Monday, August 15, 2011

The Onyx Pocket Watch

It all started the day Leonard first saw that antique pocket watch. The small shop on Main St. never seemed like much to young Leonard, or Leo as he preferred. Today was different though. On a whim he ventured in to the small town antique shop and started browsing. It never occurred to him that there could be so many interesting nick-nacks from days gone by. He handled and examined every doodad with fascination until he was forced to stop when he saw in the glass case an antique pocket watch. It was submerged in light and the aged silver cast the lights reflection directly at Leo's eyes. Leo looked up at the lady behind the counter. He asked her if she would let him handle the beautiful watch. The aged lady looked at him for a few moments. Leo would have said that she was looking into him. He felt as though she was carefully peering into is soul. She then smiled.

With her faltering voice she asked, "Are you capable of handling it, young man?"


"Give me your hand."

Leo hesitantly showed her his right palm. He looked up at her and he felt a sudden electric jolt pass from his hand to the rest of his body. He looked down at his hand. She had placed the watch in it. The pewter chain was dangling from his hand. Leo didn't understand; she never opened up the case or reached down to pick up the watch. It was in his hand nevertheless.

"Open it," the lady suggested.

Leo pressed the small tarnished button on the edge and the lid clicked open. Inside were dials for the year, month, day, hour, minute, and second. They were all intricately  intertwined. The numbers were etched into what looked like some sort of black stone. The rings were all of a delicate silver that shone as bright as the day they were polished. All of the sudden the stationary hands began to click and jolt forward and startled Leo even more. He looked up at the lady and put his hand forth to give it back to her. She looked at him without lifting a finger.

"I don't have much time left in this life. I don't need a watch to tell me that. No, this watch is yours now. You have many questions I am sure. You only need one. Now that you know how much time you have, what will you do with it?"

Leo dared not doubt her; she had too much conviction in her eyes. He looked down at the watch.

Two years.
Seven months.
Eighteen days.
Four hours.
Six minutes.
Thirty-two seconds.

Leo looked up to see the lady walking into the back. There was a closed sign on the counter. He didn't know what else to do, but to walk out. Hurrying to the near by park, Leo steadied himself on a bench and sat. He prayed intensely.

"Father, what would you have me do?" he repeated over and over until a still small voice came.

"Draw near to me and I will draw near to you."

Leo smiled.

Over the next two and one half years Leo did everything he could to draw near to his God. He started a bible study out of his house and from that he gained the support to open up a shelter for anyone who needed it. All sorts of people came, runaways, battered women, hiding men, and the mentally ill. Leo loved them all. No one understood how this seemingly inconsequential young man could do so much, but Leo knew. He carried the watch everywhere he went. He hardly looked at it anymore. When the clock hit one month he knew it. He didn't have to look. Leo made arrangements for the leadership to be passed on. He chose Thomas, the third person to come to show up and the first live-in volunteer. He chose Thomas because he knew he was close with God and had a heart for those who need help.

Leo remembered the story of David Livingston and how he died while praying on his knees. Leo liked that idea and arranged his shift at the shelter should end two hours before the watch did. His plans were for naught though as he was the only person to show up at the shelter. He couldn't just leave. Just as he knew the clock had but a few minutes left he asked to be excused for a time and went to the prayer room in the building.

"Father if know one is here when I die, who will take care of the shelter?"

Leo prayed intensely for those two minutes, opened his watch and looked down just as the second hand reached the last tick. Just as the beautiful silver hands became stationary once more Leo heard a knock at the door. He waited wondering just what was happening. Wasn't is life supposed to end?
The knock came once again. Leo stood up, still confused, and opened the door. Before him stood a beautiful young lady clad in pastels.



"I was told you were back here,  it looks like you could use a little help. Mind if I pitch in?"

Leo looked in her eyes, "Absolutely... Er, of course not. Um... I mean you can help."

The young lady blushed and chuckled.

"My name is Melody."

She extended her hand. After staring for a moment Leo realized what he was doing and extended his hand as well. As soon as they touched a familiar electric jolt passed through Leo.

Melody was visibly startled.

"That was some static shock!" Have you been crawling around on the carpet in there?"

"Uh... no. Maybe we should get back to the main hall... We just served lunch so there are quite a few pots and pans to wash. Care to help me with those?"

Melody smiled again, "Sure."

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Devil's Pact pt. 3

Now God had taken Diamond. For the first time in his life Sammy was alone.


The man in black scrubs covered Diamond.

"Thank you."

The man in the black scrubs nodded and just for the briefest of moments Sammy thought he saw the hint of a smirk. He looked again only to see the same solemn face and empty eyes that he saw earlier.

Walking out of the room Sammy concluded that he was slipping. He didn't care; he needed to find out what exactly happened to Diamond. Sammy called the superintendent of the school. It went to voice mail.

