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A stranger in blue was sitting down in front of him, he placed a white business card on the table which was blank but after a moment began to write a message in yellow ink that stated:. He looked up at the stranger, perplexed by this sudden magic trick. The stranger pointed back down at the card. It read:. Tim stared back at the card. It seemingly read his mind. He looked up again and was further stunned by now fully taking in the appearance of the stranger across from him.

He was transfixed. The appearance of this stranger, the card, and now some hidden unspoken feeling that kept him in his place. The stranger went on to explain some unfortunate news. That the rapture had occurred and Tim had not been chosen. Tim blacked out for what felt like a few minutes. He said it this time more as a definitive statement to himself.

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As if he was mapping out every gesture every expression that Tim made. The stranger was wearing a navy blue suit, had a bright lemon chiffon colored pocket square with an intricate spiral pattern and a blindingly white tie, that somehow was brighter than his button-down shirt. His medium length hair was jet black with a simple part on the left side he looked to be not a day over 21 years old and yet spoke with a voice you would think was emanating from an audiobook.

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Every word, phrase, and syllable is spoken with intent. Carefully chosen and crafted. He could feel himself slipping into what he could only imagine were stages of grief but also was fighting himself to fully understand what was happening around him, not to mention the absurdity of it all. Tim spoke slowly again to the stranger, trying to repeat in a similar fashion what the stranger had explained. People are chosen by God to return to heaven. That Rapture. Has already happened?

Despite getting tremendously upset by the minute he worked hard not to let it show on the outside, something about that business card helped put him at ease.

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Kept him at his seat and not running out the door. Those who we felt earned it, we recalled. Tim was massaging his eyes with both of his hands. He was pressing harder into his pupils to hopefully jar himself awake. Who was recalled? The stranger took a small breath and spoke slowly. This jolted Tim back to reality.

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This has now escalated past ridiculous he thought, this was something else, some art school performance or practical joke. He retorted in disbelief now quizzing the stranger. With what instrument can you erase something like that? Tim now was beyond whatever patience or reasoning he had left. This was a game, a cheap trick, a viral video he thought wildly. He looked back at the table. The card was blank again and where the previous message was a new message was appearing saying:.

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His ears were ringing, his eyes were blurred for a moment as he came back to his senses. He now understood what people meant by a blinding rage. As his adrenaline subsided Tim took a look at his surroundings. The cafe had been brought to a halt. Tim walked around the cafe. These are actors he thought, trained actors. He looked outside, cars were paused in the middle of the street, a bicyclist was mid-pedal, a puppy had just escaped his leash with the fastener still hanging in the air. He approached the table next to the exit where a disheveled college student was working on his laptop.

An experiment was needed. Tim tried to place his finger inside the students coffee, the surface broke where his finger tapped, and stayed in place. There was a noise like water rapidly washing around him and Tim suddenly was back in the chair, almost as if he never left. Suddenly tears started to well up.

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His throat tightened, the enormity of the situation was starting to take hold as the world he knew was shattering around him, so many days, months, spent doing what? He showed us the real world made hyper-real—with familiar archetypes, magical realism, and all—but never unreal, alien, and soulless. Its story was violent, but people still struggled with how and when to fight.

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The movie bizarrely skips all that, showing instead a sweet little world in which even a Christianity-hating big sister takes her kid brother to a mall. So why does God bust in to ruin everything with the rapture? Only after this event do people actually start screaming and looting. The novel spends the entire rapture on the plane flight.

As many reviewers have noted with tones of regret, these disaster scenes could have been decent. I can only theorize that pragmatism forced these omissions. Lost in this machine is any regard for the actual purpose of evangelism—to preach the Gospel and call others to repent. Lost, too, is the purpose of stories—to imitate the Father as Creator as a way to explore him and ourselves. Such an inhuman approach to storytelling and evangelism can actually be a denial of Jesus Christ.

Waiting for the Rapture: Scenes from a Magical Life

It was Jesus who asked his listeners to consider the relationship between his earthly tales and the spiritual truths they conveyed John Our Savior is making the obvious point that he has been speaking accurately and creatively about earthly things like being born as flesh and by flesh, and being unable to predict the mysterious path of winds. This is how Jesus evangelizes and this is how he shares stories. Like his Father who created humans out of earthly materials, the eternal Son stoops to the real-life earth and subcreates truthful human stories. He uses similes, ironies, short examples, or longer parables with plots and realistic humans and twist endings.

Listeners recognize their friends or their leaders or themselves, enough to get outraged, confused, or curious, or simply walk away smiling and pondering.