"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

1/9/13

Halfway to Heaven

I have a post at the Midwest group blog The Barn Door today. Hope you'll stop by and learn a bit about my - and my family's love affair with the blanket. Especially this time of year, we're Snuggling Up!

I wrote this bit of biblical fiction for the FaithWriters Writing Challenge, where I broke in my Christian writing chops, so to speak (a great site, by the way - and I'm not just saying that cuz I work for them! LOL).  In my chronological Bible reading, I read about this particular Bible episode this past Friday, so figured I needed to pull it up to reflect on and share with you.

Hope you enjoy it, and that it gives you an interesting perspective and insight into a well-known event.


 Halfway to Heaven

Voices seemed to ring out discordantly from every direction.

"Wiederholen, bitte."

"Que?"

"Haud agnosco."

"I don't understand."

What had just happened? Uz had no idea, and there wasn't a person in hearing distance, it seemed, who could explain. In fact, there likely wasn't a soul on Earth who could help him understand the change that had just taken place.

The physical surroundings were, it seemed, unaffected. The sun still shone. The flowers still bloomed. The ziggurat, not yet fully constructed, was still in view; with the sun reflecting off the tar binding its bricks together. The people were physically unchanged since the last time he'd looked -- not ten minutes earlier. Yet, at the same time, everything had undergone such a metamorphosis, such a radical change. Would anything ever be the same again?
Graphic courtesy of Phillip Martin

At first, it seemed like a dream: a hallucination. Yet, it was so real. One moment he'd been chatting with his wife Sera about the weather and its effects on the building project, and the next minute every sound coming from her mouth was incomprehensible.

He asked her to repeat herself, but she seemed as baffled by Uz's words as he had been with hers.

"Ich verstehe nicht," Sera had said.

Uz had never heard words even remotely similar to those come from anyone's mouth, much less his wife's.

He'd then turned to his friend Javan, a foreman for the ziggurat.

"What's going on here?"

Uz would never forget the look of sheer perplexity on Javan's face. It was as if his friend had no idea who Uz was, much less what he was saying.

"Quod? Quod?" Javan's hopelessness was evident on his face and in his tone. "Revolvo, commodo."

Uz glanced at his wife, but found her as baffled at Javan's proclamation as he was. It appeared that not a soul could understand the words of any other human being anymore.

How would they get anything done? How could anyone meet the most basic needs if no one could communicate with anyone else? Body language could only go so far. Of one thing Uz was certain: there was no way they'd ever finish the tower.

Sighing, Uz gestured for his wife to follow him. The pair walked dejectedly from Shinar, leaving their dreams, and a tower halfway to heaven, behind.

Based on Genesis 11:1-9

Have you ever pondered how God confused the languages at Babel? What it might have been like for the people then? What did you think of my interpretation?

 
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

4 comments:

  1. Since I'm reading the chronological Bible in a year too, I just recently read this and paused awhile thinking about it. I can't imagine the chaos that went on after the division of languages. And it says He scattered them. I wonder how He did that?

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    1. I never thought about the scattering part - maybe the folks got so frustrated with not being able to communicate that they each went and hit in their own corner LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jess!

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  2. I throughly enjoyed your interpretation. When I think of what it must of have been like for the people; I thought how sometimes we experience broken communication with others, even when we are speaking the same language. So how much more profound this confusion becomes with a division of languages.

    Really enjoying your new blog focus, Jo!

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    1. Thanks, Rita - I'm enjoying it too. And I can't EVEN imagine it happening like that - in an instant. Such confusion (hehe - which was the topic for the challenge that week!)

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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