The Book of Life (13)

Book I: Chapter 13
June 11

<Ting-ting-ttaling, Ting-ting-ttaling>

Bells from afar softly sounded, signaling the mid-day meal. 

(Gee whiz, why did you sidetrack me like that with all those questions in the last chapter? Now where were we? Oh yeah, Miriam was whining again about how I never help her…)

The Repentant Mary Magdalene, by Domenico Fetti

[Note to Reader: This is Chapter 13 of Book 1 “The Pawns of Prophecy” – if you missed the start of the book, click here return to the main page. ]

As I refocused on my vision, I saw Miriam, her eyes closed, hands in her lap, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Miriam opened her eyes. Even still, she did not venture out of for lunch. (She’s probably fasting — that’s Saint Miriam for you).

She moved her chair closer towards her desk. Although a simple secretary table, her desk was hand-carved from chapa wood and like most of the articles in this Tibetan palace it was ornately worked – in this case, the legs were covered with scroll-work and the desk panel itself had a border of miscellaneous Buddhist symbols outside the main writing area.  Few items sat atop Miriam’s workstation – a small stack of airmail stationary, a single pen, and one large leather-bound book.

It was this last item that Miriam now reached for, pulling the heavy tome towards her. Once positioned, she reached a hand up to her neck and then from inside her pale green robe she withdrew a chain that held a tiny key. Taking the chain from around her neck, she inserted the key into the lock that held fast the book. With a soft <click> the massive tome gave up its security and Miriam was free to open it as she pleased.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” She said as she fearfully opened the book.  Then quickly she sought to find her bookmark — which was in the last quarter of this omnibus — yet, upon locating it, I saw the color drain from her face, for the page was blank. (I could have told you that, Miriam). Knowing that all the pages after it would also be blank, Miriam steeled herself as she flipped backwards to an earlier page.

“Blank, as well.” She gasped, looking as if a knife stabbed her heart. (Again with the dramatics).

The tears returning, Miriam continued to slowly leaf backwards…

Miriam went back three full pages from her previous mark until she finally found names again.

“And so, the number is now down to 182,107.” She sobbed. And then, as a fountain of anger rose up within her, “Why, Lord — why must it only be 144,000? How can you do nothing and allow so many to be lost? Don’t you care? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Arise, O Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless!”

(Now, I have told Miriam for centuries that God is no longer listening to us and that He doesn’t care. I’ve also told her that there can only be 144,000. I know Gabriel has told her the same thing time and again. But Miriam doesn’t listen. Ha – just like any other woman!)

After a short time, Miriam gave up, knowing full well that nothing she could do would change a future that was already predetermined.

And so, closing the book for another day, Miriam sighed, “The crucible for silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart. As always, I will be still and know that He is God.”

Once more she locked up her book, and then moved it back to its place on her desk. After which she arose and readied herself for midday prayers with the rest of the palace.

(And there my vision ended. Once again I learned nothing new – another waste of my time).

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