It was quite a nice, calm early fall morning. A couple of friends and I had gathered for brunch. The house smelled like bananas covered with cinnamon with just a small hint of that egg aroma lingering in the air. I was ravenous as always and couldn’t wait to eat.
Two of the windows were open creating a cross breeze. After stuffing my face with about four pancakes and washing it down with copious amounts of milk, I could now proceed to be a normal human being and hold pleasant conversation. I’m not entirely sure how we went down this rabbit hole but we somehow ended up talking about The Rapture. Someone made mention of the most recent ‘end of times’ movies starring Nicholas Cage ‘Left Behind’ but seeing as I haven’t come across any reviews for it, I’m assuming it’s another Cage moment of ridiculousness. Who knows?
Oh, I remember. We are discussing how everyone should read the Game of Thrones books ( Ice and Fire series) and then we mentioned dragons and then of course dragons equals Satan and then that leads to the antichrist which lead to the idea of The Rapture. I had never heard about this concept before and as a Christian I felt like I didn’t spend that much time dabbling in Book of Revelations. It’s not something Sunday School usually covers, you don’t open your coloring books to a picture of ravished Earth complete with an illustrated banner of “The End of Days.”
Anyway, turns out that The Rapture is this time when essentially the ‘believers’ disappear from Earth and those who are nonbelievers or who have heavily sinned stay here and suffer through the apolycalypse. Usually that’s when the seven-headed dragon, Antichrist, Whore of Babylon and all these other terrifying friends of Satan come and torture everyone. Oh, and lots of locusts.
Now, our group of friends was a collection of shall we say “believers’ and “non-believers”. One of my best friends is a semi-non believer. She hasn’t adopted any specific religion or spiritual practice but she feels that there is an almighty being that cares for us in some way. This whole Rapture discussion made me think of if it were to happen right this second, whose clothes would be left there on the chair and who would be left behind staring at the empty spot.
Obviously the End of Times discussion is a very heavy topic and full of controversy since everyone has their own version of events but I had never feared for an actual soul before that morning. In my own personal belief, I think that salvation is personal and whether you believe in a certain deity or not does not condemn you for the rest of existence. Hopefully. I’ve seen many people who do not go to church or adhere strictly to rules or laws and are really good people. They are kind and generous. They contribute time to their local charities and treat everyone with respect. I’ve also seen people be involved in church and pray out loud and organize events and then run you over in the parking lot.
There came a time when it was just us two and she looked at me and said: “why do you look so perturbed?” And she smiled and joked and said: “Are you afraid of my being condemned?” I smiled and said that like everything in life, I’m sure The Rapture is more complicated and in depth then simply believing and not believing. I was only jolted because in my personal view, even in my what could be taken as ignorant view, I couldn’t imagine Heaven without her. If the end of days really happened tomorrow, I couldn’t imagine myself on a cloud and her being chased by a seven-headed dragon. It just wasn’t fair or right. But I am also very respectful of religion and spirituality and I believe that everyone has the right to believe or choose to believe in whatever they feel is right for them. I’m the kind of mindset that if she or anyone else ever became curious about my religious beliefs or creed, they’ll ask and show curiosity. Who am I to trample on someone else’s beliefs and say: “nope, you are very wrong my friend, come to the light.”
I think the soul, which is at the very center of every human being, differentiates us from the routine of everyday life. For at the end of the day, regardless of religious beliefs, we always know when something is wrong or something is right. Even though I have slightly trivialized the events that occur during The Rapture, I think that present day events and how we treat each other on a daily basis fortifies our soul and when and if the locusts come in great numbers, we wouldn’t be so scared because we know that we have done our best in order to lead a good life.
Photo Source: io9.com