"You've reached Diane Donald; I am not able to get to my phone right now. Please leave a message."

"Mrs. Donald, this is Sammy. If you could get back to me as soon as you could I would appreciate it. I need to know what happened."

Sammy knew that she would be one of the few people who would know what happened and be willing to tell him about it. Diane had been like a grandmother to Diamond.

Sammy couldn't bring himself to do anything and decided that he would just have to wait until after he had spoken to Diane. He went home. Walking in the emptiness of the small house became oppressive. Three tears  fell to the ground. H needed some noise. Something. Anything. Sammy went to his closet. The shoe box was right where he left it. The box was heavy.

You let this happen, God.

Sammy walked over to the living room and sat by the small coffee table. As he set the box on the table memories of the contents came back; memories before Collete and Diamond. Sammy took the lid off the box. Inside was his old Sig Sauer P226 and an aging Gerber Mark II. Pulling the dagger out of the sheath he saw a little rust on the blade. The metal clinked against the glass as it was placed on the table. Sammy found his arkansas stone and retrieved a bottle of olive oil from the cabinet over the sink in the kitchen. The steady sound of stone against steel settled Sammy's mind. Slowly yet surely the rust was disappearing from the double edged tool. After giving the gerber a light coating of oil he placed it back in the sheath and back in the box. As Sammy picked up the pistol he heard a voice behind him.

"Diane won't be calling you back."

Sammy spun around, pointed the gun, and pulled the trigger twice. Nothing happened.

"Don't you remember? You stored it unloaded."

Sammy then realized that this was the same man that was in the black scrubs. This time, though, he was in a black suit. He was also wearing the same smirk that Sammy thought he had seen earlier.

Sammy grasped the dagger as he said very slowly, "Who are you?"

"My name is Azazel. More importantly, though, I have an offer for you.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Devil's Pact pt. 2

"Sir, its about your daughter, Diamond."

Those words brought Sammy's world to a standstill.

"Well, sir... a man came to the school looking for one of the teachers. There was an altercation and he shot the teacher as well as five students... Diamond was killed."

There was a long pause. Sammy's mind went blank; he couldn't process it. Suddenly a wave of nausea  swept over him.

"Sir, are you still there?"

"Yeah," Sammy replied weakly.

"Do you think you could come down to the hospital to identify the body?"

He didn't feel his stomach heave or even taste the bile; he found himself looking at his breakfast from earlier. Everyone was staring at him.

"I'll be there in thirty minutes." It didn't seem real.

Walking into the cold hospital was a cold welcome for Sammy. The walls were a frigid white. A nurse hurried past; her heels clacked against the floor. Sammy's boots made no sound, but his breathing did. Every breath was deep, slow, and controlled; he had reverted to his stress training. He had to focus on breathing and keep on walking.

   The nurse with kind eyes at the reception desk told Sammy that, "The morgue is in the base floor, room zero two zero. Can I get someone to take you down there, hun?

"I'll find it."

After a long walk of controlled breathing and mindless steps he did find it. A man in black scrubs met Sammy at the door to that room that was even more icy than the rest of this building of death.

"Are you ready?"

Sammy looked into the man's eyes and saw that they were as the rest of that god-forsaken structure, unfeeling... almost dead.

Sammy merely nodded his head. Walking in he saw a short and familiar figure on a table under a white sheet. As the man in the black scrubs lifted the top of the sheet Sammy felt the bile rise up in his throat again, but this time he managed to stop himself. For a split second the face on the girl before him was not his daughter's. However, the notion that he could dictate reality simple thought force of will left almost as quickly as it came.


"It's her... That is my daughter."

The man in the black scrubs began to cover Diamond's face.


So Sammy stood there looking at his daughter's face.

Memories of Collete's death came rushing back with the force of a freight train. After an agonizing eight hours of labor the screaming ceased. Collete's eyes were bloodshot, her hair matted, and her face had developed a film of sweat. Her head fell back as the machines started beeping even louder. Alarms went off and people rushed in. The doctors were shouting and everything was chaos.

Was a nurse ran in he asked, "What's going on?"

She didn't say anything, she simply continued into the room.

After what seemed to be an eternity of panicked nurses and doctors there was another calm. At last a doctor started walking towards Sammy. The doctor was fidgeting.

"Uh... sir, your wife. She was bleeding internally and we couldn't stop it. However, your daughter is just fine.

For the briefest of moments Sammy wouldn't accept it, but his mind quickly turned to God.

We were supposed to be parents together. They were supposed to raise their daughter together. This wasn't supposed to happen! God, how could you let this happen?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Devil's Pact pt. 1

The following is a story that has been developing in my head for some time, I just didn't know it until a few days ago. The general development and conclusion has already been decided. My reason for posting this forward will be seen at the conclusion. The story will be posted in separate segments.


