Chapter 29 Adilah enters Zion

Two people sat near a small fire in the middle of a circle of cabins. Their fourth jubilee was nearing its end and they had enjoyed several decades of living in peaceful friendship with one another. Differences and disagreements were overcome quickly as each person was prepared to accept loving correction and patient discussion. The inhabitants of this community had learned to listen to each other, seeking to understand and honour each person.

“He was my brother, in the same way that every man was somebody’s brother, son, father.”

Adilah nodded slowly. She knew what this meant. The logic was clear, but she knew that letting it in to her heart would mean only one thing: forgiveness.

The man sat opposite her wiped tears from his cheeks. “It still hurts to think of him, because I haven’t yet seen him again here on the New Earth.”

“When was the last time you saw him?” asked Adilah as the fire crackled between them. Somehow this conversation felt like one of the most intimate and important of her whole existence. Over the last few decades, she had grown to understand that the men in her community were not a threat to her safety and had slowly – tentatively at first – made efforts to spend time with them. Adilah opened her ears and her heart and found reciprocation with the men.

“He climbed on to the back of a jeep and they drove away. What hurt the most was that he looked at me in my eyes. He was defiant, like he had done nothing wrong. Maybe it was because he spared my life, but I wished he hadn’t. He killed his own nephew, niece and my wife – just because they were the wrong tribe.”

“Even we had heard of the Rwandan genocide,” said Adilah. “The militia talked of it sometimes.”

The two sat in silence for a long time.

“Do you want to see him again?” Adilah asked.

“Sometimes I do,” said the man. “Sometimes I do not. I know my heart is set – I know I choose forgiveness. I see what Jesus is doing here, and I understand that the only way for all things to be reconciled is to set my heart on Agape Love.”

The fire continued to crackle gently, as owls called in the distant treeline.

“Do you think about where he might be?”

“I assume that he will be raised and will have to face what he did. I trust that Jesus has designed a process for him that will help him, and ultimately save him. I am sure he will experience chastisement, and also the loving kindness of Papa God. The two are really the same, but it takes time to see it, doesn’t it?”

Adilah threw back her head. “Ha! Yes!” she exclaimed. “I know I have seen this in my time here, too! I have been challenged to not think of myself as only a victim. My body no longer bares the scars of the Previous Age, but it took my soul a long time to see how my identity was scarred. The people I have met have helped me see so much in my heart I didn’t know was there.”

Adilah became suddenly quiet as she stared into the fire. She reached up a hand and ran it over her hair, where once she had been burned.

“And I know what I must do to finally defeat the victim mindset.”

Her friend searched Adilah’s face, willing her to reach the moment he knew that she had to.

“So right now, I choose to forgive.”

Adilah’s head dropped to her chest and her eyes closed tight.

“I forgive all those who hurt me and my sisters,” she began to sob. “I recognise them as humans just like me.”

Adilah’s friend bowed his head in recognition of the power of the statement. The fire continued to crackle as Adilah let the tears flow. She called to mind the faces of her captors and visualised telling each of them that they were forgiven. As she did so, she felt a fiery energy burning in her stomach. It felt like a volcano was wanting to erupt inside her.

“Thank you, friend,” she cried through her tears. Ruach had been with her from her childhood, through all that she experienced, through her death, her resurrection and her process – all the way to this moment.


“Weeks and months went by from that evening around the fire,” said Harmony.  “Adilah sometimes felt a flash of resentment toward the suffering she witnessed in the Previous Age, but she consistently focussed her mind on her decision to forgive. Sometimes she felt low, because it didn’t feel easy. Other times she was able to experience that deep and exciting joy inside her, because she felt freedom like never before.”

“It was her determination to not stop actively choosing forgiveness that Ruach saw, and we knew then that this day has come,” said Jesus with delight. “Come, let’s go and get her!”


Adilah sang to herself as she polished the saucepan. The sound of birdsong in the evening never failed to elevate her spirit. She loved to sit outside as the colours changed around her. Rubbing the wire-wool in small circles over the metal, she saw the reflection of several people approaching from behind her. Turning her head, she gasped as she recognised Jesus walking toward her with Anne and Harmony.

Jesus held out his arms as Adilah ran toward him. He held her in a long embrace as she nestled under his chin. Anne and Harmony both grinned broadly with anticipation.

“Adilah,” said Jesus, holding her by the shoulders and looking deep into her eyes.

“Ruach, Harmony and Anne have seen your heart. You have chosen to clothe yourself in Agape Love, even learning to love those who hurt you. You have come to see yourself as you truly are, a loved daughter of Papa God. You are ready to enter Zion.”

Adilah covered her face with her hands for a few seconds and then opened them revealing the biggest smile she had ever smiled. She heard Jesus’ words but was unsure what this fully meant.

“Come with us,” beckoned Jesus. “You remember Cynthia?”

The seraph turned and bowed low in a greeting. The four friends climbed on to her broad furry back and soon they were soaring over the meadows of Beulah toward the shining city of Zion.

