Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume XI, Issue XII
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
-- Genesis 12:3
Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him." -- Genesis 18:18
Fred devoured the news with great interest. One thing was clear in all of the reports, how ORDERLY the disappearance of MILLIONS of people had been. Though people piloting planes and driving buses had indeed been among the suddenly missing, it was amazing that there was always a statement like: "The bus just coasted to the side of the road," or the admission: "I wasn't supposed to fly that day, but I had to switch assignments at the last minute. All of the rest of the crew simply VANISHED!" Fred thought of his devout Mother, who possessed a whole series of novels about the 'Rapture' of the church. All of them had the disappearances create untold havoc. The striking fact about whatever this was was that there wasn't any widespread havoc. The pain of lost loved ones and leaving notes on public walls was heart wrenching enough. Perhaps the eerie quiet of the disappearances made it more so.
A number of world leaders were gone, including the Prime Minister of Israel. Reports came in that suggested whole regions in the extreme Northern Hemisphere were now uninhabited! The great bridge between continents had suffered the loss of most of its operating personnel and was closed to all but emergency travel. Fred and Charles noted that the world was now missing so many people just younger than them. There were no children... no babies. Was this, as the CNN commentators droned on, the work of space aliens, or was it Divine? Fred continued to ponder... but more and more, he was expressing his concerns to a Divine he had dismissed up to a few days ago.
If Faith was something you could be Inoculated against, Fred seemed to have been well protected by exposure to the dead form of the 'pathogen.' By the time he was given the choice of 'Christian' college or the military by his parents, he had pretty much aligned himself with those who could maintain an outward appearance while living as they wished. 'Christian' University provided plenty of companions with similar bents. You just had to remember to cover your breath.
Charles was cast in the same mold. He and Fred had met at Freshman orientation and had become fast friends. Joe arrived among them, somewhat disillusioned as he failed to live up to the 'perfection' he felt was expected of him. Inwardly he still wrestled with the tension between expectations and reality. When the three men sought adventure, he was the one who planned for contingencies. Though the other two chided him for his 'overthinking,' they were also quite happy to have his mature presence in their group. More than a few times, Joe's steady hand had kept them from disaster. Now the remaining two sorely missed him.
All three of the young men had found Israel to be wonderful. Israeli innovation was indeed fulfilling, it seemed, the prophecies given to Abraham. That is that through his posterity all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Israel was a bountiful and happy place to be, contrasting sharply with the unrest that surrounded her.
The Siberia Republic Pavilion.
(to be continued) [click to read]
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