a place inside where there's joy, and the joy
will burn out the pain."
Happy Easter and blessed Passover to you all!
I was working on another story when I realized that a
much-anticipated (for me, anyway) Dyeland plot was coming to
fruition... next month. When I plan these things out,
certain events seem so far away and then they wind up
sneaking up on me. Since this plot involves Joshua, I
thought Easter Sunday would be a good time to share this
vignette. The present-day portion of this story takes
place on the same evening as "The
Best Birthday Ever" so you may want to read that
On a Hill Far Away
A lone figure stood beneath a tree on a hill in Gaul. He
stared up at the stormy sky... a sky that mirrored his own
A sudden, excruciating cry made the man go weak-kneed.
Clutching a large tome to his breast, he faltered and knelt upon
For the first time in his expansive life, Metatron shed a tear.
It wasn't that the plight of the humans never pained him.
But their sorrows had never been his own. Not
really. Oh, yes, they were his brothers and sisters of a
sort. He believed that. But Metatron had always
stood apart, recording their lives but not part of their lives.
But this one... this man whose Book of Life he clutched... this
one was Metatron's very life.
The angel struggled to breath as more screams met his
ears. Then there was only gasping.
The nails... those humans had drove them all in.
A few seconds later, a guttural cry made Metatron go cold.
The cross had been raised. Now began the awful process of
Yeshua's own battered body slowly suffocating him.
Metatron began to second-guess himself. Perhaps he should
have remained Home to record this. But no... Yeshua
couldn't leave this bloody world now and neither would he.
But he couldn't be there... not on that other blood-soaked
hill. Not near the cruel, cool-faced Romans and agonized,
broken-hearted Maryam. But he would remain in this very
spot, the place where Yeshua had first introduced him to one of
his most treasured creations: Earth. There, against the
backdrop of the darkening clouds and occasional flash of
thunder, the events unfolding in Jerusalem were projected onto
the sky for the recording angel alone.
With a shaking hand, Metatron opened the book. He picked
up his best quill and began to write.
"It is the third hour. Yeshua has been..."
Metatron drew in a shaky breath and tried to control his right
hand which was trembling so much that blots of ink were muddying
"Crucified," he finally managed to scrawl.
Over the next six hours, Metatron painstakingly recorded every
word that Yeshua struggled to say.
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
"Amen, I say to you that today you shall be with me in
"Woman, behold, your son... Behold, your mother."
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
As the end grew nearer, Metatron was horrified to discover that
his black ink had altered to a deep red... blood red.
"Yeshua!" the angel shouted. He dropped his quill and the
red ink splattered onto the soil around him. Metatron
didn't notice, he was reaching up towards the heavens, grasping
for the image of Yeshua. He wanted to wipe the blood away
from his beloved Creator. He longed to use his powers to
pull the nails away, to take Yeshua from off that cross.
"No..." Metatron croaked out when he saw Yeshua struggle to
raise himself enough to speak again.
“It... is... finished...”
The angel wept as he searched for his quill blindly, unable to
take his eyes off the scene in the clouds. When he finally
found it, Metatron wrote without looking at the page. He
didn't care what it looked like. For thirty three years he
had carefully and neatly recorded everything: first word, first
step, first laugh, first joke, first heartbreak, the first
moment that Yeshua had realized he was different... First
sermon, first healing, first confrontation with the
priests... Now Metatron knew that there were mere seconds
left in this one precious life and he wouldn't look away.
"My Father... into your hands... I lay down my spirit."
Metatron watched, through a haze of tears, as the gold and brown
eyes... those eyes that had been his very first sight... closed.
Dutifully, the angel recorded the final words and the time of
death. The blood red ink seemed to taunt him from the
Filled with sorrow and horror, the usually stoic angel broke the
quill in two and flung it and the pot of ink. He saw that
the unused ink, too, had become crimson. Unable to bear
the sight of the little pools of red around him and the aching
scene of Maryam clutching her son's body, Metatron fled into a
nearby forest, his howls of grief startling birds as he ran.
May 14th, 2017
JenniAnn groaned when her cell phone began to ring. After
days of comforting and pampering Belle as she battled chicken
pox, the woman had finally gotten a night to sleep soundly and,
of course, someone would decide to call.
As she reached for her phone, JenniAnn realized that it was
Andrew's ringtone she was hearing. He of all people should
know she was trying to catch up on sleep and... A sudden
thought struck JenniAnn. Andrew would know... If he
was calling then it had to be an emergency!
"Hi. What's going on?" JenniAnn blurted out. She
cocked her head when she heard noise in the background. It
sounded like Belle chanting.
"Laja! The cure! We've found the cure!" Andrew
"Cure? For chicken pox? I didn't think that was a
"No! *The* cure. Joshua's cure... for vampirism!"
It was then JenniAnn realized what her daughter was chanting: "A
miracle! A miracle! A miracle!"
A lump formed in JenniAnn's throat.
"Who... who knows?"
