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Dead Gods and Butterflies: Part 2 April 15, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Theological Reflection.
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So there she was: alone. Nothing existed. Nothing was everything and everything was empty. Except for the pain… the ache of emptiness, of loneliness, of infinite void.

She reached within herself. There was nowhere else to reach, and from the depths of her being, from the essence of her very self, she took something precious: her love.

She knew what would happen, she knew there was no  way back, she knew that once she set things in motion they would go on … and on, for ever. But she did it anyway:

“Let there be,” she said; and other sprang into being. Other. Wild, free, beautiful, uncontrollable: other.

Other was light and darkness fled. Other was sound and silence ceased. Other was hope and dream and horror and nightmare. Other was loneliness ended and tears begun.

Who could have dreamt it? Who could have imagined such tears were possible? That so much blood could flow? That wounds could be so deep? The blood flowed and the ground soaked it up, the thirsty ground, the yearning ground, the screaming ground.

She stepped down and the ground welcomed her. She walked and talked and danced and sang. She told stories of love and laughter and light and life. She reached out and touched, she spoke words of peace, she bade the blood-soaked ground be still, she calmed the storm and stilled the wave. She fed the hungry and healed the sick. She gave sight to the blind and sound to the deaf. Cripples danced in her presence, thieves returned their ill-gotten gains, harlots ceased their trade, soldiers laid down their arms and true friendships blossomed. Some spoke of the dead being raised. And she laughed, oh how she laughed…

Until that night when the thieves came. The thieves who had not returned their stolen wares, who did not wish to surrender to love. They seized her and whipped her and beat her and raped her and killed her … and the thirsty ground drank her blood.

But her wounds were our wounds and her death was our death and she bore our grief, our iniquities. She had no loveliness or attractiveness to draw us to her: she was stricken and bruised and broken and used and spent and torn apart and left in a gutter.

And then came the stranger, a wanderer. Where did he come from? No one knew: no one saw him arrive and no one saw him leave. Gently he picks her up, gently he cradles her in his arms, gently he carries her. His tears fall upon her face and mingle with her blood and stream down her side … and the thirsty ground drinks of both her blood and his tears.

And from that ground, where blood and tears mingle, there blossoms red a million, million shimmering butterflies: life, endless, glorious life, death defeated, death no more.

And still she weeps and still she bleeds and still she loves and still butterflies swirl through space and time and wherever their wings pass, new life is born. Life of life and death of death and love of love of all.

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