Sammy could barely sort through the keys to unlock his door. His job at the mine was wearing him thin. It had been a sensible choice for him after the military. He didn't know much else but hard work and he was good at it. God had given him the job and he should be grateful, but he was wearing thin. The jolt of the lock opening woke Sammy from his walking stupor. He was home. Diamond should be arriving home soon. Tomorrow was a school day. He threw his shoes in his room and started his evening routine of getting dinner ready.

Laying down on his bed later that night he looked over to his Bible on the nightstand.
I should open that up.
He was soon distracted by the heaviness of is eyelids and the softness of his pillow. Black

The shriek of the alarm always annoyed him. Over the years he replaced more than his fair share of alarm clocks. His hand always hit the clock with an alarming impact because of his training. His training also made it impossible for him to sleep more than five hours. The clock wasn't beeping six o'clock anymore. The cold water from the shower always served to get him moving in the morning.

"Dia', hun, its time to get up."

His ten year old daughter rolled over to face him. Her eyes opened slowly.

"Five more minutes?"

Sammy smiled. "You know better than that, sweety. Come on, head up, feet down, and to the shower with you." He pulled out a dress from the closet and handed it to her as she stepped out of bed.

Since the death of his wife Diamond had become the center of his life. For ten years he thought of little else except his daughter. He had cleaned up for his late wife Collete, but he sacrificed for Diamond. He had put her through private school and made sure that she never needed anything. He taught her what hard work was and did the best he knew how. He was a loving father.

He stopped in front of the church building that the school also used. It wasn't big, but he wanted it that way. There were good teachers there. The principal was a godly lady and he wanted Diamond to see what a godly lady was. He wouldn't have admitted it, but he wasn't willing to grow close to God since Collete's death so he settled for the principal instead.

"I'm not angry at God," he would say, "we just aren't on speaking terms."

He watched the door close behind Diamond as she entered the building. He drove back to the mine.

"Hey Mike,  you have any extra shifts this week?"

Mike was known as the "Keeper of the Gate" or just Keeper for short. Sammy never called him that. He had too much respect for the elderly man.

"Yeah, why are asking?"

"Oh, you know how it is. College isn't cheap."

"You're not thinking of going back to school, are you?"

"Mike, do I look like the type to go to a college? This is for when Diamond is ready to go to a good university."

"Sammy, you coddle that girl too much."

"Yeah, yeah." Sammy waived him off as he grabbed his paper work for that week. He stuffed it in his locker as he grabbed his hard hat. His thoughts turned to Collete and how he missed her. It had been ten years, but he still couldn't bring himself to even think about seeing other women. To Sammy, Collete should not have died in that operating room. The doctors said that it was a freak accident. Sammy knew better. God let it happen and Sammy would not forget that, ever.

When the lunch bell sounded Sammy's face was covered in dirt, soot and dust. He went to his truck to retrieve the lunch pail in the seat. Sitting at the bench he heard his name called.

"Sammy, someone is on the phone for you!"

He picked up the phone.

"Mr. Samson Williams?"

"Yeah, what'cha need?"

"Sir, its about your daughter, Diamond."


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where can I put my hat?

Some people say home is where you lay your hat... Would you please wear my hat? They also say home is where the heart is. Well, you have already stolen that. I think you have stolen my mind too because it seems to disappear every time I see you. Seeing you is akin to seeing a Monet’s “Bridge Over Waterlilies” for the first time over and over each time with a renewed sense of wonder and admiration. That doesn’t quite do you justice as you are infinitely more complex and deep than any painting. I feel at home around you, will you wear my hat?

Monday, March 14, 2011


I do not know why I write this; even the great poets of old could not adequately describe you. It was said that even Solomon's wealth could not compare with the beauty of the lilies of the field. I say even the lilies of the field could not begin to compare with you. To say that you have simple beauty is to do you a gross injustice. Your deep and intricate complexities dwarf even the most daunting of mathematical equations. What you do have is quiet beauty. It is that incomprehensible humbleness that would rather tend to the needs of the weary than to your own. Nothing about you can be properly likened unto things that we know for everything about you is otherworldly.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Science, Glory, and all that stuff.

Science... Ssh, don't say that.

In church today,  I think that science has become a dirty word. For many people and this is also true in the church it would seem that Christianity and science are in conflict. It seems to have been thrown into the realm of politics and religion. You simply don't discuss science with religion in polite conversation. I think this is due in large part to the association that evolution has with science in general. I won't get into evolution here, I might later, but that would be a long multi-part post.

First let us define the term science for the sake of discussion. I am sure that one could come up with many varying definitions for science, but I will use a simple one.

