Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;--Colossians 3:12
Behind the Scenes: Longsuffering
Suddenly I was stunned as a vision began to play out before my eyes. Just moments before, I sat down and began diligently writing a paper for my class. Yet . . . I looked around me and found myself thrown into a completely different place.
Off to my left, the sky was dark and gloomy as if from some horror story of another world. The horizon was black and ominous, and thick clouds seemed to stretch out and above it, covering the whole of the sky. Though it was not raining, nor could I see any storm, I was expecting any moment to see a strike of lightning and hear the deafening clash of thunder off to my left. I waited, but it did not happen.
As my eyes followed the dark clouds across the sky, I looked to my right. As I followed to my right, I noticed the atmosphere changed. The clouds slowly dimmed and thinned out until there were no more. I saw the reason for that was the radiating light that must've been coming from the horizon. I couldn't see the horizon because of a hill that blocked my view. I didn't want to move either to check it out, not in this strange foreign place. The difference seemed to be like the dawning of a new day. I would have mistaken it for just that, had I not realized the glory and radiance the light off to my right was emitting. Though I couldn't see the source, the light itself was strong and powerful as it broke through the thick clouds of the sky and lit the entire right. I could tell it wasn't the sun, or at least not the sun on the earth! I didn't want to take my eyes off the right side, but I had to convey the land I was standing on--all this time I'd been looking at the sky.
Off to my left, in the darkness of the sky I saw in horror, the ground seemed to portray the sky: ominous . . . and desolate. I took it all in as I saw something moving along the ground. Squinting, I saw that they were people . . . and some sort of creatures. The little imp-like creatures were horrid in appearance--indescribable. Yet at the same time, the people in the distant left bore similar wicked appearances, yet not completely identical to the creatures. I could still tell them apart. There were certain people who were just standing around, when these creatures would run up to them, poke them and run off. Some had wings and would swoop down and take a swipe at them. The people would then walk, or in some cases run, off some distance farther to the left, where some time later the process would be repeated. As I watched in horror and thought, wondering what kind of place this was, I also noticed a few people of different appearance. I saw their skin was not dirty as the othersí. Their clothes were not tattered, and they had a weapon in their hands. As I looked at those few people, I saw the weapon they had in their hands was a sword, and it was not alone! They had a helmet on, and a small shield hanging on their side! These few people were scattered throughout on the left, dark, and desolate side. However, I noticed they were walking toward me . . . toward the right side of the horizon bathed in the light. I was fascinated with those people as they walked, but I needed to view more. My gaze trailed to the right.
There wasnít much I could see off to my right, because there was that hill within ten meters of my standing point. However, I noticed that the little bit I could see, also mimicked the change in the sky. It seemed to become friendlier, less desolate. I only assumed that it became better the farther it went, as off to my left was the contrary.
I took in the whole of the land I was in now, and was in shock to discover that the land I was conveying was a long strip of clearing, with what looked like a forest of trees on both sides. As I saw that across from where I was looking, after a few kilometers of clearing, were trees, I turned around and realized I was standing right on the edge of the clearing, with the trees right behind me. This increased my wonder, as I could not figure out where exactly I was. The place was quite foreign to my memory, as I never beheld such a place before. Even the trees were similar in unity with the sky; being bare and horrifying off to my left, and turning green and full off to my right!
After looking all around, still standing in my place, I felt satisfied that I had viewed the landscape as much as I dared to explore without leaving my spot. So I turned back to look at the people who held my attraction before. As I found them, I was horrified as I saw that those imp-like creatures were running toward them and attacking them ferociously! These creatures had weapons of their own, though some in the distance felt like they didnít need to use them, and attacked the people with only their claws. I watched as I saw some of the people were pushed backward. They put up their arms in defense against the little beasts, but the sheer force with which the creatures hit them caused them to be pushed back! Others I felt terrible to see a look of horror on their faces as they saw the attacks coming. They werenít pushed back, but took some steps back on their own will, out of fear of the impending attack! I felt terrible for them as I watched in horror, and grew to hate and loathe those little creatures. Yet I couldnít move from my spot to help them out. It seemed I was there only to watch, as my legs didnít allow me to move. I closed my eyes slightly and looked down in sadness. I wanted to help them so much, yet I couldnít.
