept you and all my children. I do not ask for worship or belief to receive my love. I do not require sacrifice or for you to act contrary to your nature to receive my love.

“Conditional love is only required by the insecure. By the inferior. It comes from The Evil One. His insecurity is what drives my children to hate, to kill, to wage war, to somehow believe a superior being is petty and jealous and angry. The Evil One promises them joy and then plagues them with guilt and shame. He requires them to deny their basic needs in order to ‘please’ him, to feed his insecurity. The Evil One’s greatest evil is he only cares for himself. In his mind, you exist only to feed his insatiable ego.

“For millenia The Evil One’s message has had many prophets. Well received and well compensated. These prophets have preached his lies and deceived the minds of most of my children.

“But the tide is turning. From the creation you have all had the ability to grow, to reason, to explore the universe. As you have done so, you have discovered so many of its wonders and have steadily given up your superstitions. The Evil One never wanted you to have knowledge because he knew if you did, his lies would be exposed and my children could no longer be deceived.

“In each generation I have chosen a prophet  as well – someone to remind The Created I love them and only want for them to be happy. I am asking you to be my prophet. I know you are a man who is rational. I know you have never believed in me. Now you see me. Now you know I am real. You can touch me. Hear me. I exist. I am real.

“Being a prophet of love to my children will not be easy. They will not believe you. The Evil One has so deceived my children they will see you as the evil in their world. Your message of love will burn in their ears. You will be constantly attacked and criticized. You will be a pariah.

“But do not fear. I will watch over you. I will not allow them to kill you. The peace and joy you feel now I will keep in your heart so every day will be a happy one for you, no matter what others try to say or do to you.”

“What am I to do?” asked Tom, bewildered by The Being’s offer.

“Your task is simple: You are to go the places and people I lead you to and give them simple messages. Sometimes it will be a word of encouragement. Sometimes it will be a word of instruction. In the moment I will give you the exact person to speak to and the exact words to say.”

“What if they don’t listen?” Tom was already thinking through the consequences.

“Ah, they often will not. Do not let it worry you. You only role is to be the messenger, if they choose to ignore the message, their lives not yours will bear the burden. Your message of my love will empower most but anger some.

“If you get into a place where you are lost, where you are confused, simply call out my name and I will come to you and give you whatever you need. The Evil One, born from the beginning of time, will work hard to keep them from hearing your message. The Evil One will try to confuse you. Call my name and I will come and give you clarity.”

“But what is your name? Shall I call you Yahweh or Jesus or…?” his voice trailed off in question.

The Being laughed a hearty laugh. “Those are not MY names! I go by many names, but not those! The Evil One has so slandered my names to my children, my name, the name of love, the name of freedom they could call upon is rarely spoken except in disdain.”

“So what is your name?”

“You can call me ‘Lucifer’.”


Worship: Chapter 1 – The Invisible Girl

And G-d said, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” 

– Genesis 22:2

Beginnings are important.

While it is often said and accepted as fact one can begin again, it is a lie. A lie clad in white but a lie none the less. There is one beginning of a thing. There is one beginning of a person. There is one beginning of a story. And the beginning of a thing or a story or a person will determine its course – and its demise. The beginning of this thing and this person and this story were all the same: 32 years ago Abigail Upton was born.

Everyone is born into a different circumstance. Abigail, unfortunately, was born into invisibility.

She first was invisible to her parents. They are most certainly not important and will get only this one mention. They fed her, clothed her, packed her off to school and grandma’s, but they never saw her. She was a pet. Less than. Not worth a smile or a pat.

Abigail would never know when, years later, during the divorce, they had argued over her. Not who would get her, but who had to take her.

She was invisible in grade school. Long, unkept, mousy brown hair covered her thick glasses and dark eyes. Kickball meant “oh, yeah, I guess we’ll take her then” – last, until the pudgy kid with the club foot moved to town. She wasn’t shy, per se, but there were so many who could talk better, think better. She wore unaffecting clothes with an unaffecting attitude.

Invisible.

Once, in her fourth grade year, she tried to become visible. Her English teacher asked if anyone knew David from the Bible. Abigail had just read the story a week before. Now, she thought, was her chance. She knew all the details. She could share something she knew. Everyone would be impressed. They would see her.

