Lord: The most important topic ever.
How on earth do you design a page to explain your relationship with the Creator of the universe? I have no idea, so I put the task off for as long as I could...
I whipped up some thoughts about how I came to be what I am, and put them up for you take a look at and tell me what you think. If I'm right, there really isn't anything more important than this kind of discussion; that's why I'm eager to talk about it!
A friend of mine, when given this information, made the astute observation that there's no emphasis placed on Jesus' resurrection. He was right; I don't mention it here. Why not?
Because the fact that Christ rose from the dead, while crucial to the understanding of Christianity as a whole, isn't a prerequisite to believing that Jesus was the God that He claimed to be. (After all, people met Jesus in person 2000 years ago and put their faith in Him, and he hadn't died yet, so faith in "Jesus as Christ and Lord" can be established independently of His resurrection.)
To show that Jesus is God, you don't need to prove that He rose from the dead. (Although, admittedly, a god who dies and stays dead isn't much of a god... so Jesus' resurrection is a very important part of the story.) To show that His promise of eternal life to those who follow Him is true, you certainly need to understand his triumph over death... but that's a second step. Fundamentally, the key to Christianity is Christ's "atoning death" -- that his death "makes up for" our sins.
If this sounds weird (or bogus, or interesting, or whatever), give me a few more minutes to explain it. Start with "The Reality" of what I'm trying to explain, and go from there.
I'm not a poet. Believe me, I'm not a poet! Bear that in mind when you read Fall. (There's a story behind it. Someday, maybe I'll share that...)
UPDATE (February 2002): It's been almost exactly a year since I wrote "Fall". Reading back over it again, I'm pretty proud of it (if I do say so myself). I've sometimes wondered if the snowbank reference comes across as stupid... but, as I go over it again, I think it helps to capture the narrator's resignation to his eternal fate.
If you haven't figured it out, the poem is a metaphor. If you can't figure out what it's a metaphor for (of? about?) then you probably need to re-read it a few more times.
The story behind it? It all started when I was playing a demo of a game called Oni. My friend Chad came over to the office late one night, and we were putzing around with it (on a dual-processor Mac G4 - a very decent gaming machine!) when we discovered a way to enable the cheat codes. With that, the fun really began.
One code turned on some sort of fancy power mode, which makes your character shimmer with a glowing blue effect. Another one enables you to shoot and destroy solid objects. And, finally, what's true cheating without turning on invincibility so you can never die?
Armed with this new-found power, I went running around on a level whose setting is outside an airport at night. It turns out that, by shooting through the fence, you can run outside the normal boundaries of the game. Eventually, you come to the edge. And if you go too close... you fall off.
Your character will flail as it falls, and will die when it hits "the ground" (or whatever it is you should call hitting bottom when you fall off the edge of the universe). But with "invincibility" turned on, the game can't kill you. In the blink of an eye, your character disappears, but the glowing effect remains... and it keeps flailing just like your character did.
This sight was tremendously disturbing to me; for some reason, I was immediately struck with the thought of "I wonder if that's what Hell is like?" I could look all around at the environment, but there really was no "me" looking around, and I just kept falling and flailing. I left it running for about a half hour, just like that, in the hope that it would eventually stop. It never did. Yup. Hell.
It moved me so much that I not only wrote the poem Fall, but designed the page and its layout to drive the point home.
If the thought of eternity (forever and ever and ever, without end, ever) without God doesn't disturb you, see if this poem's imagery drives it home. It does for me. If it does for you as well, then think about your alternatives.
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