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Friday, January 17, 2014


There is great freedom to be gained when one discovers it is not necessary, or even healthy, to be "right," that is: to have your opinion or way, to prevail at all times.  An uneccesary weight is lifted when we become comfortable leaving room for the opinion of others.  This requires humility.  It can be quite enlightening to listen to, and not look down on, the uneducated and unsophisticated and others who have seen and endured life experiences unfamiliar to us.  From just such I've gained practical and spiritual insights I wouldn't have learned otherwise and I am grateful to those who shared them with me.
We should be able to listen to other opinions without surrendering our integrity or our core beliefs.  If those beliefs are shaken by other opinions then they are exposed as thin and weak and require examination and strengthening.  This may well be why some are not willing to listen to other opinions.

Being "right" in deed, doctrine or even the ordinary things of life is considered by some as tantamount to "winning."  Men seem to be born with a need to be competitive, and winning or being seen as a winner is sought after and even admired as a worthy goal.  For some, always being "right" is a necessity for their lives to have any meaning.

Look at the "heroes" (a word so misused and over-used it has lost its real meaning) in our society.  They are the ones who come in first and/or at the top.  Who remembers the second-place finishers?
The necessity or compulsion to be right, a winner, whatever those categories may be in one's own supposition, can drive one to great achievements or to the depths of deceit and spiritual disaster.  It likely will lead to an attitude of victory at all costs, slash and burn as considered necessary and to the sacrifice of integrity when it gets in the way of desired goals.  The venues can range from the family to major corporations and to governing bodies.
Of course all of us must make decisons, minor and major, everyday of our lives; decisions that affect ourselves and others.  If we are wise we make allowances and provide for uncertainties in case we are wrong and we check our decisions against our core beliefs.  To help in our decisions we may seek the advice of parents or friends; those who are more experienced.  Leaders in government and industry have advisors and boards to help with decisions.  Proverbs 11:14 asserts: "In the multitude of counsellors there is safety."

In the simple things of life the burden of always being right in one's own conceit can be a heavy one. It may bring a sense of comfort and satisfaction to think that one's pontifical pronouncements are the final and correct word on how chairs should be arranged, colors are to be used, temperatures set, or who should be chairperson of a church committee, the proper dress for an ocassion, what to serve at the club luncheon, how to drive a car, etc.. It's best to remember it's been said that, "Being positive is being wrong at the top of your voice."  Being faced with irrefutable evidence that one is wrong, after having convinced oneself of the opposite, is a huge blow to the ego and may result in a wound that cannot be healed.

One of the outstanding characteristics of Jesus was his humility.  "Although he was God he did not insist on his rights as God."  Jesus did not insist on having his way with God although he clearly had the right. Instead, he submitted himself to the will of God.
Humility is not a sought-after virtue, especially in our society where being assertive is considered  more desirable.  Are you aware of any institutions offering classes on how to be humble?  When is the last time you heard a sermon on humility?  Humility is equated with weakness, being a wimp or spineless or all three.  Do any of those fit Jesus?  Absolutely not.  How many athletic 'heroes' would willingly allow themselves to be nailed to a cross?

"What does the Lord require of thee but to do justice; to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?"

There is only One who is. and has always been, right:  Almighty God.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Noah the Jewish Fly, Chapter 10

