Posted by: William | November 4, 2007

The Ever-Being in the Center

I came into the conference hall at an hour I do not know. The hall was large. Much larger than any room I’ve ever been in, bearing resemblance to an enclosed football stadium. To my left and to my right it appeared as though the seats endlessly sloped upward, almost as if I were on the football field and everyone else was in the stands. Although in appearance the room seemed to have a ceiling and walls, there was also the distinct feeling that I was not in a room at all, but not altogether outside either. There were others around me; hundreds, maybe thousands. Most of the people I had never seen before, but speckled throughout the crowd there were faces I recognized.

A reasonable distance away there appeared to me a close friend, ‘Joseph!’ I shouted as I briskly jogged in his direction. I arrived in front of him in almost no time at all, even though it was clear I had run nearly three and a half miles. This perplexed me. Not only did I run an exhausting distance in, what seemed like, only a few seconds, but somehow I was able to discern Joseph’s identity from such an expanse. Perhaps equally astounding is that following my run, I was not short of breath at all; not even a spot.

‘It’s great to see you, I’m really glad you made it!’ remarked Joseph with a smile unfamiliar to me.

‘I know, I’ve been looking foreword to this!’ said I, ‘But I must say, it is not entirely what I had expected.’

‘And what was that?’

‘I guess I expected it to be a bit more romantic. You know, lots of big expensive or interesting looking things.’ I answered.

‘Would you rather He parade ridiculous singing animals around, or perhaps men throwing obscure head ornaments?’ he said with a hint of playful jesting.

‘I wouldn’t think of it! This couldn’t be any better. It’s just not what I expected.’ I turned to look around and noted that the surrounding terrain hadn’t changed. ‘That’s odd.’

‘What?’ Joseph questioned.

‘I had to run miles to get to you, but when I was over there, in my original position, I was in the middle with everything sloping upward about me.’ looking up, then around, ‘Now I’m here, next to you, and that’s still the case.’

‘Well of course! It’s like that everywhere I go too.’

‘I can’t understand.’ I said with a look of bewilderment.

‘All eyes are always on Him’ explained Joseph, ‘and now that we’re here He never wants to leave us, so everywhere we go all eyes stay right here, on Him.’

Before Joseph was finished explaining, my attention shifted from what he was saying to a perspicuous voice somewhere behind me. I recognized the tone and the inflection. It was most certainly someone I knew. Turning to look, I could see that she was nearly ten miles off, way up the ever upward-sloping territory. As I expected though, it was only seconds before she was standing right before me with quite a confounding smile on her face.

Her expression was heavy. Not in the sense that her emotions were in some way wearing down on her. That is certainly not what I mean. Now this, unlike anything else I have related so far, I am yet unable to explain. It seemed as though I could feel her countenance on my skin; my arms, legs, my face. It almost seemed to exist like a liquid around her. When she stepped before me, I felt consumed with a joy. Please understand me on this matter. I do not mean that my joy increased, for it was at this moment that I realized that that was impossible. I did not have the capacity to feel any greater joy than I already was. But it was her joy that seemed to fill the air around me and in some way even explain my own joy.

‘Allie…’ said I.

‘I know’ she said, ‘can you believe it? I’m here! You were right all along!’

‘…’ I paused in wonderment.

‘I just can’t believe it was all overlooked. You were already gone, but I was a criminal!’ she said enthusiastically, ‘I was a criminal, bonafide and convicted by the courts! But you were right, it didn’t matter.’

‘I… I don’t know what to say…’

‘You don’t need to say anything. You already said everything;’ she remarked, ‘when you told me about all the love that He has for me.’

‘I mean, I knew He could… I guess I just didn’t…’

‘Expect that He would?’ She interjected.

‘Yeah, I mean,’ as I searched for words, ‘you always got so mad when I talked about Him. You called me a hypocrite and a liar.’

‘It was so foolish; there was more than enough for all of us!’ examining me up and down, ‘Why, look at you, it’s practically dripping off of you!’

I looked around me at my feet and the floor and it was apparent that I was also in something of my own small ocean that I hadn’t noticed before.

