It is better to have hope (Long)

by whyhideit 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • whyhideit

    Brother Smith had not been to the meetings in months, so the elders decided it was time to pay him a Shepherding call. When they arrived they found the front door unlocked and several books opened and on the floor. They were Science Fiction books, "The Time Machine", "Somewhere In Time", and others they had never heard of. The place looked like a mess and they were very concerned for the safety of their spiritual brother. The older elder Brother Jones went into the backroom looking for the man, while the younger man Brother Keene looked upstairs to see if they could figure out what happened. When he walked into the bedroom he found a man lying on the floor. He was well along in years and lying lifeless on the floor. He immediately called for his companion to come upstairs and help him. They turned the man over and his eyes opened and he spoke, "it is great to see you brothers." The men were shocked, "do we know you?" He laughed and spoke again, "yes, you knew me for many years, but you would not recognize me now." Then men were puzzled, until they noticed something about the man's eyes. They were the same eyes of Brother Smith whom they had known for years. Only Brother Smith was only in his thirties and this man was at least ninety or more. Brother Keene spoke, "are you Brother Smith's father?" The man laughed, "there is so much to tell, get me to the chair and I will tell you all you need to know." The men lifted him up and brought him to the chair in the corner and then set down on the bed beside him. The man began to speak, "For years brother we have hoped for the New System and wanted the day to come when we would be free of death and living in paradise. I more so then others, for I had lost my dear wife and wanted to see her again. It was about two months ago, your time that I came upon a amazing idea ... " I was reading through some old publications and I found a reference to a man who claimed he was able to travel through time. He sounded like a flake at first, but then he mentioned a few things he saw ten years ago, that only happened today. So I thought, "maybe I will look into this." I bought his book and read about his method, it involved mixing some crystals with a chant and repeating the amount of time to travel in your head. At first I was scared of the possible affects by demons and the Satanic feeling of working with such forms of meditation. Yet the curious side of me won out, and soon I was mixing the crystal with chants and trying my hardest to think along the way he had mentioned. I did this for days, then week and then one day I just gave up and said forget it. As a matter of fact I was so guilty feeling I made an appointment to meet with the elders to confess my actions. Then one night while I set looking at my wife's picture, I tried it one more time. I held the crystal tight and chanted with all my thought and emotion. I thought to myself, "two hundred years, two hundred years, take me to the future two hundred years." Then the crystal vibrated and I passed out thinking a demon had entered my body. When I woke, the air was filled with noise and people were walking all around me. I thought I must have walked out of my home and into some busy street in my tired state, but something seemed wrong. The people were dressed weird and the air smelt funny. There was no smells like we know now, with the pine trees and flowers. Oh how I missed those smells. Back to my story. It did not take long for me to see that I was no longer in my time, but what amazed me was how different the world was. The sky was gray and the people seemed pale and sickly. I was frightened, I thought I might have gone into the past and entered a village infected with disease. Yet there were signs that this was the future. Burned out street lights, paved roads, and the occasional modern clothing worn by the people around me. I wondered, "what is happened? Where is the new system?" I walked along, almost ignored by the people moving along the streets. The sky above looked more burnt then polluted and the air smelt of burnt plastic. I did not know what had happened and I remembered from my Science Fiction books, that people who traveled through time often found out what happened in libraries. So I walked down to where I knew the library was. It was not there anymore, just some burnt out remains of a building that must have replaced the library over the years. It occurred to me at that time, there were no animals, no noise of nature. It was as if I had stepped into a world of complete death, but what happened? I decided to ask one of the woman walking around. She seemed a little healthier then the rest and actually smiled back at me as I walked by. "Excuse me Miss, can I ask you a question?" She smiled, but did not speak. "I have traveled a great distance and I do not know this place, can you tell me what is happening." She smiled again and then spoke softly, "place? This is home." Home? That was not what I meant. I hoped that I could continue our conversation more and asked another question, "What happened, why is everything so gray and why does the air smell so sick." She began to cry and then spoke more, "The world is ending, the new world will be hear soon. This is just the end." Was I witnessing Armageddon then? Could this be the end, some 200 years into the future? I asked more questions and she answered, it took almost an hour to actually get any facts out of here. She just kept saying this was the end, the new world was coming all the time. Finally she spoke in a way I could get good information. "We are the survivors of the last, the people after the wars. We are the generation that will be and we will make it to the end. The bombs fell and we lived, the water poisoned and we lived, the land died and we lived. We live to be able to live a better life soon." I set in shock at what I was hearing, the bombs must have meant this future involved nuclear war and this must have caused all the poison water and desolate land. These people, they looked so sick, so much like the walking dead. I could only imagine how this must have looked to the Apostle John when he saw this in a vision so many years before. I could not bare to see it anymore, the death the dying the pure destruction and pain in a area I once lived and called my home. So I grabbed my crystal and held it tight again. I chanted and I focused and once again I spoke, ""two hundred years, two hundred years, take me to the future two hundred years." I figured by then the new system would be in place, the world would be better and I could see my dear wife once again. I could forget those images of death I saw just two hundred years into our future. I awoke to quite. The snow was falling and there was not a person in site. The land looked much like it did when I was there two hundred years earlier. Only the buildings we older, falling in and showing their age. I walked around cold, and looking for someone. I hoped to have the opportunity to speak to someone and see what was happening. Perhaps this was a section of the earth that had not yet been turned into a paradise. Although I some how found it uneasy that it was snowing, when I thought the world was going to become a tropical garden worldwide. I walked for miles and miles down the street. I saw churches I remembered, places we would drive by and say "look at those churches of Satan." They had been burned and left in rubble for centuries, by looking at their appearance. I finally became so