  "Master, I had an encounter with the Lord of the Flies."
  "Tell me about it," Jesus replied.
  "I don't know if it was a dream or a vision but it seemed very real,"  I said.  "We met in an oasis.  He was dressed all in white, which I thought was ironic to the tenth power.  His robe, tunic, turban and sandals were all decorated with gold and precious stones.  With his white hair and beard and pleasant expression he had the demeanor of a friendly prosperous merchant."
  "What made you think he was Satan?
  "I wasn't sure at first but I knew who he was  after he began talking.  He had an oily tongue and lies slid of it easily and often.  He did confess that Noah Flies had been an aggravation to him since they came off the Ark because they had always refused to kneel to him.  But he said he felt sure that I was different than all the others that came before me."
  "Different?  How?"
  "He said I was more likely to be up-to-date, more modern in my thinking and not hampered by old- fashioned religious ideas like my predecessors.  Surely, he said, you're smart enough to have already figured out that God expects us to use our own intelligence so that we can make choices and control and use that intelligence to determine our own destiny.  Who says we need a great nanny in the sky to tell us what's right and wrong?   That's a myth conjured up by weak-minded people who didn't know any better.  Remember, Satan said, when Moses went up on Mount Sinai to carve the Ten Commandments into the stone tablets? The Israelites at the base of the mountain hardly waited 'til Moses was out of sight before they began molding a golden calf to worship. See?  When push comes to shove, people want something tangible for security, something they can experience with their senses and they want it now, not pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye."
  "Moses carved the Commandments into the stone tablets?  That's news to me," Jesus observed wryly. "He's still recycling the same old lies and deceptions." 
  "I asked Satan why he thought he could mock God with impunity.  He puffed up and declared that he was God's equal.  At one point, he said, he was one of God's favorite angels, but over time he began to wonder why God should have all the glory.  He talked it over with some of the other angels and they urged Satan to confront God with a proposition to set up two thrones in Heaven; one for God and the other for Satan. God will not share his glory with anyone so Satan was kicked out of heaven along with all of his conniving angels."
  "Yes," Jesus said.  "And I saw Satan fall like lightning."
  "He glossed over that part like he intended to leave Heaven anyway.  He said he was tired of the place and if there wasn't any chance for advancement, what would be the point in staying?  It was apparent that he wanted to change the subject because then he said he had the power to give me anything I might want.  He said he had put a package of goodies together that was bigger and better than anything he'd offered to my ancestors to get them to change their allegiance. Every earthly pleasure would be mine for the asking."
  "I can imagine," Jesus said.
  "First, he would make me into a human: young, handsome and rich.  Next, he would give me twelve palaces, each one in the center of a golf course. What's a golf course?"
 "Something in the future," Jesus answered.
 "Oh? Well anyway he emphasised that each palace would not be at the edge of a golf course but right in the middle. After that he promised a thousand of the best horses and the latest chariots made entirely of gold; riches beyond anything I could imagine; a constant stream of beautiful young virgins for my selection and I would move in the social circles of kings, princes and all the movers and shakers.  Beyond that I would be famous throughout the world.  All this and more would be mine if I denounce you as an impostor and return to his kingdom."
  "What was your answer?"
  "I said I didn't want anything he offered. It was all temporary and one day it would be only dust and not even a  memory.  That you, Jesus, offered eternal spiritual riches that will never pass away plus joy, peace and love right now."
  "How did he take your answer?"
  "In spectacular fashion I must say. His eyes turned bright red and flames shot out of his ears and mouth.  Although enveloped in the fire I was not harmed. But the oasis that had been so beautiful and green a moment before was now black earth and charred tree stumps.  Satan said I was a fool to put my trust in Jesus because I was betting on a dead horse.  He would prove that in just a few weeks and I would see Satan's victory when my hope was hanging on a tree.
  "At that moment a very odd-looking chariot without horses appeared next to him.  It was long and had four wheels.  On the side were the numbers 666.  Satan got into the vehicle and told me to remember that although I had turned down his wonderfully generous offer of a better and more exciting life, he would not give up on me.  Then, laughing like a goosed hyena, he and the chariot disappeared.  Jesus, what did Satan mean about my hope would soon be hanging on a tree?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Noah the Jewish Fly, Chapter 9