I then looked back up and noticed one of those people at the foot of the hill off to my right! My eyes opened wide as I took in this person's appearance. It was a man, and his appearance and clothing where different from those I was watching moments ago. This man had some type of lightweight armor on. It covered his entire body, yet did not slow him down in the least. His sword was in his right hand, and his shield (much larger than the othersí) was not hanging at his side, but in use strapped to his left arm. His face was different too. In his eyes I saw a peace and love. Yet without a doubt this man had determination!
As I was analyzing his appearance, I was snapped out of my gaze and saw one of those despicable creatures. This one was running full speed down the hill and straight toward the man whom I assumed was a soldier or warrior of some type. My eyes grew wide in horror as I saw something in the hand of the creature. This creature was running toward the soldier, with a spiked mace in his hands, raised and ready to swing. As the creature quickly ran closer to the man, I realized exactly where that mace was going to land. I saw the creature pull back and prepare the hit the man right in the shin of his legs. I became horrified at the very thought, as I just knew that man would have his legs immediately shattered upon impact! I couldnít take my eyes off though, as much as I wanted to look away! Preparing myself for the gruesome scene, I forced my eyes slightly closed, and tried to block out the sound it would produce.
The little beast, still in full run, swung back and hit the man in the legs with all its might! Then, as if my eyes had not seen enough to shock me, I saw the creature flung back from the very force he exerted on the manís legs! In shock I looked and realized the mace stopped right at the manís legs. It didnít have any impact on the thin metal plate barely covering this soldier! I looked further up the hill at the little creature. He was flung back up the hill twenty feet, just at the force of the impact! I could barely comprehend what I was taking in. I was expecting a slaughter of this soldier, but instead he didnít slow down in his walking up the hill . . . he didnít even flinch!
Looking on, I saw the little beast sit up and its face show shock and horror at what just happened. The man then glanced at the creature, then back up and forward to his destination, and I watched as a slight smile showed on his lips. His eyes beamed and I could tell he wasnít affected by the attack. This caused the horrified look on the creature to be replaced by one of sheer hatred. The creature lounged at the man and started clawing, swinging, biting at the man. The creature showed desperation as it realized nothing was working, not even slowing the manís climb! The beast jumped off the man and stood back. Fear now showed on its face. As the man continued to climb up, and toward the little creature, the creature took a step back. It simply could not stop this man, no matter how hard it tried! Yet it lounged at the man in another attempt.
Suddenly, before the creature landed on the man, the man moved his right hand. In an instant, in the middle of the creatureís lounge, the sword went up and sliced the creature right down the middle. In awe, I watched. The man continued his walk, and the beast was flown up and over the manís head at the swordís own attack! The man didnít even look back. I saw as he walked on, the little creature laying on the ground, with a huge gash from his right shoulder to his left leg. Then I was amazed to see the creature get up--I would have expected such a wound to kill it! But then I realized this wasnít a creature bound to laws as are flesh and blood. I saw the creature stand up and hug itself to keep from literally falling apart. It turned its head toward the man, and I saw such fear in its eyes. The creature then turned and ran away into the trees to the left, behind me. Stunned, I looked toward the man and saw him at the top of the hill, and with his eyes still focused on the right-side horizon, he disappeared over the top.
It was then that I finally realized what I had been witnessing all this time. It wasnít a place I had never been to, but a place all humanity has lived in, and continues to live in, daily. It was the unseen battle that rages on for the souls of men. It was the battle between Satan and God Himself. And these people were souls. All were in the battle, but only a few actually fought, they were the Elect Children of God, moving from darkness to light.
The attack I just witnessed, was revealed to me as the longsuffering soldier of Christ, enduring any attacks against him faithfully with his focus on Christ. . .By Christopher Michael Midgett,
GIVEN by God