Science is the study of the observed. Science helps us draw conclusions from our environment and for that we are able to define and understand what may not be so readily observable.

There are many things about science that the vast majority of people simply do not understand. String theory is an excellent example. I am not a scholar of physics so don't quote me on this, but if I understand the theory it goes a little something like this. The knowable universe and our four (or six or ten or infinite depending on who you talk to) dimensions are composed of an infinite (truly innumerable) number of tiny one dimensional loops. Many times these loops are explained as if they are rubber bands. This illustration is okay for the uninitiated, but it isn't actually true. While these single dimensional loops do vibrate and move they don't have anything inside them that we would understand as matter. Also to refer to them as rubber bands or even as loops as I have is still not accurate. This is simply a one dimensional space as it exists. It is space bending in upon itself in the only way that it can. If it were to behave any differently it would be, I think, violating what we consider the laws of physics. The way these SDS's (single dimensional space, a more accurate term I think) vibrate is how particles such as quarks and photons are in existence. At this point it should be noted that it is vibration in conjunction with truly unseeable space is what composes matter, light, and perhaps even energy.

The point of that rather lengthy (and almost certainly flawed) explanation is that very few people even scientists do not understand this theory. I think that it would even not be too far fetched that a few of the many who have played a part in sculpting this theory do not properly understand it themselves. The other point is that while we cannot physically see these SDS's we can discern their existence or at least theorize that they exist from what we can see.

A couple days ago a friend of mine said something to the effect of science not having the ability to explain the "paranormal." While she is right in that the study of what we see cannot explain many things relating to God and or the paranormal I think that it gives off a false impression that these subjects are not related. When I truly believe that the subjects are so intertwined that dividing them into separate subjects just might be... inaccurate.

This brings me to my next subject. Glory. Of of the biggest if not the single greatest purpose that any single human being has is to glorify God. At times when information is incomplete or even at times false it can seem as though we should ignore it entirely. This is a mistake. If this is done and at a later time the information is completed or proven false one has missed a wonderful chance to give God glory. Let us look at the age of the earth. There are many who would stand behind the idea that the earth is billions of years old. I don't personally buy this. There are certain inconsistencies that get in the way of my believing it. I don't fully understand it, to be honest, but I can say that I am supremely confident that eventually the age of the earth will in one way or another line up with scripture. I think this was the case when people held the belief that the earth was flat. While it really wasn't as popular an idea back in the day of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella as many think; it was a fairly prolific idea. The Bible says, "and hangeth the earth upon nothing."
Job 26:7
Now we know for a fact that the earth is an imperfect sphere that "hangs on nothing." Funny how that works, huh?

Let us look at an unpleasant subject that relates to this very well. The crusades. I am not going to go into all the differing crusades, but I do want to recognize that they were horrific. Hundreds if not thousands of people died. Are we to ignore the ugly and disgusting side of life? No, we are to recognize it and move on. My favorite author writes the villains in his stories as particularly dark characters. Why? Because this puts contrasts and amplifies the apparent goodness of the protagonist.
The people, the men, women, and children are not heroes. They are not villains. They are the slaughtered. This is not something that can be ignored. To do this is to merely continue what was started in that day. Let us acknowledge that men made horrific decisions and used God's name to rationalize their actions. When we are told not to use the Lord's name in vain this is what was spoken of. I do not understand how something like that can eventually bring God glory, but I am confident in that it will be used in the long run to do just that.

Just what was on my mind today.

Revision January 19:

In regards to the "explanation" of String theory.

So far no one I have spoken to has understood this; hence the quotation marks. It seems as there is some confusion regarding my mention of two dimensional spaces. I have no clue how such a "space" would exist or behave (I am sure it would be interesting) and it is not something I am attempting to address here in any length. Also, when thinking of how a SDS would behave try to think out side of the box. Chances are you perceive everything in a thread of time progressively moving forward. When contemplating anything regarding this subject one should remember that we do not live in a three dimensional world. We have more than just three dimensions with which we interact in. There are four that we can observe readily. There are the dimensions of space that are length, depth, and width, but there is also the fourth. That fourth is time. This is not a new concept, but something we have known for some time. Well, these SDS's exist outside of time. At least so far as I am able to discern they do not seem to be influenced by it... At this point it becomes fairly difficult to contend with if one is disregarding the math behind it all. I, however, am terrible at math and while I may have delusions of grandeur advanced mathematics is not part of those. The point is that these singular dimensional spaces are what compose our entire universe. If this is true an amazing thing is occurring all around us that very very few even recognize. These spaces that are made up of only a single dimension are actually producing four (and almost certainly more). I just thought it was worth mentioning that everything that you see and feel and touch and eat and hear is made up of stuff that doesn't even adhere to the same physical laws that we do. :)