Devil Calls

photo of person s hands
Photo by João Jesus on Pexels.com

Devil calls.

The click and hiss flick.

Pulsing through the city with the concentrated horde gathering over him, hailing him with their hearts and fingernails scraping, shoveling him into their dry and dusty throats with shouts and pushing, their flesh in decadent decay.

Lazarus’ rotting lungs expanded and burst with jagged gasps when a clear, strong Voice called him, burning oxygen deep in the cavern of his wasting ribs and his heart clutched and released again full of blood, like in the Beginning except this was the in-between after agony had already erupted in Christ’s boundless chest and He had wept in strangling grief, lamentation mingled in the choking dust because He dearly loved him. And He loved Martha.  And He loved Mary.

That Devil calls.

The click and hiss flick tongue.

Jesus rose and discarded His outer garments, descended, and sopped that aggregate dust from their mortal feet with a rag and water, cleansing their hearts in a stroke of tenderness, Voice gentle, eyes lustrous as a mirror, and then told them to love one another.

“Do you know what I have just done?”, and they stare, breathless.

“One of you will betray me.”   It was night.  “I am going where you cannot come with me, but I am not alone.”

The suffocating dust of the earth, we collective, and I, gulping, swig. The dust of the good, fertile earth tainted. Judas abandoned the heavy room with brazen insolence and accumulated his obscene, contaminated silver, ready to simper with that sinister Devil hiss and kiss Jesus in an embrace of betrayal, dredging the grimy pit for sustenance.

That seductive, elusive, Devil calls.

His ratchet click and piquant hiss flick tongue thrust like riven shards.

He accumulated the soil as He prayed in the garden, His hands thrust to the filth and ash, bathing in it, pulling in sorrow and the anticipation of agony, cradling it to His body, and it sunk into Him. He sucked their pain into His tissue,

like doubt.

like torment.

like utter anguish.

like foul hopelessness.

Peter retaliated when they came for Him, but Jesus uttered in hushed tone, “no. no, Peter” and healed the man Peter had mangled.  He was seized and taken where a man would ask Him what Truth was, but did not listen.  First, He was beaten. First, He was tortured for staying silent against no crime other than giving unbelievable promise to the dying.

Blessed are the poor, whose spirits have been crushed and emptied, the mourning, whose lives have been overturned, those who hunger, who have been spat upon and lied about, those who make peace always, the pure in heart who see the coming of heaven when others cannot. Throw sin away, love those who do not deserve.  Be that stirring, distant light that touches and strikes close among that bitter, utter, and salty blindness.

The Devil hisses, slithering as he watched the ripping of Jesus’ skin from His soft back by those laughing evil in their bosom, spewing madness that Jesus’ own blood be rained over them in a washing and spilled out upon their children after them, cursing generations with callous darkness.  Peter was no longer there.

He dragged in oxygen, rasping, absorbing each one before Him with His mirror eyes. Skin forceably ripped from His ribs; He held tight. These people of dust and despair who had merely touched His garment and mending power flowed out of Him, and into them, to heal their dust.  The grit grinding down into His open wounds.

This Man.

Naked, bleeding, stripped and raw, with His strong arms, hands flexed in grip, His erect back now slunk forward, shuffling the stained beam to the hill where smoldering death rose like incense. This after feeding and healing the desperate, telling a mob of men to step away from a woman they surrounded with stones clenched in their fists, correcting them when they sought to banish children, and invited the most hated and infected to walk beside Him.

That seductive, elusive, arrogant, evil Devil laughs.

Open mouth like a sepulcher, teeth like rounded tombstones, waiting while the Son of Man’s hands and feet, bound to the cross beam, were punctured with nails and driven, and Jesus cried out at the tears that stained horrified faces and disbelief curtained the onlooker’s reason.  The cross was lifted and sunk into the shaft that held it fast, with two others on Jesus’ right and left, hell on display as the nails ripped forward.

Forgive them, Father. They do not know.

The clouded darkness spread ominously over them as Divine Man exhaled, with His heartsick mother wailing there and John held her.  The Voice cried out, because He was then all alone, rain discharging in a torrent, cooling the hot and dusty hill, the temple curtain ruptured and split, the veil between man and God forever removed while the Devil slithered over Jesus’ expired body in triumph, shadows pouring forth as the Voice hung silent.

Devil calls.

The click and hiss flick.

And that despairing dust settled and sunk into the dormant tomb as Jesus’ hand choked and rung that slithering Serpent trolling His body and went to war with the Devil, descending to Hades with a thunderous outcry, wrestling Death with effectual words: finished.  And Jesus judged Devil abhorrent, ugly, vanquished. The sun called life back out to grow and the Voice raised Himself.

He appeared to those black sheep He had wandered out for, they touched His wounded hands, and Thomas put his fingers to Jesus’ pierced side, eyes aghast, drinking mystic glory.

“Do you love me? Then go love.”

The Voice drown-thrashed that tawdry, pimping Devil’s call, crushing it with golden sunrise and freedom that drenched the atmosphere with absolute victory.

 

green trees under blue and orange sky during sunset
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

 

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