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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Friday, October 10, 2008
Fiction Friday: The Man With Two Masters.
The interior of the palace was awash in orange and gold as that great and silent light slowly sank along its eternal course behind that line where the earth and sky met in the west. The high windows shaped that fiery light as it filled in slanted rays, the great cavity of that room. There, far ahead on the raised dais, the throne and him one who sat in it – figures cut from light itself it seemed, waited. The sharp echo of their footsteps could have told a blind man how grand the room was. The dust and smell of the harvest hang in the air, even here, and in spite of the himself, the majesty and beauty of this place seemed to pull from the recesses of his soul an admiration that he himself would rather have denied.

Kneel.

The command jerked him from his silent thoughts – had they passed through this magnificent chamber so soon? He looked to the speaker even as he begrudgingly humbled himself on one knee. His lord's attendant was never so kind as his lord.

All the way.

The voice wasn’t harsh, but its timbre and tone left no room for hesitancy, and though his heart swelled against the command, yet he smoothly forced the other knee into obedience.

Why have you come?

The question hung there knitting itself into the fabric of the fading light, hovering with the sweet smelling dust of harvest. What could he answer? Could he really tell his lord all that was in his heart? He relished the notion of suddenly answering the question truthfully – he would never do that of course – but the thought so tickled him he let it play out in his thinking for just a moment.

Why? Is it not obvious that you are my lord, and I am your vassal? Did you not conquer my lands and my people – and is not my presence here on my knees evidence enough that you have conquered me?

I bring the tribute.

He raised the heavy box he had brought in before him. An ornate, carved and beautiful thing – but filled with silver and gold. As he raised it, he opened it and waited. In the silence that followed his thoughts continued.

I have to admit – I admire this lord. He not only defeated me, but every day since he has worked tirelessly to advance my lands and my people. He is a better manager of my own things than I have ever been. He is noble and kind, strong and virtuous, and even here in his own throne room he looks more concerned about me than my tribute. He is loved by his subjects, and rightly so – I have never known a man to be his better. My own life has so greatly improved under his guidance and reign, and yet here I am before him, welcomed into his throne room, and still my heart is full of rebellion. It weeps in the dungeon of my chest for the old rule, and I am torn daily in a struggle between my desire to be ruled, and my desire to rule.

There is a stirring on the dais, and this time it is not one of the vassals who speak to me, but my lord himself – a father, a soldier – a man whose authority is by no means lost in the tenderness of his voice,

Why have you been away so long?

My head instinctively bows, and my eyes, were they open, would be cast upon the floor. I speak the truth; why not?

I wanted to bring you a tribute, but wanted it to be worthy of my absence...

Without hesitation, but kindly, he reaches to my bowed chin and lifts my face to his concerned stare. He drinks in my countenance, so that his reply doesn’t come in words, but is written in compassion of that kind and noble face.

I shiver within as he seems to examine me – there is no rebuke in his gaze - none at all. Yet I am weighed down in my soul by some phantom rebuke – one that I have heaped upon my own soul. I feel the weight of it - made all the more heavy as I know how I would have responded were I in his shoes. I think I am trembling, but it is a trembling within. My heart wrings itself beneath his benign and kind rule – he is the enemy of my heart’s reign – and for this reason my heart continues to writhe under this happy yoke, and I feel myself a sad puppet being yanked apart day by day as those sorry strings that bind me are being manipulated by two very different masters.

I am sorry my lord.

The words are uttered so inaudibly, so mixed into the drone of the dying light, that I suspect he hasn’t really heard me. I know this man is no liar, but my heart, my heart has only known poison, and it pumps it through me to keep me under its spell. I want to be more sorry – I want to be able to shut the door forever on that beady eyed demon in my chest – that whisperer who chafes at my joy day and night for want of another joy. There it rocks back and forth in the inky blackness of my deepest self; scheming and deceiving – holding onto the mad and undying hope that continues to well up from within – a septic putrescence giving resolve and ashen strength to my raging breast so that I find myself rubbed raw each day by contest between the good rule of my lord, and the sour desires of my impenetrable heart.

His eyes are reading my face. He knows perfectly well the turmoil of my soul. He reads my shame, my inner struggle, his own face the picture of strength adorned by compassion and understanding.

Rise

I do. I know what comes next too.

He will inquire as to what I will need to run that part of his kingdom which formerly was mine, and which he has awarded me governance in his name, and I will give some answer, but somewhere inside I will feel that I am somewhere else – for that thing in me refuses to draw close to him. How I want this time to be the time when I reach down and tear my own black heart from the hollow of my heaving chest and throw it to the floor before him – so that he might do what I have begged him from afar to do ever day since he took control of my lands: impale that vulgar thing once and for all.

The two of us begin to talk, my voice is dry as dust, his quiet and attentive. The golden orange that once crawled across the floor had dimmed and reddened, crawling up the east wall until the room is in the shadow of night.
posted by Daniel @ 2:48 PM  
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