Cindy Beitinger Cindy Beitinger
Recommendations: 37

(sp)oout-ranked, should be out-ranked

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

Thanks. Will correct it.

Don Yarber Don Yarber
Recommendations: 42

Perhaps a song was born would read better.

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

I agree. I'be changed it. Thanks.

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Jim Miller Jim Miller
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Shandril - Book 1 - Chapt. 2: Holy Ground

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

When the supernatural intersects with your life, how does it fit with your reality?  Or has your reality just expanded?  How do you deal with the supernatural in your life?  Read below to see Chi’s experience with the supernatural and how she reacts to, and copes with it.  

      Jack’s music receded into the distance, like a swarm of angry hornets retreating from their tormenting.  Chi held her breath.  She waited until she was sure he wasn’t coming back.  Then she emerged from her hiding place and returned to where the car had been.

     It was a beautiful, moonless, spring night---certainly not a normal one, though.  She raised her face to the stars.   They seemed unusually bright.
     She wasn’t cold, even though her shoes were wet and she was only partially clothed.  She didn’t feel any mosquitoes biting, though she could hear their high-pitched whine as they hovered about her.  She didn’t feel the pain of her bruises---that would come tomorrow.  What she did feel now was joy---joy that she was alive.

     Chi was not a demonstrative person, so her next action was surprising.  Slowly, wordlessly, and with great reverence, she lifted her hands to the star-flung firmament and opened her arms wide.  It seemed as if her spirit were rushing upward and leaping into the heavens with the stars.

     And then the tears came---wave after wave of silent, grateful tears coursing down her cheeks, neck, and shoulders---a wordless tribute of gratefulness to God.  Then the quiet tears ended, and her body was consumed with great racking, cathartic sobs, as the terror of the incident and the nearness of her own death broke upon her.  

     The toads and frogs of the wetland stopped their nocturnal calls.  It was as if they realized that this woman’s cries out-ranked theirs , and this moment in eternity deserved their silence. Chi felt a stillness pervade the marsh; it was not just the quieting of the marsh creatures.  It was a far deeper thing---as if the whole world were open to and waiting for something. 2 comments

     Suddenly, He was holding her.  The Jehovah God of the universe was holding her and reassuring her.    All sound ceased, and she heard nothing of the world around her.  But she saw.  She saw the unspoken brilliance of the stars.  And out of their dazzling silence came a cascading of music.  A song was born.
     Her mind groped.  “Was this real?  Was she hearing it with her ears, or with her spirit?”  There it was again---the song---very softly---just three notes.  The original note, a glorious soprano---the second note, a half step down---and then the third note, two steps down and held for a time.   2 comments

     There were words.  No language that she knew---something like, “Hee-Rhay-Ho” she thought.  The phrase was repeated over and over, and increased in volume and speed, as it became more and more complex around the central theme.  Parts and voices were added. The very air, water, and earth quivered in exultation with the song.

     Chi threw herself flat upon the ground, prostrate before the supernatural display of musical perfection.  “Oh, God!” she cried out, for she was afraid all over again.  It was impossible for harmonies to be this dense, and yet this pure!  It was impossible for syllables to be sung this quickly, and still be distinct!  It was impossible for voices to posses such range, and still be human!  And most amazing of all, it was impossible that her worldly ears should hear it at all!  The song began to slow down, until it reached its original speed---“He-Rhay-Ho!”  
     “Do you worship God, or the song?” a voice broke her concentration.  Chi was startled.  She froze for an instant.  It was the same voice that had commanded her to flee from the car.  She felt a comforting touch upon her shoulder, and the same voice repeated the question in perfect Vietnamese, her native tongue, “Ban co tho phurong Thien Chua hoac bai hat?”  She looked up quickly.
     Over her was the face that she had seen in the car.  However the face was solid now, and continued in English.  “We worship God for Who He is, and for the mighty things He has done.  He has done a mighty thing for you tonight, Chi.  He has touched you, answered your prayer, and preserved you for His purposes.  Worship Him.  Never worship us.  Worship the Almighty God, never worship a song.” 1 comment

     Chi studied the angel.  The face was radiant with a flawless milky complexion.  The blue of the eyes was a crystalline brilliance of flawless clarity that shone like unearthly jewels.  The hair was blonde like the glittering luster of untainted gold in the mid day sun.  The teeth gleamed with a light of their own.  The word, white, no matter how many brilliant adjectives one chose to place before it was just not adequate to describe their perfection.  “Wh…wh…who are you?” Chi’s voice quavered, as she remained kneeling.

