• WOULD PARCHMENTS FADE?
by Kenny Paul Clarkson
Home, it was, to the frail old man.
The absence of life’s most basic comforts didn’t bother him so much. If anything, it was the loneliness. Not one soul with whom to speak. No one to share a tear; a laugh. Just the wind, the occasional rain; the incessant roar of the sea beating upon the shore at the foot of the crag.
Feeble hands clinched an earthen cup and trembling lips sipped sustenance brewed on an open fire. A boulder was his chair. And his writing desk? A rickety old table. It served him well. Sheepskins — that was his bed — stitched together by loving hands of an unknown sister in a far away land. There were no other furnishings.
The cup aside, John grasped, again, his quill dipped in ink. The parchment would be filled with words. For whom? He didn’t know. And who would know? he wondered — if life’s final breath would leave him now — who would know? Would his lifeless form lay enshrined in an island cave for none to see? Would his parchments fade and wither in the merciless ravages of time?
Another glimpse at the cave’s gaping entry; the sky was surrendering its sapphire hew to the onset of twilight. A star appeared. Stiff hands reached to a simmering fire. A candle glowed. He placed it firm on his table. Eerie shadows danced with a passing breeze. Not the rushing mighty wind he had known years before, but The Wind nonetheless. John knew it well. He breathed deep. There was stirring in his soul. A compelling he had known in those days gone by; a clear, unmistakable direction that swelled from his inner most being — to write.
His eyes closed and the door was opened. The words were clear, clarion and determined. “Come up here.”
What words could tell?
Voices thundered from around the throne; lightening, as it were, and voices like he had never heard. How does one describe the seven spirits of an Almighty God?
A spectrum of color, like looking into an emerald, he thought, enshrouded the throne.
Clothed in white and crowned with gold were four and twenty men. And beasts with eyes before and behind cried aloud, “Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” The four and twenty fell prostrate, casting their crowns before the One who sat on the throne.
Could a jasper describe his eminence? A sardine stone?
“Who is worthy?” the angel's voice echoed through the heavens, but none would answer. “Who is worthy to open the book? To loosen the seals thereof?”
Silence fell. An eternity passed. Still none would answer; none was worthy to open the book, or look thereon.
“Weep not, John,” one elder said, “Behold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! He has prevailed!”
Was this the one with whom he walked on earthen roads and heard in fields of lilies? “The water into wine,” he lips moved, his voice was never present. “The withered hand, the Blood stained crown, the stone; the hollowed side. Behold the Lamb of God!”
There is place in the sea, an island forsaken, where the trembling hand of a godly man once penned sacred words. From heaven’s throne to earth’s barren shore, he ponders, rejoices; he remembers.
Write, Brother John, so we will know.
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”