This manuscript is a work of complete fiction. Though I have enjoyed engaging in an ongoing reflection on the “signs of the times” during my brief tenure on this earth, ultimately, when it comes to “the end”, I defer to the words of Christ, who claimed, “no one knows the day or hour… except my Father in Heaven.” The very nature of prophecy is that it cannot be predicted nor fully understood by human reason alone until its fulfillment. On this basis, I am confident that the scenario presented here will not be the manner in which events leading toward the close of the age will unfold. Truly, for those who count themselves among the Believers, the foretold Second Coming is and will continue to be a mystery, unraveling gradually, yet deliberately, in our midst.
So why write this story at all? Well, first and foremost, this very tale has been cathartic for me – even a source of conversion. It is difficult to delve into the mysteries of the Christian Faith without being transformed. Its genesis began with a thought that struck me many years ago as I stood at the threshold of adolescence; what exactly is the character of music? How is it that a series of sustained sounds, formed and combined into certain patterns, had the power to tickle the senses and stir the emotions -- yet transcending each, reaching out to touch the Divine? And what then of the man who discovers the intricate secrets of its language, so as to harness its power? Could he not then move mountains?
The question enraptured me, and over the years that followed -- some very dark, some that included fleeting moments of happiness -- my thoughts would return to the role of music in the human drama. Could this medium reveal a deeper purpose in life… even a bridge to a world unseen? And if so, could it not then provide a common thread that might speak of events to come?
Though the answers continued to elude me, a storyline began to form – even wrestle -- within me (oft times without my permission). As the years passed and the story fermented, a second purpose for extracting the tale and “giving the words flesh” began to emerge. I found that fewer and fewer people seemed to be asking the great questions of existence; why am I here? What lies beyond the veil of death? What is truth? On the one hand, I found some who attempted to provide neat, pat, “Christian-Pop” answers that felt superficial and seemed only to validate the individual’s lifestyle and worldview. But even more so, on the opposing hand, I witnessed what Father Charles Arminjon described (in even the nineteenth century) as a “terrifying indifference and profound universal lethargy” when it came to questions pertaining to our place in existence, the maneuverings of men of power in our civilization, and the reflection on those things that exist beyond the senses. It appeared that the words of the prophet Daniel regarding the two old men of Babylon could be applied to us all: “They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind God’s just judgments.”
So I pressed forward, extracting thoughts and scenarios, finding in the process that they preferred to take on a life on their own. To be clear, I neither was nor am a theologian, philosopher, or biblical scholar.. and am definitely not a prophet! At best, I continue to be a fellow traveler on the journey of life, seeking meaning in this existence, trying to wade through all the illusions and deceptions in order to get to the central, unifying Truth. On this road, I have found myself most drawn towards those who do not necessarily provide all the answers I seek outright, but who possess the humility to acknowledge that the sometimes elusive truths of existence can not be fully answered by reason alone; on this side of eternity, mystery reigns supreme. I pray that this work reflects this sentiment.
One final note that I feel I would be remiss if I did not offer; evil, in its deepest forms of self-corrupted good, is uncomfortable, twisted, and vile. In my experiences in life, I have been witness to many strains of this depravity and have come to believe that any attempts at sanitizing the reality of iniquity in order to make it more palatable to the reader is to do a disservice to the Truth. Therefore, the presentation of disturbing manifestations of evil -- within images, acts, and language – has remained intact. Truly, this work is unsettling – especially to the Believer -- and in reality, the Believer is not the intended audience.
If the words on this page appear too endowed with “religious language” for your own taste, then perhaps this manuscript is for you. If the words do not go far enough, it is very likely that reading this tale would only serve to rob you of your peace. I humbly offer this work for both your discretion and your discernment.