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The Fall of Man
He quickened his decent through the narrow hole. Pain’s piercing blows reaching the inner-most parts of him. The hole had become impossibly vertical, and the man simply fell the final distance to the bottom. For the bottom was his destination, and the worse he felt when he arrived, the better.
Broken bones in his legs and feet welcomed him to the pit. A shallow pool of blood formed around the man’s collapsed body. This was a welcome sight to him, but it wasn’t over yet. The light from above was still shining down, illuminating the otherwise dreary pit of filth. The man knew that the light would never cease, and this angered him.
The pit spread out in all directions from the small opening of the hole, the farthest reaches cloaked in shadow. It was there that the infuriated man dragged himself to, collecting maggots and scum along the way. He could be heard muttering about his “Good fortune,” not being sarcastic in the least.
He settled in to his favorite spot among the decay. Many times had he visited this morbid dungeon before, but not against his will. For this dungeon is such that there is no key, no wicked gate, nothing preventing the troubled souls who “fell” down the hole from leaving. Free will alone kept the man imprisoned.
So many times had the sorrowful man told himself he would never return here again. And yet, there he lay: Cold, alone, suffering, desperate; desperate for help, yes, but not accepting it. The contriving mind of the torn soul would seem mad to any observer. He chose to believe his own false thinking rather than to accept the truth. For the truth has been made exceptionally clear, and there is no excuse for such madness.
This is where he belonged. Or so he thought. Countless times over he had boldly proclaimed that he’d not be back, that he’d accepted that he was wrong, that he had changed. It was then that a hand made of light would pull him out of despair and misery. However, he would return. Whether it be days, months, or even years, was uncertain. The only certainty was that he would indeed crawl back into the deathly reaches of the pit.
Of all the times the man had returned to this wretched tomb, he never succumbed to failure in the end. He always chose to be saved by the hand of light. It is for this reason that what he said this time was unexpected.
“I’ve been here before. Many, many times,” the man said slowly. “I am not blind, you know. Although, maybe I should put out my eyes. Isn’t that what you said? Yes, you said something like that once. That would solve all my problems, wouldn’t it?” He paused to vomit up more blood, smiling.
“I deserve this, you know. Oh, but of course you do!” He screamed through his raspy throat, “If you know everything, and can do everything, why then am I here? Hmm? Why do I always find myself in this lair of doom?” He had now begun hitting his head against the rocky wall in frustration.
“What is the point of trying anymore? Time after time I try. I try to be better! And when everything is going well, I give in.” He paused again, but this time he was deep in thought. Coming out of his trance, he continued, “Why is it that you let this happen to me? You say that you love me, but why can’t you stop me? For a short while, I become “good” again, but always. Always. I end up back in this pit, where my only friends are the maggots that gnaw on my remains.”
“Am I doomed to repeat my mistakes? Can the pattern not be broken? Why do you still love me?” His voice trembled, “I just can’t live like that. Not anymore. Leave me here, in this pit of self-detention. I will rot here, because I am not worthy of your love. I am no friend to you.” Before curling up, he whispered, “I have failed.”
The man had finally given up. Not in the sense of giving up the countless times before. This time, he had really given up. It was without question that he would again accept the hand of light eventually… right? He had spoken of an “Unconditional Love” before; A truth that cannot be ignored. The pattern has begun again, and he has again chosen to believe his own falsities.
And then, a gruff whisper echoed throughout the pit. “I know you love me. I don’t know why or how you do, but I know it. I’m just sick of myself. I’m sick of living a lie. I’m the hypocrite of hypocrites; vainly proclaiming my self-righteousness.” Through tears he continued,
I bring you shame and dishonor,
Where nothing but glory and honor are due.
How do I break this pattern; become more like you?
I’ve wallowed in the pit far too long;
Far too often.
I need you, oh God,
To take hold of my heart; soften it.
These tears of shame I want not to keep.
Throw away my past desires;
Burn them in the fiery heat.
Without You, all is for nothing.
Take my heart of stone,
And make my life mean something.
The pit grew blindingly bright, and the hand of light reached down. The man took hold of it, and was carried back up. Never again was he seen in the pit of sorrows. He is forgiven.