     “Stand.” the radiant being ordered gently.  “I am Shandril, She Who Watches Over.”

     “You’re an angel?” Chi guessed, standing.  The tall, perfect figure nodded.

     “Are you my guardian angel?”” Chi asked again.

     “No, although he is here, too, you can’t see him.  The Almighty One has chosen to speak to you through me in this time and place.  He has a purpose for your life, Chi---a task that He needs you to do.

     “Who am I that God needs my help?  I am not worthy.”  She was becoming frightened all over again.  “It is just not possible that this is happening,” she thought.

     “Be not afraid.” Shandril spoke with a soothing grace.  “You are very right when you say that you are not worthy, for no one is.  But the question is, Chi, are you willing?  Willing to take the Father’s hand and let Him lead you where He will---for the Father can use only those who are willing.  He can never use those who think they are worthy.”

     “Even we angels must be willing to take the Father’s hand and allow ourselves to be led by Him.  Chi, I can tell you nothing but what He has given me to tell you.  Any more, and I would not be doing the task that He has set before me.”  Shandril’s eyes settled on Chi and radiated peace.
     The ministering spirit spoke.  “You have been chosen for the LORD wills it so.  Your task is to help me in the work that God is doing.  I am a guardian angel, but it is my duty to guard a specific place rather than a specific person.  For me that place is what you call Hobman’s Marsh.  God has chosen this particular place as a sacred and holy site.  It is that, which is known in the “first speaking” as the “He-Rhay-Ho”.

     Chi’s eyes opened widely.  “That’s what you and the other angels were singing over and over.  It was so beautiful,” she murmured as if in a dream.  “He-Rhay-Ho!”  She sang, trying to recapture the essence of the song.  ”Somehow it felt to her as if she perverted the words by framing them with mere human lips.

     “Shandril, what does. ‘He-Rhay-Ho!’  mean?” Chi queried---“I mean in a language I can understand---can I understand it?”

     “The nearest equivalent that would have meaning for you would be “Holy Garden!” Shandril explained.

     “What’s so holy about a marsh?” Chi said, hoping that she didn’t seem flippant.

     “God has pronounced it so.” Shandril stated emphatically.  “I was with Him in heaven when He uttered the words.  It is so.  Do you need other proof?”

     “Well . . . . .” Chi spoke, drawing out the word. “I’m just curious.  I like to understand things---and this---I don’t understand at all.”

     Shandril quoted, “Lean not on your own understanding, but in all things acknowledge Him . . . . .”

     “. . . . . and He shall direct your paths” Chi finished quoting the verse in unison with the angel.  Yes, I believe that,” she beamed.  “He will direct me.  I don’t have to know everything when He is in charge---only trust Him.  Thank you, Shandril.”

     “But I have given you nothing.  You have known that since you first knew Him,” the angel affirmed.

     “Yes, but I know I’m only human.  I need constant reminders to remember what I already know.” Chi confessed.

     “True,” the angel agreed.  “That’s why Gad had it put down in ‘black and white’ for you.  Always read your Bible, Chi, it is better than a million visits from a million angels.  There is one more thing.  The Father has told me to tell you, ‘The time is short.  Be not afraid!’”

     Chi’s oriental eyes grew wide with wonder.  She had so many questions, but she only stated, “I will do what God asks me to do.  With His help, I will.  And I will help you, Shandril, to protect and prepare this holy place for whatever purpose God plans.”  Her mind grasped a spectacular possibility.  “Shandril, Holy Garden doesn’t mean . . . . . like . . . . . Garden of Eden holy, does it?  Or something like that?

