Characters Environments 
Author Marian Parisher-Nichols
Poems and short stories, free to read.
"When I write, I shoot from the hip!"
Chapter Two
 

I began my life as the third child of Virginia and Woodruff Potter, July 14, 1947. I have four sisters, Anne, Clara, Larraine, and Ruth and three brothers, Colin, Drow, and Carter. Drow and Carter are the youngest with the five girls born between Drow and Colin who is the oldest. We sisters have always been very close and after the death of our parents, my home seems to be the meeting place for our family’s get-togethers.

 

In August of 1948, I was seriously burned and nearly died. I spent a great deal of my early years in hospitals. I had a hard time in school, other children loved to tease me or make fun of me due to my having scars and the loss of the pinky finger on my left hand.

Due to long hospital stays as a child, I failed the second and the fourth grades, so I was fourteen in the eighth grade. I never did finish school or get a GED although if there is a subject I wish to know more about, or learn to do, I am generally capable of teaching myself.

 

I met Thomas in December of 1962 at the age of fifteen. We dated for seventeen months and married in May of 1964 when I was sixteen, just two months shy of my seventeenth birthday, and Thomas was twenty-four.

 

My first child was born only nine and a half months later, March 2, 1965, Thomas Jr. Art was born December 10, 1971 and Lance was born November 21, 1981.

 

I am mostly a passive sort of woman; I’m 59 this year, 2006. I have three sons; or rather, I had three sons, one deceased at the age of 20 in 1985. I lost him before I lost my parents. My father died two months later, and my mother died two years after that.

In my forty plus year marriage I lost two babies in miscarriages, the first one was in 1969 and the second one was in 1985, just four days before Thomas Jr. was killed. I consider myself as having lost three children instead of one.

Two of my sisters, Anne and Ruth both have lost a grandchild, and one sister Larraine, never gave birth but did adopt a son. So, Colin had three children, Anne had six children, Clara had four children, Larraine none but adopted one, Ruth had three children, Drow had two children and Carter none. My family is rather large and still growing.

My husband, Thomas, retired about three years ago, 2003, and I quit my job a year before that.

We had our first grandchild in the year 1996, when I was 49 years old. She was born of my son Art, her mother Sonja already had two children, one of which, the elder, was taken from her by Social Services and lived with the father’s parents. Art and Sonja were not married, Sonja already had a husband who was doing time for drug trafficking. They stayed together as a couple for about two and a half years. They split due to Sonja having found another boyfriend, another drug dealer out of Florida.

Sonja left her children with a sister and headed for Florida. While she was gone, her sister reported her to Social Services as having abandoned her children. The kids ended up in foster care. Art was unable to get custody of Lexis and asked that his father and I take her, which we did.

We decided to adopt her and in the two and a half years that it took, we learned that Art was not her biological father. Of course, we loved her and proceeded with the adoption, which was final in September of 2005. I now had my little girl, for whom I had longed  each time I was pregnant. But I never did think I would have a little girl this way and not in my middle years, after my family was grown. We never know how our prayers will be answered. I see it as being meant to happen this way.

Lexis is very bright even though she has ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She is on two medications and is a very advanced fourth grader, making mostly A’s on her report card.

Over the last few years my health has begun to deteriorate, I am over-weight and being a woman, I will not say how much, I don’t mind telling my age but not my weight. I am diabetic, have high blood pressure and our old friend, arthritics. Two years ago, my right knee finally gave way and the left one is only a little better. I walk with a slight limp and use a cane at times.

My right shoulder aches almost constantly from a car accident I was in over twenty years ago. The normal aches and pains of growing older, limiting our ability to get around as well as we used to. None of us thinks we will ever age until one day , looking in a mirror or seeing yourself on video, you no longer recognize that person as being you. If you live long enough, you will experience the loss of loved ones, age creeping in and facing death. Suddenly you know you are mortal, you will grow old, that is if you are lucky, and you will die.

 

Is that all we have; birth, a hard life, and then death? This is where religion plays such an important part in people’s lives, for it promises us that if we live a righteous life we will emerge from death with eternal life. Since Christianity is my religion of choice, I am more familiar with what the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, promises. I was raised as a Free Will Baptist and I was saved and baptized at the age of twelve.

I am very aware that other parts of the Earth observe and participate in other religions and I am not certain but I do imagine that all have a tale of a beginning, of an ending, and of an afterlife of sorts. I will deal with what I know and what I was raised to believe.

I attended church fairly regularly as a child and early teens, and was even married in the church I was attending at the time. I think I have a good knowledge of what the Bible tells us although there are only a few scriptures I know by heart and where they are located in the Bible. I know more than some but less than others. I have even studied outside of my denomination, from Jehovah’s Witnesses to the International Church of God. I’ve even studied a little of the Catholic faith.

Which, you might think, leaves me entirely confused on religion, no wonder so many people are agnostics or atheists. But I think that I am clear minded enough on the matter and that I can see through the frills and mysticism that surround religion.

 

We begin with Creation. The Creation of the Earth and the Heavens in Genesis, is more of a rebuilding of the Earth, after devastating damage was done to it, by the battle that was fought in the Universe, not just the invisible Realm known as Heaven. This battle occurred when Lucifer decided he should be as God and convinced a third of the angels to join him in rebellion for he coveted the very Throne of God.

 

Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (angels) of God:

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

As Jehovah has no beginning and no end, He is where all Universal matter and energy begins. God’s first creation was his only begotten Son; created first and placed above all others. The word begotten in this sense means a direct creation by God; everything else was created through the Son, known as the Word.

