Friday, November 9, 2012

How Reading a Vampire Book Showed Me a Picture of the Holy Spirit - ...Then Comes Dying...

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Edward and Bella experience a few isolated moments of joy during her pregnancy, such as the first time Edward – using his mind-reading gift – ‘hears’ his child’s thoughts from Bella’s womb. But the trauma quotient skyrockets a little earlier than they planned. And of course, under the worst possible circumstances.

Simple math tallies the odds that stack up against them.
On the plus side, Bella has stabilized thanks to Jacob. Though disgusted by the entire circumstance, he can’t leave because of a powerful attraction he still has to his best friend (we find out why soon) and because he defected from his werewolf pack since they are bent on killing Bella and whatever it is she carries. Still, he jokingly guesses the reason, and thus the remedy, behind Bella’s starvation. I’ll spare the gory details, but since the baby is half-vampire, you can figure it out. As a result, everyone breathes easier. (Except the vampires who, in fact, don’t breathe. But you get my drift and hopefully my little attempt at vampire humor.)
But that’s where the positive column ends. Since the crisis began, the vampires had been sequestered to the house, not only by worry over Bella but also because of the angry werewolves surrounding the house bent on destroying anything that comes out of it. This prevented the vampires from hunting, and thus they were getting dangerously thirsty. When Bella stabilizes, three of them, including the only doctor among them, decide it wise to make a run for it so that when Bella’s time does come Dr. Cullen is physically prepared – a.k.a. not distracted (in a vampirely sense) by all the blood inevitable to childbirth.
Of course, it is when they are gone that Bella drops the cup from which she is drinking, reflexively jerks to catch it, and… S*N*A*P … the awkward motion shifts her living burden so violently that her spine breaks.Well, you can imagine what a critical set of events that induces.
And It Is Messy.
Panic launches Edward, Jacob, Rosalie, and Alice into immediate action. Bella is whisked into the pre-prepared delivery room. She shivers with convulsions, more bones crack, and she vomits blood. (Like I said… meeeesssssy.) The baby must be delivered within minutes or risk suffocation, but the embryo sack is supernaturally thick and impervious to normal medical tools. Edward wants to inject morphine into Bella to spare her the excruciating pain, but time doesn’t permit. Rosalie looses focus for half a second and almost goes full-blown vampire on Bella (which would have killed her) but Jacob stops her with one tackle. Bella wavers in and out of consciousness, frantic about her child’s life.
Chaos. Laced with panic and pain. And blood. Lots and lots of blood.
Just in time, and again I’ll spare some of the details, Edward delivers his daughter. Renesmee.
After regaining control, Rosalie appears and takes charge of the newborn, then leaves the room. Edward’s attention turns back to Bella – his beloved, his young bride, mother of his child – who now lie broken and lifeless, torn apart, drained of a significant amount of blood. He can hear her heart… barely… beating. Her eyes stare vacantly past his, unfocused, blank.
This part of the story is told from Jacob’s perspective. The horrific scene he’s just witnessed does not compute with him, especially since he’s certain now that Bella will die. He’s hopeless, angry, and void of understanding – what was all the suffering for?
I’ve likened Jacob to the World before, and just like Jacob, the World questions us when we make decisions to protect the life our Perfect Lover has promised only to suffer gravely for doing so. The world’s perspective urges ease, comfort, path of least resistance, and anything at all that offers ‘happiness.’ From where they sit (outside the relationship with our Perfect Lover), suffering for love or life or principle is senseless, counter-productive and worthless. All they see is death.
Sometimes, as Christians, our circumstances cause such intense suffering, we are tempted to agree with them.
Been there?
Christians are neither impervious nor exempt from hardships. Being in a relationship with Jesus does not magically bubble us off from #1 – the fact that we are still flawed humans, and #2 – the world is still fallen, sinful and therefore full of the consequences of such. In fact, we can expect more than average hardships because #1 – the world does not understand us or in many cases hates us, so they persecute us, #2 – we are called to live by a holy standard that requires separation from the world’s philosophies and behaviors (Rom. 6), and #3 – the sanctification process is in nature a transformation from unholy to holy - like purifying silver or gold, it requires refining fire to accomplish, and that’s guaranteed to hurt. Just ask Job. (Job 1:6-12)
Imagine a seed. After being planted, it must die before it sprouts, grows and produces fruit. Forget the fertilizer, time, rains, and pruning a plant also must endure to develop life, it all starts with dying. (1 Cor. 15:36, 37; Jn 12:24-26)
So it is in the sanctification process. Dying to the old self. (Eph. 4: 22-24)
But remember the goal, what we’ve wanted all along – to become ‘like’ Him, our Perfect Lover. To experience life in Him, eternally, immortally.
Brokenness is the perfect, and I might even wager only, circumstance under which Agent Change operates because it is the only circumstance we are willing to accept the process of sanctification. The process that saves our lives.
That’s where Bella is post-delivery – the perfect moment for the change agent to be introduced not only to transform her into his likeness but to save her life. Edward doesn’t hesitate. He has a massive syringe ready, and stabs it directly into her heart.
Jacob, amidst the horror, asks, “What’s that?”
Edward responds, “My venom.”
Hope to see you Monday for the continuation of How Reading a Vampire Book Showed Me a Picture of the Holy Spirit. Have a good weekend, Dry Ground friends!
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