Redeeming Aphrodite: Freeing Minerva (Part 12 of 12)

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Continued from Part 11

Prologue

All of us turn South, seeking the Voice which interrupted our tableau, here in the Box of Hades:

  1. Eve, Queen of the Damned
  2. Minerva, her Champion
  3. Aphrodite and Artemis, my Advocates
  4. Myself, the Son of Adam

We gaze toward the far horizon, where Eve’s Multitude had wreaked their vengeance upon Adam.
I am sure it is not his Voice we just heard.
I cannot place it; though it did sound familiar.

Movement stirs at the very limits of our vision.
A pale blue light, in sharp contrast to the dim red glow of our surroundings.
I think I catch a glimpse of one like a Son of Man

Sons of Man

The Multitude parts, like the waters of the Red Sea.
The light draws closer.
The one resolves into three.
One who is obviously the Son of Man
Two just as obviously Sons of Adam
Bearing the body of their father between them.

None of us speak or move
Until the Two lay the body of Adam
At the feet of Minerva.

Then Eve hurls herself from her throne
And collapses weeping over the body
Of her beloved.
The Two kneel over their mother
Forming a tent for her with joined arms
Like cherubim over the tabernacle

Minerva looks guiltily
Towards Aphrodite and Artemis
As if expecting them to gloat
Or condemn her
For her arrogance
In demanding a sacrifice

But she is surprised to see
Perfect compassion from Aphrodite
Perfect acceptance from Artemis
It is too much for her proud heart to bear
She too collapses to the floor in weeping
And her sisters rush over
To gather her in their arms

Until now my attention has been captivated
By the lamentation of the women
But now I feel His gaze upon me
And realize we are the only ones left standing

I dare not meet His eyes.
But lower mine
And turn to gaze at His feet.
I see the cruel scars;
Yet somehow they enhance
Rather than detract
From the beauty of the One
Who brings good news.

Shaking the dust from my feet
I approach in a crouch
Preparing to kiss His feet
Lest He be angry with me

But before I complete that motion
He grasps me by the arms
And sets my feet upon the solid rock
And makes me to stand upright

Like Minerva, I fear to seek His face
Knowing full well that it was my sin
My arrogance and folly
That made this sacrifice necessary

But emboldened by her example
I dare to look up
Hoping to see
That same understanding and compassion
I have always longed for
But had no right to expect

And am taken aback
By what I can only describe
As gentle amusement!

His face appears somber
Respecting the gravity
Of those grieving around me
But there is a twinkle in His eye
And a smile ghosts His lips
Which nearly breaks into a grin
At my shocked consternation!

I stare at Him open-mouthed
Forgetting myself completely.
How can He be so relaxed
Almost jovial
At the end of all things
Trapped in the pit of Hell?

He looks at me knowingly
Puts an arm around my shoulder
And draws me away
From the family drama
That had recently consumed me
And almost consumed them.

Epilogue

I walk with Him
Following His footsteps
Away from the Multitude
Past Eve’s throne
Like our earlier occultation
Of Aphrodite’s altar

I am bursting with questions.
Will Adam live again?
Can he and Eve be reconciled?
Where were Cain and Abel all this time?
Is there any way for the sisters
To live together in peace?

But not a word passes my lips
His glance shows me
He understands my questions
Even better than I do myself
But now is not the time
For me to demand answers

And I…
I am okay with that
I care not where we are
I care not what happens next

We appear surrounded
By absolute darkness
But it matters not
Because He makes His own light
And I am content to follow
In the footsteps of my Master

Finit

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