  In the days following, Jesus and his disciples put a lot of miles on their sandals as Jesus taught, healed, raised people from the dead and fed thousands at a sitting.  It seemed to me to be enough evidence to convince a stone statue that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.  Look, I'm not saying I'm smarter than anyone else but even I could tell at this point the disciples were still somewhat clueless about the real identity of Jesus.
  After Jesus performed a miracle at the wedding feast in Cana the disciples were sufficiently impressed to say they believed in him.  Big whoop.  Jesus said that even Satan and his angels believe that he is the Christ.  In the disciples' favor I'll readily admit I also missed the significance of the New Wine served at the wedding feast, the three water pots that contained the wine and more symbols laid out for those who are looking. Subsequent events proved, that until they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples believed in Jesus as long as he conformed to their image of who he should be.  An ever present possible human reaction as it turns out.
  An incident in Capernaum provided me an interesting example of the kind of faith Jesus was looking and hoping for in the Israelites; sons of the kingdom;    A centurion approached Jesus with a request to heal his servant who was suffering terribly.  Jesus replied that he would come and heal the man. Two things that must have set the watching Pharisees' teeth on edge: Jesus, a Jew, was talking to a Gentile and, horrors!, Jesus would, potentially, have to go into the house of a Gentile.  Both actions would have made Jesus polluted according to nightmare load of the ceremonial laws of cleanliness.  Jesus was not interested in abiding by or giving credence to the laws the Jews had compiled.
  The centurion understood authority and immediately recognized it in Jesus.  "No need to come to my house," the soldier said.  "Just say the word and my servant will be healed."  It made me wonder; Why was it that a Gentile centurion could clearly see the authority of Jesus and the Jews could not?   And that time and distance were no obstacles to the power of Jesus?  Could it have been that the centurion was not self-afflicted with a stiff neck or burdened with a mish mash of man-made religious laws, religious prejudices, a know-it-all attitude and a religion that had once been vibrant and God-centered but had now become calcified and institutionalized?  Or that he was willing to humble himself and, to get to Jesus, he didn't have to climb over a mountain of doctrines, tenets, mistaken beliefs and spiritual blindness?  I was beginning to have an inkling of the enormity of the forces arrayed against Christ but also that faith in him could arise in unexpected places.
  My belief that Jesus was the Messiah had been solidified because I had a a sort of an inside view, as it were, being present a few times when Jesus was at prayer.  At those times I felt I was carried on the wings of Jesus' words into Heaven itself and into the dazzling presence of God.  It was then that I understood, at a much deeper level, the meaning of, "Believing, trusting and reverencing God is the beginning of Wisdom."  Present in the Spirit in the Throne Room, I was overcome, not with fear but with the love and power emanating from the Throne.  I am not allowed to tell you of all that I saw but some day you may get your chance to see it.
  There were times however when Jesus would say, "Off with you, Noah.  I'm going to commune with the Father now and no other human---or insect-- may listen in.  But I will tell you this much:  We'll be talking about my destiny, the present and the future;  of things that will affect mankind in the entire world."
  One day Jesus and the 12 stopped for a rest in the shade of some palm trees by the road.  Jesus sat alone with his back against one of the trees. 
  "Come out and sit on my palm, Noah,"  he said.
  I made my way out of his beard and flew to the designated landing spot.
  Jesus looked at me intently.  "My little friend, the Lord of the Flies and Filth wants to take you back.  He is furious that you have escaped his dark kingdom and wished to put you through a barrage of lies, torture you with doubts and deceive you right into Hell.  Be aware of his intentions but don't be afraid; keep your spiritual eyes on me, only believe and your faith will protect you."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Noah the Jewish Fly, Chapter 8