‘Look!’ Allie said looking beyond me at the others.

I turned and looked and I could see to what she was referring; the emotions brimming in the faces of the people around me, for as far as I could see. There was a tension mounting in each of them personally. But at the same time, I felt an acute awareness that we were all brimming with the same emotion at the same time. Almost in a way like we were one huge organism, like cells in a living being and so it was not that we felt the same emotion, but that we felt one collective emotion.

This also I cannot explain, but it was at this moment that I was crying. It was not that I had just begun crying, then unanticipatedly, it became clear that I could not remember a time when I was not crying. But perhaps, looking back, what I had always referred to as crying, was in fact not crying at all, and all of the time I had spent not crying was, in truth, bitter weeping. The revelation of my tears had not time to mature in my thoughts before a man stood before me. He had not just arrived. He had not been anywhere else. But he was now seen with the eye.

Never have I experienced a greater silence than this that now surrounded me. And through, what I then ascertained as tears, I could see His eyes; fixed deeply on my own. In the multitude of millions (as I could now understand them to be), not a single voice was heard, not a sneeze or a cough, not even breathing, and I dared not speak. He stepped toward me. In the silence, I could hear the sound of His bare feet on the ground, and His clothing sweeping against itself. As He drew closer to me, I could feel a tension mounting. Like a rod being bent to its limit, threatening to break at any second. The feeling was collective, it was not mine, but ours. It was clear now what Joseph had said to me. The room did not slope upward around me, but around Him and He stood before all as he stood before me in that moment and in every moment. For only a second did my mind wonder what the conduct of the others was, but there was no force in the universe that could have moved my eyes from His.

He stood only but two feet from me, keeping His vision fixed on my face. As I stared at Him, I could somehow feel His heart beating faster with affection for me, for us. A greater smile broke on His face in place of the already perpetual smile that occupied the space before and he opened His mouth to speak. It was at this moment that I felt that I was altogether alone before Him, but somehow contained every other and they contained me. The expanse around me grew so large that its very relevance and even existence came into indisputable question. The tension within the bending rod grew so great that nearly every part of my body wanted to recoil in fear of what might happen when it snapped, but I could not.

‘You are altogether beautiful, my darling.’ as He reached His hand toward my face. With his thumb he wiped the tears from my eyes; first my left, then my right. He allowed His hand to return to His side and He took several steps away. Although in me there was no sense that any kind of distance had grown between us. I was no longer crying, I can’t be sure I was even still able to. An even greater smile dawned on His face and His eyes never once left me. Slowly He raised His hands outward and above His head revealing deep wounds in either appendage. They differed from other wounds; in the same way that firewood is meant to be burned, His hands seemed meant to hold these wounds. I felt the rod cracking, in my own being I could feel that there was no longer room for me contain what was growing inside and the multitude we contained reached its boiling point.

‘You are altogether beautiful, my darling.’ He repeated. These words, like no other I ever heard reverberated amorously in my being

‘And there is no blemish in you.’

At that moment, everything that was seemed limitless; the, now billions, that were contained in me and I in them, seemed to catch fire. In a second’s time the thick silence broke; cries of joy sounded as water slamming against rocks from atop a magnificent waterfall, flowing from a colossal river that could never be stopped up or dammed or diverted. It was that moment that held the greatest sense of eternity where nothing could contend with the desires; ours for Him, but most greatly, His for us.

That moment still has not ended, nor will it ever, nor would, nor will I, ever I want it to.

 

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Responses

  1. William, this ROCKS! By “ROCKS!” I mean, your account of arrival is one of the most tense, exciting, and riveting descriptions of His love for us I have read. I am going to have to link to this. Get used to it.

  2. […] Sunday, November 4th, 2007 in Christianity, Eternity, Faith, Jesus, Joy, LIfe, Love, Writing If you ever wonder what meeting the one who loves you most would look and feel like, you must read William Petruzzo’s post, The Ever-Being in the Center. […]

  3. Beautiful as well. Keep it coming.


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