"Hey! Come here, right now! I know where you got those!" Mrs. Glenn yelled at her kids when she glimpsed the special orange apples they were smuggling through the great hall.
The kids drew close, timid to show her the loot. Rainbows of light sliced across their faces as they slunk past the great crystal windows to her.
"You two do not have the fear of God anywhere in you! You could have died!"
Little Shannon glanced at her brother and then piped up, "I don't understand. You said God is Love. Why would we be scared of him?"
"Oh, your generation. I can't believe you. Sit down you two, right now."
The two kids plopped down on the plush bench outside of the great carved doorway to the dining hall and their mother leaned over and pointed out of the window.
"When our great grandparents moved to this valley there was nothing but forests on those hills. Now what do you see?"
"The glittering cathedral," Shannon said.
And then her brother Jerrett added, "And central bridge district."
"Right. Do you know where they came from?"
They looked at each other realizing they had never wondered about that.
"This happened long before you were born but our god led us to this valley almost a century ago and dreamed up this beautiful city we live in. Every few decades, over a few months the ground quakes in a certain area, and opens, rocks are pushed up and down, and he begins to carve away a new neighborhood in his master plan with his invisible power."
"That's not how cities are made. Men build them," Jerrett rebutted.
"You're right, for most cities. But have you noticed how our buildings and bridges and even the steps of the amphitheaters are each made out of one solid piece of stone? We humans furnish them afterwards but they were carved out by our god. Whole areas of sod and trees fold over on themselves or are consumed into opening chasms as they are made. Your great uncle was killed under a huge tumult of earth. Then rock begins to fly as if something invisible is chiseling them away. Sometimes shards of stone land fields away-- a friend of your father's was split in two when he was swimming in part of the river that was forbidden then. Very sad. This is why there are forbidden places. The king has told us that the orange apple hillside is due to be built out sometime this decade and he forbade us go there for our own safety."
"How does the king know?" Shannon asked, eyes round with awe.
"Ohhh, little ones," Mrs. Glenn smiled widely and knelt down as she whispered. "This is the beauty of our God. He has given us a very special king that talks intimately with him, partly because God's ancient plan was so great for us, and on a scale of time and space so much larger than ours, we needed some help. We sometimes couldn't see how people dying in earthquakes was because of his love."
"And our disobedience?" Jerrett added timidly.
"And that is true also, my son."
"I'm scared, mom. What if a shard hits us?" Shannon said, sincerely scared.
"My daughter, there is no need to fear if you only stay within the areas he has told us. Now, perhaps you have an appropriate amount of fear and you understand the power of our god."
"Yes." The word slipped out of Jerrett's mouth. "And his love." He was staring through the window at his favorite soaring spire, finally grasping that the love of their fearsome, powerful god had made this beautiful place for them.
Raw Spoon, 1-14-2021