"Only Mick and Beth right now. It was the flowers I got
for Beth for her birthday. Mick cut his hand while
wrapping her present and then he slipped and as he tried to
right himself, he grabbed for the flowers and crushed one into
his hand... into the cut and... and it didn't stop
bleeding. They're at the E.R. now. And he could
eat. I mean really eat. Taste everything. And
his heart... it's beating, Laja."
JenniAnn could hear that Andrew was beaming and she could just
see the tears of joy sliding down his cheeks.
"That... that's so wonderful. What an amazing birthday
present for Beth. Oh, Andrew..."
"So... who is gonna tell the others?"
"Well... that's why I called. The Father asked me to go
back to France to get more flowers and Violeta and Ivy aren't
home yet so..."
"I'll take Belle back!" JenniAnn enthusiastically
accepted. "There's no way I'm sleeping now. This is
all just so... so exciting and..." She sniffled.
"Amazing and wonderful," Andrew finished for her. "One
kinda odd thing, though. The Father told me that He was
sending Meta... I mean Marty... to go with me. I know
it'll be the middle of the night there but I'm not afraid of the
dark." He chuckled. "But then maybe it has more to
do with what Marty needs and less to do with what I do."
"Probably so. Although it's hard to imagine Marty needing
much of anything!"
The angel of death laughed again.
"True. Well, I'm going to gather up our little polka dot
princess' things and then I'll take her and Lulu through the
"Sounds good! I'll meet you in the basement, love."
"See ya in a bit, Laja."
JenniAnn wasted no time getting into her robe and
slippers. Fawn traipsed behind her. The dog ran into
the back of the woman's legs when she promptly halted in the
"Oh! Hello!" JenniAnn greeted the smartly dressed angelic
scribe who was perusing some family photos that littered the
Marty turned around and smiled.
"My apologies for the intrusion. I was told to meet Andrew
for an assignment."
"He'll be here any moment. He and Belle were staying at
his old place."
"Ah..." Marty's face clouded briefly. "Ah!
Perhaps so you could have some much-needed rest in the wake of
little Belle's convalescence?"
"Exactly. I didn't kick Andrew out," JenniAnn
"I would think not."
As much as Marty tried to hide it, his relief was evident and
JenniAnn was touched by his support for her and Andrew.
"I'm sorry that your rest was interrupted for... this."
"I'm not!" JenniAnn chirped. "It's so..." She cut
herself off when she realized that perhaps Marty didn't know why
he was there. And maybe he wasn't meant to... yet.
The sound of Andrew, Belle, and Lulu approaching saved JenniAnn
from having to make further comment. The little girl came
rushing forward, into her mother's waiting arms.
"I know, sweet girl!"
As the two kissed and cuddled, Marty looked on with interest
before catching Andrew's gaze. The angel of death drew closer.
"So are you ready to head out?" Andrew asked.
"Do you know where we're going?"
"Sure. Don't you?"
Marty shook his head.
"Hmm. Well, maybe it'll make sense when we get
there." Andrew turned his attention to Belle.
"Daddy's got to go for a little bit, baby girl, but I'll be back
"Promise," Andrew vowed, sweeping the splotchy child up and
kissing her brow, careful to avoid the itchy spots.
Once she was back on the floor, Belle moved to stand in front of
"You go, too, Uncle Marty?"
"I am, yes."
The ancient angel couldn't resist the pleading smile and
After an embrace, Marty transferred Belle to JenniAnn's waiting
"I'll be back soon, Laja. Until then..." Andrew
kissed her cheek and briefly rested his head on hers.
"Love you, too."
"Love you, Daddy!"
"And I love you, sweet Belle."
"Have a good time, Marty!"
JenniAnn's words further mystefied the scribe. He wondered
if she knew more about the assignment than he did.
Andrew picked up a box that had appeared out of thin air.
"And off we go!"
"Off we go..." a stunned Marty echoed before they both
Left with only the dogs, Belle and JenniAnn let out matching
"I miss Daddy."
"Me too. But he has to go help more miracles happen."
"Miracle! Miracle!" Belle began to sing again.
"Miracle from Joshua. Josh-u-a... I love
Joshua. Pretty, pretty Joshua. I love Joshua..."
JenniAnn laughed as Belle continued to compose her ditty while
they made their way back upstairs with Fawn and Lulu trailing
"Joshua loves me. Joshua is smart. I love Joshua..."
"Okay, so the flowers are just up this way..." Andrew directed
after he and Marty had appeared in an alleyway behind a
cafe. "I remember because, right before I picked them, I
stopped in there for a croissant. So..."
"We've been sent on an assignment to gather flowers?" an
incredulous Marty asked.
"You really don't know anything about this assignment, do you?"
Marty gave him a cross look.
"Hey there, I didn't mean anything by that," Andrew hurriedly
clarified. "It's just... odd."
"It is," Marty agreed. "You picked the flowers for
"Ah, yes. Her birthday." Marty nodded sagely.
"A thoughtful gift."
