Redeeming Ares, Part 3: Un-Hasty Hestia

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Continued from Part 2

I approach the throne of Apollo.
Carrying a small iron chest.
Still slightly hung over from my encounter with Dionysus.

Apollo smiles.

A. So, mortal man!
Have you solved the riddle?
Have you brought as an offering
That which you value the most
And others value the least?

In answer, I place the chest on the ground.
I open the lid.
Revealing an iron ring.

E. Here it is.
My Pride.
That which I value too much.
And others not all.
Take it, along with greetings from your brother.

A. Ah, little man.
You will not get off so easily!
In truth, your Pride is wounded
That you seek to cast it off so quickly.
I tell you, your Pride has value even to others,
For it allows them to predict your behavior.
Nor is it wrong for you to esteem it greatly.
Because without it, you would not have made it here.
In truth, even I am not worthy to take it from you.
You must bear it hence
As part of your quest.

Puzzled, I heft the chest.

E. So then, where must I go?
Is it to one who will relieve me
Of this burden I now find so distasteful?

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Preparing to See God’s Glory

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We long for God’s radiant glory
But rarely remember
How much it terrifies
Those who experience it

Maybe we need
To build up our endurance
By training our eyes
Or our hearts
To see the depths of our sin
And His grace

So that we can bear to be around Him
And ourselves
When He appears

Dream: Dark Depths

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“It is almost like there is a concerted effort

To destroy our communication
By someone who understands our weakness
Better than we do ourselves!”

A friend of ours has disappeared
Along with our greatest treasure
The good news is that we know where
The bad news is that it’s at the bottom of the ocean

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Socrates Evangelion (Beyond “Apology”)

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[The sequel to Socrates Repents. Hat Tip to Socrates Meets Jesus by Peter Kreeft, and Til We Have Faces by CS Lewis. Dedicated to my friend and muse, David Huffman, the Plato to my Socrates.]

A powerfully-built young man stands on the walls of Athens. His face is torn between Hope and Sorrow. He has clearly been there a while, staring into the west as the sun sets. Finally he sighs and turns to return home.

Just before he descends he glances back for one last forlorn look. Then freezes. He dashes to the wall, straining to make out distant details. Suddenly seized with certainty, he claps his hands and jumps for joy. He barely restrains the impulse to jump directly down the wall, but dashes back to the stairs and out the gate. His gleeful shouts trail in the air behind him. “He’s back! He’s here! Socrates has returned!”

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Dream: Restoration

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[NOTE: The physical context of the Dream was my undergraduate school MIT. But the emotional context was Caltech, where I resigned from the student Christian fellowship just before they kicked me out (long story). Years later, I realized I should have come back for judgement, so that both I and they could confront our sins.

At any rate, I feel the dream is actually about current relationships, not what happened back in 1993. But that may help you understand the context.]
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Hale’s Accusation (Alternate Ending of The Crucible)

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1 Samuel 15 (KJV) – For bitterness is as the sin of witchcraft, And presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.

[Our Christian high school just put on a “fearless” production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which continued to haunt me after leaving the theater. I identified deeply with many of the characters, whose seemingly minor flaws led to tragic results. I am writing this in hopes it will help me identify (and repent of) the deeper sin they shared — but could not name — which ultimately destroyed them all.]

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Dream: Impostor

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Our family is staying at a tropical casino.
The kids are getting bored, so we start wandering towards the outside.

The casino is having their grand evening religious ritual.
The main hallway and staircase are lined with formally-dressed staff holding candles.
I am never sure if they are genuinely devout, or just putting on a pageant for the tourists.

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