Sunday, February 1

I must be trying to sort through something; I always write really strange short stories when I'm sorting through issues. Weird.

It has been three days since my decision. Instead of a resurrection coming after such a significant period of time, however, I feel that I am moving from life to death everlasting.

I haven't been here that long, by most standards, only a few hundred years. Most of the others are so much further along than I. So naturally, I was surprised when I was summoned into the Presence, and moreso when I discovered that I was being given a mission. I was curious as to what mission could be served by my particular mish-mash of gifts, but remained quiet, knowing that all would be explained in time. Then the mission was pronounced, and I thought the heart within me had turned to ash. To be sent minister to the damned.....No, They said, not sent. Asked. It was not something I could be forced to do. But I was being asked.

If Time existed here, it would have stopped at that moment. I couldn't move, and They didn't. I couldn't speak, and They had finished. Finally, I asked for time to think. I was, after all, being asked to give up all I ever wanted, all I had hoped, prayed, prepared, worked, and pleaded for. They informed me to take as long as I needed to decide, but I must stand firm on my decision, no matter what decision I reached.

I sat in my room the first day, alternately weeping and thinking. The second day was much the same, though I was then calm enough to begin to weigh arguments. I knew that Hell was the absence of Him whom I loved, and knew that without Him, life cannot exist. I could not imagine what I was being asked to do. The third day I walked the streets, pondering, until I came to the Garden. So many choices made in gardens....I sat under a tree, and knew that I must decide.

On the next day, I again appeared before them to give my answer. They listened patiently as I described my thoughts. I explained that if He needed someone to go and minister to those in Hell, I would go: I had spent less time here than many of the others, and the others were much more able to minister to those here. I was, in short, expendable. I took a deep breath, and stated, "If I am asked, I shall go. It is better to live in Hell in the Will of God, than to occupy Heaven against that Will."

They nodded solemnly, and told me to wait for three days more, then They would lead me to the gates of Hell and send me on my mission.

Today is the third day.

We are standing outside a rather commonplace door. They tell me that it is the gate to Hell. I cannot do this. I cannot give Him up. Hell is where He is not, and that is where I have been called to go...alone. I have never been as alone as I am about to be.

But I am His, and have sworn to do what He wills. Ah, my God, my God, why do You ask me to forsake You?

The door is open. I close my eyes against the tears, and step through.

I feel the heat beginning. I can see the light of the fires through my closed eyelids. I can smell.....



I open my eyes. The heat is the warmth of the sun, dazzlingly bright, and warm on my upturned face. The light is that of the One standing before me, whose Light is brighter than that of the sun.

He smiles, and says, "Child, you chose to walk in My way, even when You thought I would not be with you. The choice to remain in my will is Heaven. If you had chosen to reject that will, then Heaven itself would have become Hell to you."

The tears stream from my eyes, and I cannot see.

"Child...You can never be outside of Heaven when you choose my Will."

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