Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Mystery of Free Forgiveness

After this morning's post, I continued doing the final proofread of my book manuscript, and I came across this scene. It seemed to fit with what I'd posted about, so I'll do another posting. Two in one day! Hmm. Maybe it will help with the not-posting-guilt thing.

Anyway, here's a conversation from my novel, Zinovy's Journey, between the main character and his spiritual counselor, on the topic of redemption.

“Zinovy, forgive my intrusion. I know your desire for privacy. If you tell me to leave, I will go. But I want, first, to let you know there is an escape from the darkness that enshrouds you.”

Elan waited. Zinovy felt his patient presence, soft as a quiet spring, gently expectant, like a dew-drenched meadow anticipating the coming of the morning sun. Gradually, only slightly against his will, Zinovy relaxed. He knew Elan would take his silence as consent, but somehow he couldn’t bring himself to close this door.

“You can’t go back, Zinovy,” Elan said. “You can’t revise, or recreate the past, but it can be redeemed.”

Still Zinovy sat in silence—helpless, now, before the light that intruded into his soul. As he sat, his mind went back, once again, into his past. He saw his childhood—not just the pain, but his reactions to the pain. His anger. His hatred. His determined scrabbling for peace and pleasure at the expense of everything else—of everyone else in his life. His years in the military and beyond—his FSB activities—the heartless cruelty of his profession and the satisfaction it gave him to vent his spleen on human beings he didn’t know and didn’t care about. He saw the selfishness of his independence—his not caring—his lofty isolation from the rest of the world.

The light continued to probe—pressing into the dark places of his spirit, opening every sealed chamber, revealing, dispelling, then flooding each empty cavity with its warm brightness.

“How can this be?” Zinovy finally asked, his voice a whisper. “This redemption?”

“The gift of redemption was made possible at great cost, Zinovy. It is freely offered to us, but it cost God his life.”

“And it is free? It costs us nothing? That’s not right.”

Elan smiled. “It is free,” he repeated. “But to receive the gift you will have to give up everything.”

Zinovy gaped at Elan. “Then it’s not free.”

Elan threw his head back and laughed—a deep, rich, rolling laugh that hit Zinovy like a slap in the face. He stared at the bright one, open-mouthed.

Then Elan turned to him and his expression softened. “It’s a mystery, Zinovy—a mystery that you won’t understand until you decide to accept it.”

Zinovy gazed back into those eyes, still shimmering with the afterglow of his laughter, and wilted. It was impossible to understand this man’s philosophy.

Quietly, Elan went on. “Remember when I told your crew, in the beginning, that you needed to leave the place where you had landed? You asked me why, then, and I said I could not tell you. You had to make the choice to leave without knowing the whole. When you had made that choice, then you were ready to learn more.”

Elan waited until Zinovy nodded, half reluctantly, before he continued. “So it is with this mystery,” he said. “You have to choose to receive the gift before you can understand it. When you decide to do that, the mystery will become clear—not to your head, but to your heart.”

And once more he was gone.

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