“He was King Saul’s armor bearer and…”

She was interrupted by her teacher’s laughter “No, Abby, David was the King and he slew the giant Goliath.” Abigail knew this, of course, and would have added the part about Goliath if she hadn’t been interrupted, but now she was squashed back in fear.

Everyone was looking at her. She looked at her desk, her hair making a little room, a barrier between her and The Others. Abigail willed back her tears.

Inside her mind, she huddled. Trying to be invisible again. Thinking thoughts she would never say, “No, ma’am, Saul was king when David slew Goliath.” At that moment she hated Mrs. Rose. She hated the other students. Most of all, she hated herself.

Of course nine year old Abigail couldn’t know her teacher was drunk and, in fact, had not been sober a day in the last 10 years. Abigail couldn’t know the Superintendent had left Mrs. Rose on for the last couple years as an act of mercy. Abigail just knew shame.

Abigail decided in that precise moment being invisible was better than this. Ever again.

High school was worse. There were boys. Girls were supposed to like boys. Girls were supposed to do things to be noticed by boys.

Abigail was never noticed. By anyone. Especially not boys. One would be wrong to think Abigail was made fun of. To be teased, someone has to see you. No one saw her. She floated down the halls of her school, head down, feet shuffling and no one noticed.

Abigail felt. Deeply. She read and became Lizzie Bennett, Nancy Drew. She was Anne of Green Gables – ambitious and competitive and smart. She had the wit and determination of Jo March.

She wanted everyone to know her, to see her. To see the bright, ambitious, determined girl she was inside. She had passion. She knew she could change the world.

If only.

She loved. Deeply. She hadn’t found “him” yet, or, more exactly, he hadn’t found her, but she knew when it happened she would give all her heart. He would see her as she saw herself. He would look beyond her exterior. He would see her, the real her.

At night, when her hormones raged, Abigail would touch herself and think of Him. She could feel his gentle touch, the love in his fingers as he caressed her. He would say to her the things she longed to hear. He would cherish her.

She waited, invisible, for him. The One who would see her.

It happened, or so Abigail thought, the final semester of her senior year. She was standing at her locker, collecting her books for class. The hustle of hundreds of students passed by behind.

“Abby?”

At first, it didn’t register. She continued fiddling with her books for her first two classes.

He tapped her shoulder. “Abby?”

She turned. It was Mark Thompson. He was wearing his usual uniform: Wranglers, plaid flannel shirt, cowboy boots and a John Deer hat. Even with the boots, he was the same 5′ 6″ as Abigail.

Mark was a cruel young man. One of his happiest activities was to go out to his father’s barn and intentionally maim the feral cats with his .22 pistol. He found other’s misfortune amusing. Empathy was nowhere to be found in his short, stocky frame.

Of course Abigail didn’t know this. She didn’t really know Mark. They had Algebra together and all she really knew was he didn’t seem to be doing well with it. She did know he was a boy, and he was talking to her.

As soon as she met his gaze, she immediately looked down. Her voice was tight “hi.”

“Whatcha doin’?” He sounded nervous. Of course Abigail didn’t notice, she was mortified. She wanted to crawl into her locker.

“Just…getting my books.”

“Yeah, I gotta get to class too. I was wonderin’…would you like to go out Saturday? I could pick you up and we could go to that ‘Fallen’ movie. I heard it’s pretty good.”

“Oh, um, sorry, I have plans.” She turned on her heels and used a much quicker shuffle to take her to Social Studies. She heard him mutter “OK” behind her.

Abigail’s heart was racing. She was terrified. She was excited. She wanted to hide and she wanted to dance. A boy just asked her out. On a proper date.

Wait, thought Abigail, she had just turned him down. “What have I done? What if he, Mark, was Him? I have blown it. I and my insecurities and my fear and my anxiety have left me alone forever.”

She pushed back her tears as she slid into her desk.


Prayer

Prayer“Pray to The True Rock,” they said.

So I prayed.

Sometimes it happened.

“See, The True Rock heard your prayer and answered.”

Sometimes nothing happened.

“You must not have prayed according to The Will of the True Rock” or “The True Rock is testing you” or “The True Rock is saying ‘Wait'” or even “It’s your fault, you need more Faith in The True Rock.”

Late at night, in the dark, huddled under the covers I wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t prayed to The True Rock. But I couldn’t share those thoughts with them.

They would just tell me to pray about it.