The Skull

Let it be said at the outset that she was not under the influence of any hallucinogenic substances, nor was she under extreme physical stress. She was known for her scientific, logical, very sober, analytical mind. 

As she was backcountry backpacking through the northern half of Yosemite in wilderness inaccessible by any other means, climbing over rocks and making her way through forests of towering pine, redwood and sequoia, mule deer and black bear scattering at her approach, she came across – literally stumbled across – the skull of an Etruscan bear (Ursus etruscus), which she knew from her graduate studies in paleontology had to date back at least 10,000 years – perhaps as many as five million. Curious, she lifted it up and examined it closely, turning it softly in her hands, feeling its contours, running her fingers over the jaw bone, gazing into the eye sockets, imagining the beast of which it was once the integral part. 

With a yelp, she dropped – verily flung it – into the pine needles as it suddenly glowed a hot white – light radiating forth as if illuminated by an inner sun. 

Surprise and astonishment instantaneously metamorphosed into disbelief and fear when the bear skull began to speak out of the light. Its voice (as one might expect) was deeply masculine, resonating somewhere between baritone and bass – authoritative, yet somehow equally gentle and nonthreatening. The voice had a soothing quality to it that caused her fear to dissipate and her astonishment melt into inquisitiveness. As it spoke, the light within flickered as if synchronized.

“Ah, Little One, child of earth, have you heard the lament of Brother Sequoia, seen the veil of tears flowing down the granite mountain faces, or touched the cool pure grief of the tumbling watercourse? 

“Apollyon has no horns or hooves, but instead sits in boardrooms wearing suit and tie. Greed, Mammon, Avarice, rapacious cupidity subverting all morality, gobbles souls before it destroys seas and forests. 

“Weep with us, my sister! Lamentation and woe! We are undone. Destroyers destroy us, selling our souls for luxury and ease!”

As the voice spoke, she felt the weight of hopeless sorrow, and, now again no longer afraid, she held the skull that seemed to weep with her as she sobbed uncontrollably.

The light within the skull radiated even more brightly. She could no longer look directly at it. The voice spoke with calm authority.

“A massive reversal, and that very soon, my child.

            “Destroyers destroyed.

            “Blind see.

            “Lame walk.

            “Addicted free.

            “Captives manumitted.

            “Weak strong.

            “Poor flourish.

            “Sad rejoice.

            “Disenfranchised empowered.

            “Marginalized welcomed.

            “Swords ploughshares.

            “Spears pruning hooks.

            “Polluted unsullied.

            “Hungry satiated.

            “Thirsty satisfied.

            “All things new.

“Now, listen, Little One! Become one with Mother Sea who carried you in her womb. Allow ABBA who created you to hold you in eternal arms of love. Enter our Temple of Shalom.”

The radiant light shot from the skull in all directions, kissing mountains, rivers, cascades, snow, trees, wild animals and birds alike, filling the sky with a shimmering turquoise. Stars seemed visible in broad daylight. Galaxies joined in eternal waltz. 

Before her astonished eyes trees began to dance, their branches waving as they sang ethereal songs in strange languages, whose sounds blended and harmonized with other voices that seemed to come from the rocks, mountains, birds and beasts. A deep baseline reverberated from earth itself. And far away, seas and sea creatures folded their unique symphonic voices into the music of spheres and she was sure she smelled the salty breeze as if sitting on the shore. 

(Later, try as she would, she was unable to rationalize what she saw and heard that day deep in the woods.)

But in the moment, she had no thought of rationalizing. She found herself, in spite of herself, spinning and dancing, her voice undulating with song. She could hardly help it. The entire cosmos was in concert.

How long this went on she would never know. She had no desire for it to end. But end it did – slowly gently fading into perfect stillness and peace. 

And there she sat, gazing in wonder at the ancient bear skull. 

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on September 30, 2019, in apologetics, Bible, Bible Teaching, bodily resurrection, Christianity, creation, Jesus, Kingdom Life, kingdom of God, parables, Prayer, Prophecy, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hmmmm.


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