Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Fiction: Making Concentrate

Friday Fiction

Making Concentrate


"Father, what are you doing?" Asher’s curiosity wouldn’t let him stay quiet any longer.

Father looked at him with one of his unfathomable smiles. "I'm making concentrate."

Asher's eyes widened. He was a newcomer here, and there was much he didn't understand. But he enjoyed the wonder and awe that surrounded everything Father did.

After a while he spoke up again. “Who’s that?”

"Her name is Elizabeth." Father's voice grew a little quieter. "It means, 'Consecrated to God.'”

"Concentrated to God?" Asher asked.

Father laughed, clearly delighted. "That's not what I said, but I love it. It's really the same thing, after all."

Asher nodded, though he didn’t understand.

The most wonderful thing about living in Father's house was how perfect everything was, even the unknown. Curiosity wafted over Asher like the mouth-watering aromas of Thanksgiving mornings, filling him with anticipation. Yet the anticipation itself fed his soul, so that the hunger didn’t hurt. Desire felt as delightful as fulfillment, and fulfillment never disappointed.

“I love Elizabeth,” Father said softly.

"But you're making her cry."

"Yes, Asher. I know all of her tears. I’m keeping them safe with me."

What does he do with them? Asher looked back down into the world where he once lived. "She's through crying already."

Father chuckled. "It seems like 'already' to you, but you're outside of time now. Ten years just passed for her. She doesn't even remember what she was crying about before. But I remember perfectly...both the trial and my beautiful purpose for it." He put his hands on Asher's shoulders and looked into his eyes. “I've kept that safe for her, too."

Asher smiled.

Father gave Elizabeth many things, and then after a while he took something away from her.

"She cried a little, but not as much," Asher noted.

"She trusts me more now, because she knows me better. Every time I’ve taken something from her, I’ve offered her more of myself in exchange."

"Cool!" Asher exclaimed.

Father's eyes took on a faraway expression. "It’s glorious seeing them learn to love, and trust, and delight in me. When your mother took dangerous things away from you, you would get upset. People often don't understand why I take things from them, especially when I take away good things, in order to replace them with what’s best."

"That's you!" Asher jumped up and down, delighted with his understanding. "You're what’s best for them!"

Father smiled. "Of course."

They looked at Elizabeth again.

"She’s already old!" Asher stared, astonished.

"Yes, it's almost time for her to join us." Father beamed. "I can't wait to give her the joy of fully knowing me!”

"What did you say you were making?"

"It was concentrate. You remember concentrate."

"Yeah. Mom made orange juice out of it."

"That's right. I made 'concentrate' with Elizabeth by taking away unnecessary things that weighed her down. Now she's highly concentrated. Very little left to take away." He took Asher's hand. "Come on."

"Where?"

"We're going to greet Elizabeth. She's about to arrive."

"But there's one thing I don't understand."

"What?"

"We always add water to concentrate."

Father smiled like Christmas, like gifts about to be given.

"True. I am the Living Water, remember? But I like to add other water, too. Water which isn’t perfected yet. I will perfect it when I perfect her."

"What other water?"

Father smiled his Christmas smile again. "Go and get it for me." He pointed at a vessel that Asher hadn't noticed before.

Asher ran and fetched it, savoring delicious curiosity.

Father carried the vase until they arrived at the great gates.

"There she is!" Asher clapped and pointed.

“Welcome, my beloved!” Father wrapped Elizabeth's withered body in his embrace, pouring life-giving love into her dehydrated soul. Then he added the water from the vase, and as it touched the Living Water, it became just as sparkly and lively.

"See, I make everything new," he said, setting the vase down and gazing on his glorious bride.

"But what’s that other water that you perfected?"

Father smiled wider. "Think about it while I show Elizabeth around."

A wonderful idea began to grow in Asher’s heart. Could it be? He rolled the vase over until he found the inscription.

"YES!" Heaven echoed with his joy.

Father turned and smiled like the sun, only brighter and more beautiful.

Asher couldn't restrain himself. He danced in circles around the empty jar which once held Elizabeth's tears.

--------------------------------

Today's Friday Fiction is being hosted by Dee over at My Heart's Dee-light. Be sure to drop by for more great fiction.

9 comments:

The Surrendered Scribe said...

I have a Christmas smile reading this one!

LauraLee Shaw said...

This is BEAUTIFUL, Betsy. Love this: "See, I make everything new..." Incredible.

Dee Yoder said...

Wonderful to read! Love the allegory here.

saw425 said...

Betsy, this is special! I love knowing that He keeps all my tears.
Sherri

Laurie Ann said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It does help tremendously!

Sue said...

Loved this Betsy..

Marsha said...

Besty, This is absolutely beautiful! Comfort and truth all rolled into one exquisite piece.

I found you/this piece through my friend Sue Engelman. It's amazing to me we've never crossed paths before. We have so many people in common.

Julie and ( (The Surrendered Scribe) and I write together over at Internet Cafe Devotions on the Marriage Counter. LauraLee's over there as well. Laurie Ann and I have "known" each other for almost 4 years through blogging and FB. Dee, I've seen her around a good bit.

I'm going to add you to my favorites so I can check back periodically. I don't blog as faithfully as I used, but I still enjoy visiting friends occasionally.

Blessings.

Betsy Markman said...

Thanks, everyone!

Marsha, it's amazing that you know both Sue and some of my FaithWriters friends.

I was born into Sue's father-in-law's church, under his pastorate. When he passed the mantle to Phil, I was there, and spent years under his preaching.

I had lost touch with the Engelmans for decades, until reconnecting fairly recently on Facebook. In the meantime I had started a career, married, had children, become a full-time homemaker, discovered that two of my children were on the autism spectrum, and begun to seek comfort in writing. Finally, too, I began to seek my life more deeply in God.

I knew God only as doctrine for most of my life, and didn't know what I was missing. Now I have the joy of seeing Him at work, even through the tears. He is good!

I don't write much any more. God has got me focused more on my family's needs, homeschooling, etc. But that's the wonder of the internet. It keeps giving long after the writing stops! And sometimes God gives me words to write down, so do subscribe to the feed if you like!

So glad you dropped by! It was nice to "meet" you.

Marsha said...

I guess I should've told you how I know Sue. I went to Florida Bible College with Phil and Sue more years ago than I care to admit. We lost touch, but our friendship has been resurrected thanks to FB. You are so right, the internet is amazing!

Blessings.

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