 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

 

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

 

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

 

The War in Heaven was won by the two thirds of the Heavenly Host that remain faithful and loyal to Jehovah and the Son. But it left the universe in turmoil and in devastation. Satan and his demons were cast out of Heaven and forbidden access to God’s throne for eternity. He sought refuge on many of the planets in the universe and the Earth was one of them.

As Satan was once an Archangel, one of three, and was created as an immortal, he and his demons cannot be destroyed; they can only be restrained. There are only two remaining Archangels, Michael, and Gabriel. They now guard the way to God’s throne, preventing Lucifer’s return.

As our scientists have shown, the Universe is billions of years old; its Creator was before and will be after, the Universe.

Thus a rebuilding of the Universe was begun; there was much evidence of the battle everywhere, even appearing in our very own solar system. The warring factions used planets and stars as their weapons, as these were giants as compared to meager man, who would, billions of years later come on the scene. They had supernatural powers; they wreaked havoc in the Universe. Order had to be made from chaos, and this did not happen in seven, 24 hour days.

 

So through the Son, the Earth was rebuilt, and as time is meaningless to a Deity, a re-creation day was about seven thousand years long and, as we find stated in the Bible, a thousand years is like a day to God.

 

2Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 

So the Earth was re-created, all plant and animal life had been placed upon this Earth, on the sixth day Man and then Woman were brought into existence and God the Son, the Creator, rested on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath or Saturday. Sunday is the first day of the week and not the day the Son chose for a day of rest.

The creation week can be read in Genesis, chapter one through three.  I will not post it here due to length. The Son said, “Let’s create Man in our image.” So, we know how God and the Son look, for we are made in their likeness.

The first Man was called Adam, the first Woman was Eve, and they were placed in a beautiful garden, The Garden of Eden and told that they could eat from all the trees there except one. In this garden were two very important trees, one was the Tree of Life and the other was the Tree of Knowledge. They were forbidden to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. They were told that should they eat from the Tree of Knowledge that in that same day they would die. The couple were completely naked but without shame.

 

God the Son blessed the couple and told them to be fruitful and to multiply, thus giving man and his wife the beautiful act of sex. Sex was not the original sin. Sex would also be very pleasurable for Man and Woman. In this fashion, the coming together of the couple would result in pregnancy and the sharing of genes of the couple making one, a child of their flesh. They would multiply and fill the Earth.

That is until Lucifer, also known as Satan the Devil, grew jealous. He knew God’s plan for the human race. That plan was for humans to grow and become many and eventually to reach a status that would place them above the angels. They would have eternal life as long as the Tree of Life was available for them to eat its fruit.

The Devil is a liar, he is the inventor of the lie, and he lied to Eve. He took on the guise of a serpent and told her that God did not want them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge for God knew that in that day, they would not die but their eyes would be opened, they would know what God knew and become like God.

I do not think it is good to know what God knows. Our human minds cannot handle that much information.

Eve was weak and listened to Satan; she took the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge and ate it. She offered it to Adam and he ate the fruit and in the very second that they did, their eyes were opened and they knew. They knew they were naked and became ashamed and hid when God the Son walked in the garden that evening and called to them.

As an all-knowing Deity, God the Son already knew that they had sinned, the sin of disobedience. The original sin was disobeying God. He rebuked them and then God the Son cursed them, he told Adam that only by the sweat of his brow would he be nourished from the ground. Then God the Son cursed the ground and it was quickly taken over by weeds and brambles. Then God the Son cursed Eve, the Woman, and told her that her desire would be unto her husband and that he would greatly increase the pains of her labor and in agony would she bring forth children.

Next God the Son cursed the serpent, “On your belly will you go, into the dust of the Earth.”

To Satan he said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” Gen 3:15

This is the first prophecy in the Bible and in it, the plan for Man’s salvation began.

God drove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, away from the Tree of Life and he placed two cherubs with flaming swords at the garden’s entrance to bar Adam and Eve from ever returning.

 

Adam was a perfect human and when sin entered his life he lost his perfection and decay and death set in, and in that day, Adam died, just as God said. As a day is as a thousand years with God, Adam lived a long and hard life. Imperfection now tainted the genes of man; all of Adam's and Eve’s descendants inherited this sin. They would all die. Lost to them was immortality. Lost was the closeness with their God and there was no way to regain it… or was there?

God the Son, would be born as a human; be conceived by the Holy Spirit into the womb of a human woman, a virgin. God would become flesh, He would dwell among Man, and He would be human. He would hunger, He would thirst, He would hurt, He would cry, He would love and He would suffer. Oh yes, He would suffer greatly and He would do it willingly to save His creation from eternal damnation and eternal death. He would not allow Satan to win.

The wages of sin is death, death without consciousness, dead is dead, and there is no thought in the grave. When a man dies, the spirit in him returns to God the Father, the One that gave it; it does not linger in limbo or wander the Earth as a ghost. Death is a deep sleep without dreams and no realization of the passing of Time.

What was lost in the Garden? A perfect life was lost. Satan now held Man as hostage and he demanded a ransom. A ransom he did not think could be paid. There was only one Being that could pay that ransom and that was God the Son. He threw off His Heavenly Glory and took on the lowly flesh of a human.

A perfect life was lost; a perfect life would have to be paid to redeem Man. The day Jesus Christ died on Calvary is the day that that debt was paid in full.

But that was not the end of it, no, Man had been redeemed but he must prove that he was worthy of that redemption, immortality does have a price. Now it would be hard for Man to prove his worth, especially since Satan as the god of this world taunted, teased, and tempted Man with every step he took.

With the passage of time, Satan kept the pollution of Man’s DNA so that the worst of sexual pleasures grew and became vile and disgusting until the Earth itself was polluted with the filth of the soul.

The Word of God over the centuries has remained true although Christians have been persecuted, slandered, and slain in the name of their God.