     ”Or something like that.  Chi you are indeed bright, though not quite correct.  Try to imagine what this marsh would look like if it were no longer under God’s curse, the original one that Adam brought on all creation.” Shandril spoke earnestly, “That is what ‘He-Rhay-Ho’ means.  That is what ‘He-Rhay-Ho’ is.  In God’s eyes, that is what Hobman’s Marsh already is.”

      Then Shandril cocked her head to one side and upward, as if listening attentively.  Chi wondered what it was that could have diverted her.  The next moment the messenger of God bowed submissively, and answered the Unseen, “Yes, LORD.”  She arose.  “Chi, the LORD God will show you a sign.  Behold! --- the place of your hiding!”

     A light began to swell in the marsh, centered upon the thick stand of cattails that Chi had cowered behind.  She glanced back at Shandril.  The angel was now bowed in reverence---nearly prostrate to the ground.  

     And though Chi had not seen any wings previously, Shandril now sported a huge set of shimmering wings.  They were unfurled and arched over her body, covering her head, as if to shield her from the glory of God’s presence.  What Chi had earlier perceived as perfection in the angel’s appearance now seemed somehow diminished.  Her splendor could not match the awesomeness of God’s radiance.

     She looked back at the cattails.  Within a thirty-foot radius the night had become as day.  Brighter than day, in fact, for the light was all consuming, and within the boundaries of the circle of light, there were no shadows.

     From behind her, she heard Shandril praising God.  “Holy! Holy! Holy! . . . . . Holy! Holy! Holy! . . . . . Holy! Holy!  Holy!”

     But Chi’s attention was drawn to the section of the marsh illuminated by the divine light.  That particular piece of Hobman’s Marsh was somehow different.  It was the cattails!  They were changed---gloriously----exquisitely.  They were a masterpiece!

     The leaf of each cattail was composed of glittering emeralds.   There was a spine of gold running down the center of each leaf, and gold trimmed each edge.  The stem of each plant was a rod of bronze.  And the flower spike at the top was shiny and copper clad.  

     Chi walked, as if mesmerized, to the patch.  Though no wind blew, the cattails wagged and wiggled eagerly, and Chi could hear them tinkle, gong, and ring.  They were communicating with her, saying, “I am perfect, as God made me!  I am important, for He thought of me and spoke me into existence!  I am complete, for He errors not!”

     Then she became aware of a woman’s voice humming with the cattails.  She realized that it was she who was humming the song of praise, and was moved.  The words were very appropriate.  So she began to sing the song in earnest, and to listen more carefully to the words.

     “As it was in the beginning
     ‘Tis now and ever shall be
     World without end

     Soon Shandril’s voice joined hers and they sang together in unison---daughter of earth and servant of heaven---in sober, yet joyous adoration.

      “As it was in the beginning
     ‘Tis now and ever shall be
     World without end

     Then the glory faded, and all was as it was before.  The light was gone.  The cattails were now ordinary---perched in the darkness and muck.  Chi felt conflicting feelings of loss and fullness.---loss because the vision was gone, and fullness because its beauty had swelled her.

     Shandril called softly to Chi, as if not wanting to interrupt her, and gestured towards the ruts that Jack had taken.  There was a car parked there; it was not Jack’s and it had not been there earlier.

     “Jack meant this night for evil,” Shandril said, “but God has used it for good.  Never forget God’s goodness.  This car has fresh, dry clothes for you, and the driver will take you safely home.”

     Chi’s brow furrowed as she prepared to climb into the car.  “Will I ever see you again, Shandril?”

     “When all is ready, you will.  Come back then, and we will labor together,” Shandril smiled widely, “to serve and to sing!”

     With that, Chi got into the back seat of the car.  As it drove away, she heard the liquid-crystalline splendor of Shandril’s voice lead the angels in another refrain of the “He-Rhay-Ho!”.

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