(Part Three of the Eden Series)
The memories he had up until that moment were fading like dew on summer grass. The feeling of being out of control usually caused the man great anxiety, but not in this moment. At his feet lay a crown with the word “Holy” engraved on it. He didn’t pick it up, despite the diamond crest across the front spelling out his initials.
Each blade of grass moved with the wind that seemed to be coming from everywhere and nowhere. The sound of singing could be heard in the distance. He looked around and saw countless imprints across the ground in the shape of other crowns, which must have recently been taken.
“Where is everyone?” the man whispered quietly. Above him were no clouds, stars or indeed any sky at all. He couldn’t work out his location, but found no familiar landmarks. However, the landscape was more defined than anything he had ever seen. His senses were running wild as each sight and sound wrapped around him like a perfect storm. Strange animals galloped on the horizon. A river of light poured down from the mountain up ahead. At the top of the peak were people. Millions, if not billions of people were scattered across the colossal ascent. It was a gathering.
Despite not knowing where he was, or where he had come from, the man felt at peace in this new place. He glanced back at the crown nestled in the long grass. And from behind him, he heard a voice that he recognised from when he was a boy.
“Go ahead Bill, pick it up old friend.” At first he didn’t feel the need to turn around. It wasn’t until he heard his name spoken that he realised how much he had forgotten of his previous life. The crown was incredibly light in his hands, and felt like velvet to touch.
He turned around. In front of him was a tall figure standing with his arms by his side. His hair was like mercury. His eyes were almost too bright to look at, but too incredible to ignore. The man dropped his crown in awe of the figure before him.
“My Lord, it’s you isn’t it?” Bill mumbled.
“Yes, it’s me.”
Burying his head into the ground, Bill replied: “I’m so sorry. I wasted so much of what you gave me”.
The figure held out his scarred hands and said: “Yes Bill, but you welcomed me as your Lord, and that’s why you’re here with us. Welcome home old friend, welcome to the perfect Eden.”
Bill looked up and saw the figure’s outstretched hand. The scars were deep, with two words written across the skin. He looked hard to read the inscription. It simply read: “Bill Jones”.
The figure raised Bill to his feet before placing the crown perfectly on his head. He put his arm around him before leading him to the foot of the mountain. The words “Jesus, merciful King” were being sung from the crowds at the top. Bill had never felt more alive than in this moment. He looked up at the figure and asked: “For how long will I be able to walk with you Lord?” The figure replied: “Forever.”
They walked up the mountain and into the infinite crowd. Bill was welcomed like a prodigal; the figure was welcomed like a King.
Bill had spent his entire life looking for home. The closest he had come up until now was during his conversations with the one they called ‘Jesus’. He had longed for this moment since his first mumbled prayer aged just 16. At last, Bill was home.
- Revelations 22: 12-22
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.