Upon One Who Is Chilled

Inspiration for this short passage of fiction was drawn mainly from three different sources: James Joyce’s famous short story, The DeadLuke 11:5-13, and my and Kathy’s personal experiences caring for mom during the last nine months of her battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Some readers try to read too much into a work of fiction such as the one found below. I thank you in advance for not being one of those readers. (Did I mention–it’s fiction.)

(Read Luke 11:5-13)

The air was too warm. The air in the house was always too warm. He gently shifted the blanket from his side to the middle and carefully drifted between the top sheet and the bed next to his wife. They were going the way of all the earth. She was going, his mother-in-law, the one in the next room who lay paling and withering. He thought of how she who lay next to him had bound herself to her mother these last few years.

Holy Spirit come.

John’s eyes yielded tears. He wasn’t good enough for her daughter, and for that she had hated him. She hated his hair. She hated his beard. She hated his irresponsibility and his arrogant manner.  And he hated her back. He hated her platinum hair. He hated her pasty skin peppered with pock marks. He hated her for hating him. Until He came.

Holy Spirit come.

In the other room, Esther’s eyes yielded tears too. In the darkness she saw the form of a man standing in the corner. And other forms were there, children and pets and babies. Had her soul approached sheol where the hosts of the dead reside? There was no ambiguity. To her they were there: The man threatening. The babies crying out. Her own identity was in the throes of transmutation. The material world was shriveling, diminishing.

Holy Spirit come.

Her cry of dread and panic made him turn to the door. It had begun again. He listened sleepily to the moans and cries, woeful and tortured, falling upon his ears. Time for him to rise and set out on his journey–to the other room. Yes he was right: “If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Holy Spirit come.

He was falling. He was falling upon all of his house. He was falling on every part of the plain of his soul, on the frosted fields, falling gently upon the ponds and lakes and, deeper still, gently falling into the dark rebellious parts at the core.

He was falling too, upon the other room where Esther lay buried beneath the blankets.

He helped her sit on the edge and took a place next to her. He put his arm around her. She leaned on him like a snowdrift leans on a fence warm from the sun. He loved her now. He had loved her ever since He came. His soul rose above his weariness as he felt Him falling gently and heavily through his universe and gently and heavily falling, like a blanket drifting down upon one who is chilled.

4 thoughts on “Upon One Who Is Chilled

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s