"I actually felt bad about it but... not now." Andrew
turned to Marty and beamed. "These flowers... Marty,
these flowers we're gathering are the cure. The cure for
vampirism! We're picking a few for immediate use but God
also told me to dig a few up and transplant them in
Dyeland. That way, no matter what happens here, we can
keep the cure coming. I can't wait until we tell Josef and
Logan and Isolde and Marco! Just think... by this time
next year, Mick and Beth could be parents and..."
Andrew stopped speaking when he realized Marty had frozen.
The angel of death placed a hand on the elder angel's back.
"I... I know this place."
"It's a beautiful spot. I hope it never becomes
'developed' but I'm thinking maybe that's why God sent us to
harvest some of the flowers... before it's too late and they're
paved over for a parking lot or something."
"The flowers..." the scribe repeated in a daze. He was
transfixed by the blooms that surrounded them, all of a
brilliant red that was dazzling in the moonlight. It was
impossible not to think back to the bloody splatters of two
thousand years before.
"Marty, are you okay?" a concerned Andrew checked. He
thought he saw tears beginning to well in old, stolid Metatron's
"I was here... when Yeshua... died. I recorded it all...
right here. I saw it..." Marty stared up at the
stars. "Projected against the sky. Every... awful
moment." He at last looked at Andrew. "I knew I had
to be on Earth but I... I didn't feel I could be there.
Not like you. Brave Andrew."
Andrew's eyes filled as he took in Marty's pained smile.
"Not brave. I was nearby because of another
assignment. I didn't choose to be there, Marty. You
know Joshua understands. Each one of us had to handle that
day and the next in our own ways."
Marty nodded. He drew in and let out a deep breath before
turning back to the way they'd come.
"There had been woods there... where the town is now. I
ran there in my sorrow... and I remained there until Yeshua
found me on Sunday morning." Marty wiped at his tears and
smiled. "He handed me his Book of Life and told me I
needed to add a coda."
"I did... after a not entirely dignified embrace. I
"Like a child?"
"Yes. I didn't want to let go."
"I know exactly what you mean."
Marty sat down on the ground and lightly touched one of the
"Something so strange and, at the time, horrifying
happened. My ink... it turned blood red. Sometimes I
think it truly was blood... Yeshua's blood."
Both men turned to face a third who had appeared behind them.
Joshua smiled broadly as he approached and hugged the two
angels. When the embrace broke up, the carpenter rested a
hand on each of the angel's shoulders. He first looked to
"Meta, you were with me on that day as much as if you'd been
standing on that hill instead of this one. You were in my
heart." Joshua turned to Andrew. "As were you.
You were both where you needed to be... where the Father and I
needed you to be and where the Spirit led you to be. You
didn't know it at the time, Meta, but you were part of a
miracle... a miracle whose full impact was felt this night and
will reverberate in the days to come. Years ago, our
adversary loosed a curse upon humanity. A curse of
blood." Pain flickered on Joshua's face but only for a
moment. He waved to the field of flowers. "That
curse ends today. And it's all the more meaningful to me
because, even though one of my angels created the curse, two of
my angels are ending it with me."
"I... I am humbled, Yeshua. And I don't mean to question
you. But I suppose I'm... curious. Andrew has
befriended a number of vampires. They're his
friends. I know a few, of course. But what have I
done to deserve being a part of this blessing?"
"You've documented their sufferings... and how they've used evil
for good, Marty," Andrew responded. "From the
"And that alone qualifies you to be here, Meta. But it's
more than that." Joshua bent and plucked a blossom.
"You've probably guessed what these are made of."
"I have, yes," Marty verified as he studied the flower.
"The ink... your... your blood."
"Yes. But my blood alone didn't make them grow. They
were watered by the tears of one who loved me and loves me still
with all his heart, mind, and soul. You made them
Marty's head shot up and his eyes met Joshua's.
"I... I..." Usually quick-witted, Marty found himself at a
loss for words.
Joshua chuckled and gave a nod.
"Yes, you made the cure happen. You and me. And it
fell to Andrew to discover it and begin to spread it."
Still awed into silence, Marty could only hug Joshua tightly.
Joshua smiled over the angel's shoulder at Andrew who was
shaking his head and grinning at the wonder of it all.
When he felt the scribe had recovered, Joshua patted his back
and released him.
"And now... who wants to help me do some digging? I told
Isolde and Marco that I'd be by for breakfast... I didn't tell
them that they'd be enjoying the breakfast with me," Joshua
shared, his voice filled with joy.
Andrew and Marty scrambled for the box of gardening tools that
the former had set down and, in no time at all, the three men
were at work. They laughed as they toiled and imagined the
joyous scenes that were soon to unfold.
"The Old Rugged Cross" by George Bennard
Jesus' Seven Last Words:
- (Luke 23:34)
- (Luke 23:43
- John 19:26
- (Mark 15:34)
- (John 19:28)
- (John 19:30)
- (Luke 23:46)
This newsletter is
dedicated to John Dye for standing strong in his beliefs
and sharing the hope of a Home in Heaven with so many.
(Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is from Touched
by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline
Productions, and Moon Water Productions. It is not
being used to seek profit.)