They landed gently in a square surround by tables, like an Italian piazza. Sliding to the ground, Adilah looked around, overwhelmed with the many things she’d never seen before. The piazza was at the foot of mountains which towered up into fluffy pink clouds. Dwellings of various colours were built into the rock faces. Many beautiful flowers were in bloom on balconies and in thick out-crops between the buildings. Adilah turned around slowly, taking it all in with wonder.

Jesus, Harmony and Anne stood back, watching her take in Zion for the first time. Jesus reached out and took her hand. Adilah looked at him, biting her bottom lip in a look of complete gratitude.

Jesus didn’t say anything but motioned with his head for Adilah to turn around. Standing a few feet away stood a man and woman, arm in arm.

Adilah’s hands returned to her face, for a few seconds she was completely overwhelmed. Silently she rushed to their arms before crying out in an explosion of emotions.

Adilah’s parents held her tight, and they wept together for a moment that seemed without time. She felt her father’s strong arms around her, and she buried her head into her mother’s chest. In that moment, she knew she was home and that all her suffering, her resilience, her patience, had been leading to this.

Soon they were sat in the comfort of a living room at one of Jesus’ homes. The fragrant breeze gently moved the curtains as the reunited family told each other of their journeys through the Previous Age and the New Earth. Any remaining sense of time simply evaporated as they laughed and cried together. Jesus took great pleasure in serving them various drinks and food.

“What of Eshe?” Adilah looked up and asked Jesus.

“Everybody has their own day for entering Zion,” he replied. “Much like when you were first raised to the New Earth. Today is about you. You can trust me with your sister, and all the others that you love.”

“Not just those I love,” said Adilah, with a directness and confidence that made Jesus put down his tray of drinks.

“No,” he said gently. “Not just those you have loved.”

“When?” asked Adilah.

Jesus sat down with the family.

“What you must hold in your heart is that you have the strength to meet anyone here in Zion. By the same token, anyone here is Zion is ready to meet you. Will it be easy? Not necessarily. Will it be awkward? Possibly. But you have all clothed yourselves in Agape Love. You can be confident that you will know how to be with any human being that has ever lived, should you meet them on the streets of Zion. Now, some people deliberately ask for a reconciliation. We can set that up. Other people prefer to leave it to happenstance, trusting that the timing and circumstance will flow, and of course, it will.”

“What would you like to do, my girl?” asked Adilah’s mother.

“I know that anyone here is ready to hear from me that I forgive them. I know that they have forgiven themselves and have also forgiven those who contributed to their own suffering in the Previous Age,” said Adilah calmly.

“Of course, not everyone who hurt you is here yet,” said Jesus.

“I believe I will allow this to happen… as and when,” said Adilah. “Jesus, I trust you and I trust myself.”

“Now,” said Jesus. “You are free to explore and experience the wonders of Zion in your own time. Your time for rest has come.”


“Can we play?”

Adilah turned around and lowered her bat. “For sure,” she smiled. “You two, do you want to join the fielding team, and…”

Adilah stopped. Her hand fell to her side as she looked hard at one of the other two people who had approached the game of baseball.

The person looked back with the same look of recognition on his face. Sensing what was happening, other people in the game quietly moved away a short distance.

“Adilah?” asked the man.

“Yes,” said Adilah. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She felt a mixture of excited nerves, and calm clarity at the same time.

“Come,” said Adilah, “Let’s walk together?”

The man nodded and the pair began to walk off the field in silence. Their friends looked on supportively, sending love in their hearts to both individuals. They understood what was happening.

“I know a place,” said the man.

“Ok,” said Adilah. “What is your name?” she asked.

“My name here is Bem,” he said. “But you knew me before as ‘the knife’,” his voice wavered slightly, and he cleared his throat.

They sat on a bench over-looking a neighbourhood in a suburban district of Zion.

“Listen,” said Bem. “I know you have come here because you are ready in your heart. But I need to say this to you.”

Bem moved to a kneeling position before Adilah and looked up at her.

“Adilah, I am sorry for what I did to you and so many others in the Previous Age. I acknowledge the pain and suffering you endured. I know what I did, and I now see why I did those things.”

Adilah looked down at Bem. Her forehead furrowed slightly. She saw the same human being in Bem’s eyes. The same that cut people with a knife to mark them as property of the militia. She could still remember the screams as he sliced the flesh of her sisters.

“Bem,” she said. “Sit with me. Tell me all about your life in the Previous Age. Tell me all about your journey on the New Earth.” She leaned down and took his face in her hands. “Bem. Tell me. How did you become Bem? How did you come to Zion? I want to know, I want to understand everything.”

Adilah and Bem sat with one another for many hours. Then they moved on to a quiet restaurant. They talked and they talked. Into the night they talked. As they explained their stories to one another, their hearts made room to accommodate each other.

Listening became learning. Learning became understanding. Understanding became empathy. Empathy became total acceptance that they were brother and sister within God’s family.