Crypt of Comfortable Ease

by Crystal Easom, Part of May Justice Roll series.

Comfortable, I sit in my reading nook, my Bible open before me to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as I read comforting words about Christ’s Return. Between sips of coffee and silent scribbles in my journal, I meditate over the various phrases, contemplating the significance of the parsing information for this verb and that. I ponder the significance of the middle voice for both verbs in verse 16. Right as I read with exultation the final words of verse 17, “we…will be caught up together … to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord”, a man opens my front door, loudly weeping.

Shocked, I leap to my feet. “May I help you?”

The crying is inconsolable and he wordlessly wanders his way over to fall heavily upon the couch. I stand uncomfortably; my door should have been locked. I didn’t want any visitors. Shifting defensively as the moments pass, “Who are you?”

Finally the words croak out. “I’m Amos; I was at work at the ranch when I heard the terrible news. I came straight here to the wake. Where is everyone? Am I early?”[1] The memory of hearing that news wracks him with tears once more and I stare at him awkwardly, “I’m sorry for your loss, but you’re in the wrong place.”

He breaks into wailing lament, drowning out my words:
“Fallen is Crystal,
Never to rise again,
Deserted in her own home,
With no one to lift her up.”[2]

My awkwardness becomes a feeling of deep disconcert as his wailing cry gives way to deafening silence. I pinch my arm to verify that this was not some nightmare, I glance at my phone to verify that April Fools’ Day was indeed almost two months past. In the dead quiet of the room I hear my pulse pound in my ears, my heart beat in my chest. Tunnel vision shrinks the room and it seems that the impact of my life is held in the small empty room with bare walls transiently occupied by a single mourner. In my mind, I scream: I’m alive. I swear it. I work, I love, I live. 

Again, he picks up the sound of the lament in a more brooding tone:
“Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
and let them not cease,
Crystal is shattered with a great wound,
with a very grievous blow.“[3]

Finally, I cry out, “I am she!” The man looks up from his hands. For the first time, he seemed to see me. Relieved that I might be able to convince this Amos of his error, I burst on, “I’m fine; I’m here. You’ve heard wrong.”

Amos’s gaze hardens as he looks at me anew. “Oh, so indeed you are alive. Woe to you who are complacent in your home to you who feel secure in your church.[4] Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.[5]  Leave the crypt of your comfortable life! God gave you your heartbeat for a reason, he continues it for a reason. Away with your empty worship but let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream![6]

As the echoes of his words resound against the walls, uncontested in my stunned silence, he sweeps out of the house. My gaze lands back to the pages of my Bible, fallen before me to Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

[1] See Amos 1:1, 7:14-15

[2] See Amos 5:2

[3] See Jer 14:17

[4] See Amos 6:1

[5] Rev 3:2 ESV

[6] See Amos 5:24

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