My fears as the moment of departure arrived can scarcely be described. Everything I needed was in my pack and I do not feel I could have been better prepared, insofar as I had the wisdom to know how to prepare. And while I have approval to go to Hell, I did not have any more information about it than I had from reading about Hell in the Bible in my first life. And it, of course, was not written as a travelogue for the curious.
The angel who met me said nothing, but took me by the hand and - I can describe it in no other way - we simply walked off the edge of Heaven. This, of course, is a very inadequate description, for Heaven is not surrounded by cliffs from which people may fall, any more than there was an edge to the world in which we once lived, from which unwary ships tumbled into the mouths of dragons. But how else may I describe it? We were suspended above a chasm. Let us leave it at that.
But the chasm was hardly the most difficult part of the trip. For I had expected a chasm, and was confident that an angel of God could safely carry me across. Rather, the sense I have had on earth of abandoning part of myself upon leaving home was now more than a feeling. God's glory is in me, permeating me. It is part of me and yet it belongs to Him. But as we traveled I could sense this glory fading, fading.
Not easily being able to look at myself, I glanced at the angel beside me. His brightness became duller. I felt as if I was lost in a deep cavern and the bulb of my flashlight was no longer burning white, but beginning to turn orange. While the calm sense of God's glory was fading, though not gone, it was supplemented by the calmness of having no choice. I had made the decision to come, but now it was out of my hands. I was confident of God, though his presence seemed so distant. Still, it was painful, and increasingly so.
A further shock came as I saw faintly the shores of Hell. For as my eye traveled along its dark horizon, I found myself looking at the angel, and noticing that a line I had not noticed before just barely crossed his body. It took a moment for me to realize that this was an extension of the horizon, and I was seeing, as through a glass darkly, the dull horizon of Hell through this angel, as solid and opaque a being as I had ever encountered. Nervously, I raised my own hand to my eyes and found that I could dimly see the horizon through it as well.
Therefore, as you may imagine, it was with some relief that we came to a halt. And now that I think back on it I cannot quite tell whether we had been flying, walking or what. But whichever, I was relieved, for I could not imagine that the dim glow of God's glory in me could burn any lower, and I was frightened, as I mentioned, that the bulb would flicker out completely. But though God's glory was at its lowest ebb, it was now steady, and my calmness to some degree returned, for I realized that I should not loose it altogether.
But how, I wondered, could God's glory be less as we traveled from Heaven? God is entirely present everywhere. How could his glory be dimmed by distance? It couldn't, and yet it was. I could see it. But no! Distance can not dim God's glory. If it was dim it was because God made it dim. But why, I thought, would he do such a thing?
And with those thoughts besetting me, I set foot on the edge of Hell. I turned to say a word of thanks to the angel, but he was already leaving, wordless, as throughout the trip, and seemingly anxious to remove himself from this dark corner of existance.Previous | Next
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