So They May Know

So They May Know

A Story by Vesa Lee

The ultimate sacrifice for Truth.


"A High and Lofty place..."
That's where we all go.
Once a week, maybe twice, but never more.
Today is The Day.
The Day we go.
A High and Lofty place.
I see it long before it's close.
Large, bulbous.
Grand, daunting.
But as I near the door, I sense it's decayed.
Old, faded, dead.
I say nothing,
"We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings..."

They unlock the doors and let us in all at once.
Like last time.
And the time before.
Ever since I can remember.
My seat is waiting for me.
Everyone sits where they're assigned.
No ones feelings are hurt.
"A High and Lofty place..."
We all look forward.
The Exhibition is due.

Three come from the multitude and take their place.
The platform.
We watch silently.
They open their mouths, the words drum out.
I don't remember when we first banned music.
But it was done... we wouldn't hurt someones feelings.
The chant of the three continue.
"...High and lofty place..."
They return to the masses.

The shadows of the pews grow long.

The Instructor climbs the platform.
He is to speak.
He sits himself upon the throne and drones out numbly to the crowd; "Blessed are we, for mine is the Kingdom."
We nod in reply.

"Let me begin.."
That is our cue.
A third of the crowd raise their hands up slowly, covering their ears.
No ones feelings are hurt.
They know the rest will soon follow.
The Instructor leans back into his chair, speaking slow and long.
Only a few still listen, skimming the ancient and worn book they still believe may hold the answers.
Hoping to find in it something that resembles the teaching of The Instructor.
To understand.
But the Elders know better, and the others find nothing.
One by one, they close the book.
They won't waste as much time next Day.

I watch the Instructor, his mouth still moving.
"High and Lofty place..."
We don't want to hurt someones feelings...
My hand slips:
"Great are we and Greatly to be praised..."
I nod unconsciously.
Yes, surely we are great.
We are great.
A question.
A sin.
Are we truly great?
"Blessed..." they say
"We are great..."

Are we?
"We don't want to hurt someones feelings..."
No. We are not.
I watch the Instructor prattle on.
"High and Lofty place..."
For once I feel separated from the others around.
I am distinct in myself.
I am whole and yet afraid.
And quietly, oh so quietly, a still small voice takes form and reverberates in my mind...

"...God is not here..."

Breath escapes me. I choke.
And yet I know...for so very long, I have known.
My arms fall to my side.
My ears laid bare as well as my once numb heart.
"...we don't want to hurt someones feelings..."
A tear, small and cold, pours onto my cheek.

They know.
The Instructor stops...looking me straight in the eye.
They all turn and fix their gaze on me.
His eyes do not waver as he speaks to the masses:
"Let us pray for our sister...and her healing."
Pray, they echo in unison.
I become rigid.
I know what is to come.
They warned us of the price.
It means nothing now.

"God is not here" I whisper to myself.

"Pray" he commands the crowd, his eyes piercing mine.


The crowd chants.
"Mumble, mumble, mumble..."

"God is not here" I say aloud.
To them.
My voice shaking.

"Mumble, mumble, mumble..."
"Louder!" yells the Instructor, gripping the throne.

They are shouting now, but I will not be drowned out.
Not yet.
I rise to my feet, standing tall upon the pew and scream with all my might:


They stare at me, their eyes full of fear.
They know it too.
An Elder begs, pleads.
For his sake. And mine.
"We don't want to hurt someones feelings..."

"Afflicted!" shouts the Instructor rising from the throne, venom dripping in his voice.
"Healed she will be."

I breathe in deeply.
My fists are clenched.
I am not afraid.
They rise.
They grab me harshly.
I flinch but do not fight back.
Pulling me towards the platform, they throw me to the ground.
My head aches as I try to focus on the faces in the crowd.
It's good that they see this.
They make me kneel.
The Instructor stands tall before me.
I am not afraid...


The word falls cold upon my heart.
I stare defiantly.
"You will be healed."
"I have been."

My mouth fills with blood...I cannot keep the tears from forming...
He grabs my face, forcing me to look into his own.

