"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
~~Joseph Campbell

Hi all,

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 first.

God bless,

On a Hill Far Away

33 AD

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 feelings.

A sudden, excruciating cry made the man go weak-kneed.  Clutching a large tome to his breast, he faltered and knelt upon the ground.

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 the page.

"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 Paradise."

"Woman, behold, your son...  Behold, your mother."

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

β€œI thirst.”

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.

β€œIt... 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 page. 

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 cried.

"Cure?  For chicken pox?  I didn't think that was a thing."

"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..."

"I know."

"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 tunnel."

"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 basement.

"Oh!  Hello!" JenniAnn greeted the smartly dressed angelic scribe who was perusing some family photos that littered the shelves.

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 teased. 

"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.

"Mama!  Miracle!"

"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 by morning."


"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 Marty.

"You go, too, Uncle Marty?"

"I am, yes."


The ancient angel couldn't resist the pleading smile and outstretched arms.

"Of course."

After an embrace, Marty transferred Belle to JenniAnn's waiting arms.

"I'll be back soon, Laja.  Until then..."  Andrew kissed her cheek and briefly rested his head on hers.  "Love you."

"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 disappeared.

Left with only the dogs, Belle and JenniAnn let out matching sighs. 

"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 them.

"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 JenniAnn?"

"No, Beth."

"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."

Andrew smiled.

"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 eyes.

"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."

Andrew chuckled.

"I did... after a not entirely dignified embrace.  I felt..."

"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 flowers.

"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."

"It was."

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 Marty.

"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 beginning."

Joshua nodded.

"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 grow."

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 End

Works Cited:
"The Old Rugged Cross" by George Bennard
Jesus' Seven Last Words:

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.

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(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.)