Flash Fiction: “Tall Order”

As usual, what I’ve written is only subjectively related to today’s flash fiction prompt; still, I think it will be very clear to most of you. I’ve got more planned for Day and her Friend, so check in again next week.

Also, a reminder: Flash Fiction is supposed to be unedited and unrefined by nature. However, because I’ve got OCD when it comes to editing, I just couldn’t leave the more obvious errors alone, but I’ll happily use the “flying by the seat of my pants” excuse for any mistakes you might find. 😀

In the beginning, The Creator packed rich, wet clay in his mighty hands and a multitude of worlds were formed. His lonely tears filled the seas; his hopeful breath, the wind. His smiles made laughing chimpanzees and chittering bluebirds, and beneath his toes, green, green grass and the deepest canyons.

Out of his heart and every last drop of blood came man, pouring into life and soul and viscera. She was the physical manifestation of The Creator’s joy, his person, his hope, and longing for companionship—a being perfectly suited to be friend to The Creator.

“What shall we do?” asked the woman whose name was Day, for though she was content to sit side by side with The Creator and watch the tumbling sea, she thought there might be something more out there beyond the horizon, some barren place to fill with goodness.

The Creator, knowing Day very well, smiled indulgently. “You wish to bring forth life, to be a creator as I am.”

Day, not at all afraid of The Creator’s wrath in return for her presumption (for she had never known it), simply nodded. “Everything you’ve made is good. I’d like to be like you.”

The Creator laughed heartily, so much so that the sea’s roaring stilled so the waters could hear. “Beloved, you please me—oh, very greatly! Here, give me your hand and close your eyes.” Day obediently held out her hand, and though she was curious as to what The Creator intended to give, she had no desire to peek or cheat because he, her friend, had only ever given beautiful gifts.

Once he was sure Day’s eyes were closed, The Creator reached into his own mouth and drew out a great light, one so bright that Day shut her eyes even tighter against the glare, and her nose scrunched against the discomfort the light caused her. After a moment, the light became dim and a solid object in his hand, like coarse raw sugar pressed into a little cube. When he put it upon the palm of Day’s hand, it weighed little more than a grain of sand.

“Creator? What have you given me?”

“Open your eyes and see,” he said, and Day listened to him. She looked upon the little object with wide eyes and was afraid to close her fingers around it. What if it crumbled in her hands? Not for anything did he want to displease her friend who had given something so lovely and important (even though she still wasn’t entirely sure what it was).

“It’s a part of me, a bit of my spirit. It’s sweet like honey, and when you eat it, we’ll be able to create together.” And because Day trusted The Creator with her whole heart, she placed it on her tongue without a second thought. It was indeed sweet like honey, a little gritty but quickly dissolving into a sweet juice that made her stomach feel contentedly full. They grinned a silly grin at each other, and Day threw her arms around his neck in gratitude. “It’s wonderful, friend. Thank you.”

The Creator squeezed her until the breath whooshed out of her lungs and they both laughed. He let her go and stood abruptly, holding out his hand to help her off the ground.

“Come on, then. let’s go try out this light of yours.”

His Word in Principle, His Methods in Practice

(Since I’m posting more than once tonight, check out The INYPS post if you missed it.)

Selected Scripture:

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’””

-Luke 5:37-39

Observation and Application:

In the past, I’ve struggled with this particular parable and very much related to the confusion of various characters in the New Testament who wished Jesus would just come out and say what He means, already. I feel sort of dumb about it, now, but then, I always thought those people were dumb, too. There you have it.

In this scripture, Jesus addresses the various (and sundry) Pharisees and teachers of The Law who are needling Him to death about the way Jesus conducts His ministry and social life. They criticize His willingness to spend time with the more unsavory characters that they themselves wouldn’t be caught with, citing The Law (capital T, capital L) as sufficient reason to shun said characters.

What they don’t realize is that they were talking to The Law and The Word Made Flesh and The Creator (whole lotta capitals in there). Not only was he in no need of their clarification of the scriptures, but He was intimately aware of The Spirit of The Law, and the fact that these so-called religious men had sullied His Father’s commandments by “clarifying” and “elaborating upon” the law that was intended to reveal His heart. The most important thing, these men claimed, was to avoid the contamination of their own characters by proximity to those they considered sinful and unclean. They didn’t know that God’s heart, first and foremost, was to draw the lost to Himself.

So, what does that have to do with wine skins?

I confess that I know little about the wine skins themselves. They were made of leather or animal stomachs, I think, and new wine was poured into a new skin. As the wine aged and fermented, it would expand, thereby stretching the material of the bag in the process. Pouring new wine into an old skin was something akin to pouring the wine straight into the gutter, since the old skin no longer possessed the capacity to stretch and accommodate the volume of the expanding wine.

Jesus is here comparing the Pharisees and their cronies to old skins. They’re incapable of growing to accept the full measure of The Spirit necessary to do The Father’s will, namely, shepherding lost souls to their salvation through the Gospel of Christ. They’re shackled by the rituals they perceive it is God’s will they maintain, and I feel it’s pretty safe to say that few came to know the love of God by their legalistic methods. They were unwilling to see Christ as the fulfillment of The Law, and so, as it moved from a series of guidelines to the physical expression and manifestation of God with us, they ruptured—rejecting the one true God.

Alternatively, as we yield to The Spirit, His power and efficacy in our lives grows, and we grow along with it.

Prayer:

Father, I long to live as the expression of The Spirit within me, to do Your will as He directs, and to live/work/minister according to The Spirit, not my own notions of how things are to be done. I want to live by Your word in principal, and by Your methods (whatever they are) in practice. Don’t let me get so set in my ways that I can’t be used by You.