"I will win" he threatens.
A smile plays across my torn and blooded lips;
"You have already lost."

He pushes me away, and walks over to the table.
He returns to me with a sword in one hand and a book in the other.
He reads aloud, condemnation in his voice.

Exodus 22:24 " My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword..."

"So let it be done," he finishes, slamming the book closed and throwing it to the floor.

I reach for it, wrapping my shaking fingers around the old cloth.
Slowly I pull it into my arms.
The Instructor stands still, waiting to see.

I turn the pages carefully.
I find what I need.
And read it to them, softly for them to hear, that they may know.

Psalms 13:3-5
" Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation."

The crowd.
He sees them too.
"This will be ended."
I am not afraid.
I clutch the worn book tightly to my chest.
The steel rubs cold on my bare neck.
So that they may see and know...
The sword is raised.
I feel my heart, and smile amidst the tears.
"God is here..."

In me.

© 2013 Vesa Lee

Author's Note

Vesa Lee
My thoughts...we may be closer to this fate then we have ever been before.
To the Martyrs...

My Review

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Featured Review

The dumbing down of religion and soul numbing experience of so much modern worship is so tragic. A genuine relationship with God and the life He calls us to is infinitely more radical and dangerous than most people would ever guess sitting in most pews. Seriously, seriously tragic. Read the Gospels and ask yourself if Jesus worried about hurting anyone's feelings or was ever content just going through the motions...

You've captured the hopeless despair of the mainstream situation vividly.

I admit to being a little distracted by grammar and spelling issues, but those are easily fixed.

Posted 15 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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Compartment 114
Compartment 114


Wow, powerful stuff, its like a poem sort of but not, its better. Really makes you think and stuff. I like how you've showed the sheep like way they follow, very discriptive. Basically just great.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

what an incredibly inspiring peice of literature. I myself am not a beleiver so I as I read I really enjoyed how you showed the rebellion to have a mind of your own, dont beleive something because your told to and create your own voice. The ending was very well done, I was hoping it would continue in the same path as the rest (with the single non-beleiver) mainly because of my own beleifs, but instead they turned out to be the one true beleiver, which was a truley great ending and very inspiring to those who do indeed have religious beleifs. This was a very different and creative peice, loved it.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well, I really loved this at first. But I have to say for such a great story, the end dissapointed me. It turns out, yes, god is here just like most every non-believer feels. I mean, I see where your coming from but in my opinion, this story wouldn't have rubbed me the wrong way if I did beleive. But it was a good twist and very well written, I just feel let down in some ways. No offense to the writing.

Posted 14 Years Ago

That was a bit scary, but its true... there will be a time when Christians will be killed. But if i were to choose to live or to die, I'd choose to die for Christ.

Philippians 1:20-23

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Oh, my. A very dark and wonderfully written piece, Vesa. The realization that truth has given way to the pandering to those who want to feel comfortable within their own ignorance. Those of us who realize what is missing are immediately seized and forced to assimilate, or are attacked and cast out.

Truly, the imagery of this piece is not far off from the mark as a literal translation of how religion has become an exercise in apathy rather than faith and salvation. How far *are* we away for actually dying for our beliefs, or rather, for having beliefs in the first place? Are we truly to meet the sword because we have the courage to say, "you are blind"?

A poignant piece to say the least. It was very well written and is a subject that is close to the chest of most, I think.