   As I settled into a vantage point in Jesus' beard I must have wiggled a lot because He asked, "Are you comfy?"
  "Like sitting in the back seat of a Rolls Royce (A)," I answered.
  "Really?  As good as that? (A)  Well, you may stay there as long as you can stand it.  There are some rough times ahead;  ugly times you may not prefer to witness."
  What?, I thought.  As long as I can stand it?  Ugly times?  Hey; bring 'em on. I'm a grizzled veteran of ugly times. I've witnessed murder, child molestation, starvation, torture.  You name it; I've seen it.
  "Yes, you have" Jesus said, reading my mind. "And the evil-doers of all those things will be repaid.  But I'm referring to things even you, with all your experience, would find unimaginable at the moment.  For now, you will have to wait to see them as they come into being.  But before we leave this subject I know you've been pondering Isaiah's prophecy:  "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."  What do you make of that?"
  "Oh, that," I answered. "Yes, I've wondered a lot about what Isaiah was referring to.  I came to the conclusion that the prophet was speaking figuratively.  It is beyond reason that your people would actually do You physical harm.  After all, You have come to deliver them from the penalties of sin and to set them right with God if they believe in You.  Surely, surely, once they recognize who You are they will receive You with joy."
  Jesus did not respond.
  Disconcerted by Jesus' silence I pressed the case for my opinion.
  "You grew up in Nazareth didn't you?" I asked.
  "Yes," he replied.
  "Well, I bet the folks there are proud of You.  You know, 'Local boy makes good; Turns out to be the Messiah.'"
  I could hear and feel Jesus sigh before he answered.
  "I was well received when I returned to Nazareth,"  he said.  "As usual I went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Recognized by all as a Teacher, I stood up to read and was handed the book of Isaiah.  I read a messianic passage, closed the book, handed it back to the attendant and sat down.  Everybody in the synagogue stared at me.  I was seated but I was not finished teaching.  I added, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
  I interrupted with, "And that's when they started cheering, right?"
  "No," Jesus said. "They sat quietly for few moments, seemingly amazed and somewhat shocked at what I had said. Then, a buzz started in the crowd and I heard someone close to me say, "Isn't this Joseph's boy?  We watched him grow up right here in this town. What gives him the right to claim to be the Messiah?  He's either mad or lying." I knew then that not one person there was receiving what God was offering.  I went on to remind them of God's acts of grace to Gentiles through Elijah and Elisha during a period of Israel's unbelief.  That stung the congregation into a frenzy. Yelling: 'Gentile-lover! Blasphemer! Death to the Liar!' they grabbed me and led me to the edge of a cliff, determined to throw me to my death.  It was not my time so I calmly walked through the mob to safety and they were powerless to stop me."
  I was stunned into silence by how His hometown had shamefully treated Jesus.  Then, something warm and wet from above drenched and roused me from my depressed state; Jesus was weeping.
  It's well known that flies cannot cry; but this fly did.  Buckets, actually.
  "Don't cry for me, Little Friend,"  Jesus said softly. "Weep for Israel.  There will also be many tears shed by My people when they realize Who they have rejected"  He stood, gently removed me from his beard and used a corner of His robe to dry my eyes. 
  "Feel better?"  He asked.
  "A little," I answered. "I just had no idea anyone would treat you like the Nazarenes did."
  " Capernaum is my new hometown,"  Jesus said. "Nazareth has made its choice.  Come, get back in my beard. We must move on."


(A) Once again the elderly author slipped off the time track.
(A) Example of Jesus' omniscience

References: Luke Chapter 4, Isaiah 53:5

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Noah, the Jewish Fly Chapter 7

  "Master," I asked, "Will you free your people from the grasp of the Romans?"
  "Noah, I am the Shepherd of God.  I have come first to gather the lost sheep of Israel.  I know each one by name and they know my voice.  But the Seed will not always fall on good ground.  Some will fall by the wayside, some on stony places, others among thorns.  As for the Romans: Nations rise and fall but the Kingdom of God is forever."
   Within myself I nodded in agreement with all Jesus said but I was so content my mind had shifted into neutral.  Sheep? Seeds?  Of course.  I get it.  But the importance of what he said floated right over my head and not into my heart.
  When Jesus spoke, his words had the sound of the dawn for He is the "Sun of Righteousness who shall arise with healing in His wings." His words were as new as the next instant and older than the Universe.  Even so, many would be unable to hear them over the cacophony of every day concerns and the search for pleasure.  Or simply find them easy to ignore.
  Resting in the palm of His hand I basked in a sense of peace and security I had never known before. I tried to snuggle deeper into a line of His palm and rubbed against something unexpected: a callous.  What? ---A callous?  This was not the soft hand of pampered royalty but of a working man.  He did not get such hardened skin without experiencing drenching sweat and hard labor from the first light of day until he laid aside his tools at sunset. From the first I could tell by looking at Him that Jesus was of peasant stock but until I felt that callous it had not sunk into my tiny brain that Jesus actually had to work like a commoner. 
  After all, He is the Messiah.  He should have been spared the aching muscles and bone tiredness of manual labor which was the lot of commoners, shouldn't He?  Shouldn't he have had something finer than the coarse fabric of His clothes and the simple meals that were not always available and the bottom-of the-barrel wine that was within one short step of being vinegar? In the Great Scheme of Things what difference would it have made if His path been made smoother? It seemed to me he deserved much better treatment and if I had been in charge that's what He would've had.  But I had to learn that 'the wisdom of God is foolishness to men.'
  Jesus voice roused me from my thoughts.  "You have to move, Noah. I will have enough trouble with people believing my message without them wondering why I'm carrying a fly in my hand."
  "But Master,"  I protested. "It's so cozy here."
  Jesus appeared thoughtful for a few moments and then spoke: "So like human reasoning: Find a comfortable place in spiritual life and stay there.  Avoid criticism and embarrassment by living and expressing faith in Me only within the bounds of what is socially acceptable.  Build a wall around that comfortable place to keep out anything, including the Holy Spirit, that might urge or cause change.  The scribes and the Pharisees have not only built such walls for themselves but for others whom God has made them responsible.  Will they welcome the Words of Life?  Some will but most will not and then they will compound their sin by shielding their disciples from the Gift of God by denying me as the Christ.  I tell you, 'Whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.' 
  Come, Noah.  Climb into my beard.  Burrow in and you will go wherever I go and be the first to hear me speak."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Noah the Jewish Fly, Chapter 6

