Preface: Many of you know I write poetry. I also follow several poetry blogs, which provide weekly writing prompts (words, themes, images) for our musing and inspiration. This week, one of them (Sunday Scribblings) provided the word ‘eternity’ for a prompt. And after musing over the word for a day, I started wondering about eternity past. We often consider eternity future, our own future with God in heaven, but what about eternity in the past, when there was only God? What about eternity past, just before He created the world, before He formed mankind to fellowship with Him? What about His foreknowledge during that eternity, when He knew what He would create, but He also knew how His creation would hurt Him … and He also knew how He would redeem that same creation and planned out an eternity future for unhindered fellowship with that creation?

Once upon a time about eight thousand years ago,
everything was black and empty:
there was no world,
there was no time,
there was only God.
But this God was lonely for companionship.
And He had all power, to create whatever He desired,
and so He created:
He flung galaxies into space,
hung light in the heavens;
He designed atmospheres
and climates,
fashioned life-forms and
life-giving forms;
He composed a universe of beauties
and enjoyments.
And then He formed creatures to enjoy it all with Him,
to walk with Him and talk with Him.
But He also had all power, to know every thing
in every place and every time.
He knew that these creatures would turn against Him,
reject Him and despise Him.
He knew the pain He would suffer
when these beings He created
would destroy a part of Himself.
He knew the sorrow and longing He would face,
the denial and unrequited love.
And yet– He created man.
He allowed man to freely choose between
the pure intimacy of life lived His way,
or the distress of life lived man’s way.
He allowed these created ones
whom He alone authored,
whom He designed in love,
to deny His craftsmanship,
His ownership of His creation.
He allowed man to defame Him,
to doubt His immensity,
to despise His imminence.
And then– He gave of Himself to repair the rift
between Himself and His own creation.
He suffered the agonies of a fragmented friendship
and a broken body,
a broken heart
and a broken spirit,
to restore the unity that He created.
And He is not finished yet, not with His own creation.
He knew of their rejection even as He designed them,
He knew of their betrayal as He created them.
But He knew the eventual joy and lasting satisfaction,
the restored friendship,
the perfected intimacy,
that would be possible after He suffered,
after He re-purchased His own creation,
bought back what was rightfully His.
He knew, for He planned an eternity,
a time of unending time,
a time beyond time,
where He would be His creation’s world,
their everything,
where they would be His friends.

Eternity, ©2011 Elizabeth A. Johnson. Also posted at Dandelion Digest.

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