Monday, November 7, 2011

The Joy-Thief

glass of water, bw edition
photo credit
She is beautiful. Clothed with impeccable taste and fashion, the deep purples and scarlets of her gown simply add to the allure of her tall, slim figure and flowing, dark hair. Tenderly, delicately, she glides amidst the assembly, turning the heads of all by whom she passes. Pearls adorn her neck; diamonds, her wrists. Gems dance through her tresses, and gold sparkles on her fingers. All press near to her, desiring nothing more than to be in her presence. But their infatuation with the Lady of Kingdoms is not held by her person or adornment alone – oh no! – there is yet another fascination which holds them spellbound: in her graceful, dainty hand, there shines a golden chalice.

Eyes flicker from face to the goblet, hungry with expectation. Finally, with a light, musical laugh, the lady turns towards the crowd and, lifting high her gleaming glass, speaks:

“My kings! My princes! Dear nobles and ladies! I have brought here for you tonight my happiness, my life. This I willingly share with you. Taste my power! You will find within all that you desire. Beauty and knowledge, riches and youth – all can and shall be yours this day. Do you see me here before you? Is there any here my equal? Does anyone pretend to know more than I? I am she who holds the secrets, who grants to you the knowledge of what your life was meant to be. Taste my cup!”
Both those who have already savored, and those who wish to learn the taste – the crowd swells forward with one accord toward the polished, sparkling glass held forth. As it passes from one guest to the next, a sort of craze comes upon the sippers. Their eyes are only for the cup; no desperate, grasping brain spares even a thought for its dazzling, magnanimous hostess. The one consideration is for another drop. More. Just one more sip is all that is needed. Just one more. The lady knows she is forgotten, and so her evening masquerade has ceased. Gone now is her kind and gentle smile, her loving, sympathetic eyes. A cruel hatred in her demeanor pierces those around her, and contemptuous, sardonic sneers fall upon one and all as she looks down from her throne.
All night the guests continue in their mindless gluttony. More. More. More. Is the endless chant.
Gladly, the Lady of Kingdoms refills their glasses.
More. More. More.
 Overwhelmed in their thirst for further fulfillment, the kings and noblemen, ladies and princes, do not realize the changes that have come upon them. They have grown taller, their robes have changed to colors of greater and more brilliant hues, the reflection of diamonds flash in every direction, and yet, their faces grow more distressed, more frantic with every sip.
More. More. More.
The lady promised them this cup held their desires. Surely, one more taste would quench the thirst, would end the suffering, would fill the hole they feel more keenly with every disappointed hope.
More. More. More.
At last, in desperate exhaustion, one by one, they fall. In delighted scorn, only one remains. The Lady of Kingdoms stands tall and vengeful in the center of a dead room. A slight murmur attracts her attention and her cold eyes narrow in deepest hatred when they light upon the One. Gently, He approaches the death-like forms. Silently, He pulls from His satchel a different glass: clear, cool, and translucent. Tenderly, He offers the drink of Light to those who have despaired in the darkness, and, lovingly, He lifts them to their feet. Once again, the lady’s guests have changed. The diamonds disappear and the robes fade, yet on the faces of those who felt His breath, the truest beauty dawns. A beauty so deep, so brilliant, and so complete, no one questions what it is.

Joy. At last.

Never again will they believe that the lady’s cup holds their answers. They have finally received what it was they sought.

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”*

What steals your joy? Learn to flee its glittering gold, and to rather drink deeply from the clear waters of the Word. The thief and her cup will ever fail to satisfy.

* Psalm 34:8, emphasis mine

5 comments:

Nate and Robyn Copper said...

Sarah~

Extremely well written! The picture is wonderfully painted! ...I just love it!

Hannah Woltersdorf said...

Wow.

{Kaytra} said...

beautifully done Sarah. :)

GretchenK said...

That was wonderful Sarah! Thank you!

SarahJayne said...

Robyn, thank you very much! I'm glad you were able to see what I was aiming to describe!

Hannah, thanks. It's not exactly my "normal" writing genre, but we've been studying the book of Daniel lately...the "lady" is (with a few additions) how the Bible describes Babylon. And Babylon is a mentality/lifestyle just as much as it is a place.

Kaytch and Gucci - thanks! I bet you already knew what the inspiration was. ;)