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Beautifully written, very powerful, moving, and quite scary. The lack of spirit sometimes in religion, in church, in people when praying and yet not feeling. All too scary if this is the outcome. I love this poetic story, I actually felt for the character in a story that is less then a page, and the ending, heart wrenching yet the perfect ending to what is probably one of the best pieces I've read on this site. I can't wait to find more time to read more of your work.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive. words escape me. The beauty of this is so profound, so...true. The words spoken here are truer than anything I've heard in a long time. When we speak the word of god, do we actually say anthing? When we repeat the words, do we actually hear anything? No. We do not. With technology and the new millenia, we do everything we can to FEEL good. To FEEL like we are close to god. To FEEL like we're part of something. But instead, we simply draw farther and farther away every single day. As we watch our preacher on the television, begging for a handout from its masses, do they say anything? No. They talk a good game, they speak the truth, but they say nothing. The simply repeat the words as they have for years and we recieve the words like we have for years. But we don't hear them. We go to church once a week to FEEL good, to FEEl righteous, but are we? No. Every day grows darker, and everyone who dares to speak the truth is martyred. Whether it be simply stating your opinion or advocating for your rights, the so-called zealots claim blasphemy and the so-called 'acceptant' people cry out that we are evil for daring to challenge the status quo. How can we grow, spirtually, mentally, and as a world, if this mindset persists? I think in fact the opposite of this will happen. Religion itself will become taboo, as it has become now, and the very act of daring to speak to god will be a crime. Our world is so dark, but instead of running towards the light we blindly follow the leader into the pits of Hell. And our martyrs, the greatest of us all, are castigated and defiled and called horrific lies for daring to stand up for their beliefs. I myself am not perfect, not even good, but this has had a profound effect on me. Truly, you have inspired me and I thank you graciously for writing this. It was thought-provoking and stimulating, making me question my own faith. Once again, great work, a true masterpiece.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The feeling as I read this is just something I can't seem to find a way to describe, this is truly remarkable, an excellent piece of writing. I felt very connected to this writing since I might say I'm against churches, but I'm not against religion, I just think we don't need fancy gold castles and an old man, also covered in gold, to tell us to be good and "humble". "God is not here" I agree with the thought, no matter where you are, direction, god will never be there, but in a sense it is also truth that "God is here", no matter in which situation you might be, god will always be there within. Outstanding.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree with most of the positive comments, from your other reviewers. This is certainly written very well, with good dialogue (in context), along with a powerful moral message. Indeed, one could regard it as a warning?

In format, this is rather like a screenplay or TV script. Was that intentional? I think that it was, actually. Like in a TV or film studio, the crowd in this piece are controlled and directed. Many aspects of what takes place, were determined beforehand. However, the martyr of this emotive narrative is strong enough (mentally), to stand up against the cruel "instructor". The martyr is also very brave, in her knowledge of what the consequences of her defiance will be!

As with most cults, a confined space is used and the multitude is indoctrinated. The followers in this crowd, are only going along with the ritualistic behaviour, out of sheer terror. Also, because they don't really know any different. All of course, except for our protagonist, the martyr. You may wonder why a confined space has any significance? Well, one advantage for the cult leadership, is that their followers are compelled to listen and go along with the pre-arranged ritual or service. There is no escape or distraction from such a venue. Furthermore, being in close physical proximity to one another, they are more likely to feel part of that crowd or gathering. In contrast, the individual tends to feel very much alone, when placed in a large crowd of people who are not known to him/her.

I concluded that there is also an irony here, in that our traditional view of martyrs is that they are sacrificing themselves because of such strong devotion to their religious faith. But, in this piece, the martyr sacrifices herself by doing the opposite. In other words, she allows herself to be sacrificed because she is not devoted to the faith.

Interestingly, the main speaker to the crowd, is called an "instructor". Not a preacher, or priest. No. The word instructor is devoid of any spiritual or religious connotations, implying that the followers are simply obeying the rules of this faith - as opposed to following it due to the conviction that it is worth believing in. Similarly, one tends to follow an instructor, when simply learning how to drive, read and so on. In addition, as in a classical music concert, a "conductor" guides the musicians, whilst the "instructor" in this narrative, guides his followers. Was this similarity intended by the writer, I wonder?

What a challenging and thought-provoking piece of writing, Vesa! Thankyou, for adding it to my Group, "Twilight's Disciples". Who will be next, to add some of their writing?

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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13 Reviews
Shelved in 8 Libraries
Added on February 5, 2009
Last Updated on April 8, 2013


Vesa Lee
Vesa Lee

I am a person. I am enthralled with reading/writing poetry and stories, as well as collecting quotes. I am captivated by beauty. I study it any chance I get. I want desperately to be loved by my S.. more..

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