1 | Stronger Than Death
~Before time began~
Grains of dust slipped through his fingers, grey and lifeless like the countless others around him. It was always a barren wasteland here, but that was how it should be. It made his endeavour even more satisfying.
As he scooped up another handful of the dust, a smile tugged on his lips. Joy began surging through his heart and towards his fingertips as he thought about what he could make this time, and how wonderful this could turn out. There were limitless possibilities, and his mind searched for just the right one.
Darkness graced the lifeless plains, stars twinkling far above. His father stood nearby, gazing at the neverending horizon and the sparkling sky. Same as every time, this was a shared adventure, the joy and satisfaction felt by them both in equal measure.
His father turned to him. “The time is right.”
“The time is always right,” he replied, eyes matching the twinkling in his father’s.
“So it is.”
He again stared down at the dust and stretched out his hands. As the grains gathered under his guidance, he felt a stirring in his spirit, the calming presence that never left him. It pulsed through him, into his hands, and helped shape the dust. Just beneath his fingertips, the individual grains gathered together, condensing and molding into a shape so perfect and beautiful. An image nearly just like him.
Legs and arms took form, rising from the shapeless mass. The waist narrowed, hips curving down into rounded thighs. Fingers emerged from the hands; toes from the finely arched feet. Then a face, complete with a nose, full lips, and delicate eyelids, completed the body. Her skin, ashen grey as the dust, quickly bloomed into warm brown hues, her lips becoming ruby red.
Silky black tresses of hair fanned around her face and shoulders, and he ran a few strands between his fingers. His joy was complete. “She’s beautiful. Absolutely perfect.”
“That she is. Well done, my son.”
“Just look, Father! Her face is so radiant, her skin so unblemished. And her heart--” His eyes saw deep within her. “Her heart is so pure, so golden.”
“They always are, aren’t they,” his father mused, referring to the numerable souls they’d created together.
“I never cease to marvel. Every time it is something so precious, so beautiful. I love her… How can I love someone so much already?”
“That is the miracle of our power, Yeshua. The depth of your creative heart has no end, no limit to the love you can extend.”
Nodding, he didn’t speak but continued to admire the woman’s beauty. His chest filled with pride for the work of his hands. “She is strong, and brave. Determination and tenacity are her friends when foes surround. They are a weapon she will fight with, as well as kindness and gentleness that will flow from her delicate fingers,” he listed off her qualities.
“And her flaws?”
“Well,” he drew a heavy breath, never liking this part. “She will be stubborn; unteachable at times. She will lose her father during her childhood years. This will cause countless insecurities that will crush her independence. She will want attention and affirmation, and will seek it in dangerous places. Her desire to trust and love others will betray her. But that won’t destroy her. I will be there for her, too.”
“She won’t always love you, you know?”
“I do.” Again, he sighed.
“She will grow to hate you.”
Still his father continued, “She will one day reject you, and wish she’d never known you. She will love another, as they all do at some stage.”
“Please--” He held up a hand, and closed his eyes against the painful truth of the words. “Please, stop. Don’t talk about that just now.”
“But you know all this already.”
“Of course I do. I can see every crevice of her heart. I made her heart.” He looked down at her, the familiar sadness already thrumming inside his veins. Joy still outweighed it, yet the knowledge of her future, of her choices, marred a bit of the shine. “What am I to do?”
“You love her.” The statement from his father held a question, one that didn’t really need answering.
“With everything in me,” he confirmed anyway, as he closed his eyes once more. The intensity of his love burned in his heart like a coal of fire, and a single tear escaped down his cheek.
“And you’d die for her?”
The question prodded a response from deep within. “Yes, I would die for her. A thousand times over, I’d give my life for her. I’d die for them all.”
“Then remember that, my Son, when they turn on you and when she despises you. Remember that love is stronger than hate. Stronger than death itself.”
His heart was suddenly heavy with the weight of responsibility, as if it had materialised out of nowhere. But it had always been there, he knew. He was different, and though difficult at times, he wouldn’t choose any other course for his life.
With one last lingering glance at her face, he leaned over and placed his lips on hers. Breathing out gently, he felt her lungs inflate. Her face began to glow, golden sparks filling her veins and scampering down her body. Their brightness ignited each cell, until her entire form was glowing, pulsing with an ethereal electricity.
The sparks began to lift, her body fragmenting into a thousand gems of pure light. They surged upward and swirled together, a dazzling and pure glow emanating from her life form. Floating higher still, the sparks joined together and crystalised into one bright light in the navy velvet of the night sky. A bright star to live on until her time came. When her time came to be born, she would be just as beautiful as now.
Such joy and pride filled his heart as he gazed at her. Nothing could diminish his satisfaction of what he had just created.
His father laid a hand on his shoulder and squeezed tenderly. “What is her name?”
The word fell from his lips in complete adoration. “Marah.”