sad I started screaming, "Someone, anyone, please come out. Please!" No one came out, no animals moved and all I heard was the muffled sound of snow falling from the sky over head. Finally I reached the location of the Kingdom Hall. To my surprise, there were still some walls of it standing. The brick walls we had put in at the time of the quick build. There it stood, what I once attended with so much hope and desire. I walked among the rubble and rooting wood. There was little to look at, except for the remnants of a book I saw below some rocks. I removed the rocks and opened the books, the pages were brittle and I had to be careful as I looked through the publication. It was not a publication I had seen before, but it was in English. It was called "The great Tribulation has begun" it spoke of the end of the war I had heard about and of terrible things happening world wide. The pages were hard to read though, as time had faded them considerable. On the final page was bold words that said, ""We are the survivors of the last, the people after the wars. We are the generation that will be and we will make it to the end. The bombs fell and we lived, the water poisoned and we lived, the land died and we lived. We live to be able to live a better life soon." I set shocked, these were the words the woman from two hundred years ago spoke to me. Had she just been memorizing something from a publication? I set there, and then I thought of something "I can look at the publishing date, and then I will know when these things occurred." So I opened the back and there is was "Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Post-War location, 244 Brooklyn Memorial Road, Elko, Nevada." Apparently the war took out New York and Brooklyn and the Society moved to some isolated location to continue their message. Then I saw it, the year of publication "2072." This made no sense, the woman I spoke to was alive over a hundred years after this publishing. Did she just repeat what was said to her in these publications, and not give any thought to how many years had passed. I set there for a moment in the ashes of the Hall and with that book in hand, and cried. I slept inside that Hall for a couple of days, in shock and not willing to venture into the world outside. The weather cleared in time, but I never heard or saw a single person. What happened to the people? Finally when the weather was good enough I went out side and walked down the street and looked for signs that the world might still have some hope. Inside I hoped I would run into someone who would say, "the gardens are just a few miles ahead, nice to see you brother," but I never did. I wondered miles and miles and it all looked the same. The earth was dead, no life and no people, everything was gone. ... Brother Smith was crying pretty hard by this point. Brother Keene could not help but ask him, "how does this explain your age though, you are a old man now and should only be a few months older then the man we knew?" Brother Smith breathed in slowly and collected his thoughts. "Yes, I should have been able to return and not live so much of my life in that remnant of earth. The thing is I couldn't. I held that crystal day in and day out for decades. I chanted and I spoke the words that should have returned me, but nothing ever happened. I could not get anything to take me back. It was my punishment for pushing myself beyond what my life would have ever seen." Brother Jones spoke up, "but you are hear now, something must have worked?" To which Brother Smith laughed, "yes something worked, something that makes me sick now when I think about it, do you want to know what that was?" The elders shock their heads yes. Brother Smith smiled and explained his return .... I set in the place I called my home for many decades and thought about all the time I thought I would have spent with my wife, had the new system been real. I cried and wished, "I wished I had never known this future existed, I wish I had never lost hope in what I thought was real." I set their rocking back and forth saying "take me back to where I began, take me back to the time when I thought there was hope." I did that for days, weeks and months. I cried my life away, begging to return to the time when I thought there was hope. One day I must have done it just right, one day that was four hundred plus years from now, but yesterday to me. I woke on this floor yesterday and realized that I was home, sixty years later, but I was home. ... Brother Smith was sobbing now, but continued to speak, "Do you know what it took to get me to travel through time, back to this time?" The men set wondering. "It took wanting something, having a hope for a better life." When I went forward I wanted a world that was the New System, we always learned about, I wanted to see my wife. When I learned what really became of this planet, my hope disappeared and I could no longer move ahead in time. Why move ahead, there was no hope to see anything better. I finally found that my hope lied in the past, not the future. My hope lied in the ignorance of what life was like for me before I ever took this journey through time. When I begged for it enough, and visualized being what I was enough. I finally reached the same level I had when I left, thinking things would be better when I returned." Brother Smith then set back in the chair, "ignorance is truly better then the truth, when you have something to hope for, it gives you a reason to move forward. When you loss hope, you only want to move back." The elders looked very concerned, "Brother Smith what you have told us sounds very interesting, but we honestly can not believe a word of it. Something has happened to you, but time travel, I think not. I think you have done things that involve Satan on a level of extreme we have never seen and we must expel you from the congregation, before your words contaminate the whole congregation." Brother Smith closed his eyes, and asked them to leave. The elders stood up and walked out the door, and that evening at the meeting they announced that Brother Smith was no longer a Jehovah's Witness. A few days later, a neighbor walked by Brother Smith's home and saw a pale man sitting in a chair, facing the front yard. He looked very ill, so they knocked on the door. No one answered, so the neighbors called the police and they came and found the man sitting on the chair, dead. The man was holding onto something in his death grip, it looked like a book. The police moved his hands, and took out the book. They looked at it and read the title "The great Tribulation has begun." They realized it was some of that Jehovah's Witness religious junk and threw it in the garbage, and called for the coroner to take care of the body of Brother Smith.

  • Siddhashunyata

    whyhideit, good writing ! Thank you. Not to take away fom your piece but from my point of view another interesting theme would be ( hope /despair) versus (acceptance/ transformation). It would take an artist like you to do it .

  • JamesThomas

    Very well written. Thank you for posting it.

    Giving our heart to the future, steals away the now.


  • nilfun

    That was a good read, Whyhideit...thanks for posting it.

  • wednesday

    yes, we hoped for this new system so much and now to know it is not real, how unbearably sad. BTW, i still did not undertand why the man, could not return to his current age? I know it's jut a stroy, but i really enjoyed a very sad way.

  • Simon

    wow ... great writing!! I love time travel stories

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