  As I winged my way back into the Upper Room a more complete picture of Jesus was starting to come together in my mind.  One big piece was missing but I felt the total picture was almost in my grasp. The hours that I and Al bar Levi had spent poring over the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the Messiah had borne fruit in abundance in my consciousness and spirit.
  Bar Levi used the rabbi's usual teaching method of  answering a question with a question.  I confess I found it exasperating at times but also it made me think more deeply than I might have otherwise.  He didn't leave me foundering when I had exhausted all my mental and spiritual resources.  Instead, he would carefully, almost imperceptibly, nudge me in the right direction.  Still, still, I had a few concerns that lingered until Jesus had me return to bar Levi.
  As bar Levi and I studied the scriptures I wondered: Was Isaiah's description of the Suffering Servant intended to be a  portrayal of Messiah?  If so, it didn't line up at all with the traditional view of Messiah in the mold of David; a Warrior-King who would rid Israel of all its oppressors, rebuild the Temple and restore the nation to its former glory. For a while the two options bounced around in my head like pinballs.(*)  Even though the latter view was certainly the most appealing I ultimately realized that its appeal was to the flesh; not the spirit.  It was much later that I understood how accurate Isaiah's vision and prophecy proved to be.  Also later, my eyes were opened to the realization that Jesus WAS before the earth was formed and in Genesis, God had set in motion His plan of salvation.
  At the feast of the Passover, Jesus said the bread and wine represented his body and his blood which would be 'shed for many.'  Who are 'the many?'  Are they the righteous?  Back to Isaiah; "And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  The 'many' are all of us; everybody; no exceptions both now and in the future. The way I understood it, Jesus was going to allow himself to be sacrificed for the sins of everyone in  the whole world. The logical question that follows is this: How can the death of one man, no matter how devoted to God; no matter how willing; how can that sacrifice possibly be sufficient to erase all sin in another person's life?
  That question was burning in my mind when I flew into the Upper Room where Jesus was sitting alone.  He extended his hand and I lined up on it for my landing approach.  The instant I touched down on his palm I heard a Voice in my spirit; a majestic, quiet Voice, yet as forceful and awesome as stars colliding or mountains crumbling.  I was so startled by the sound and substance of the message the Voice delivered, my landing gear collapsed.  I did three forward rolls and ended on my back inside the sleeve of Jesus' robe.
  "That was quite an entrance, Brother Noah," Jesus said.
  I crawled out of his sleeve and onto Jesus' hand. "Master, I know who you are,"  I said, head bowed and with all the reverence within me.
  "Really?  Who am I?"
  "You are the Christ; the Son of the Living God."
  "You're blessed, Noah.  You didn't pick this up on the street and you didn't reason it out.  No mortal revealed it to you.  It came to you directly from my Father who is in heaven.  Simon bar Jonah has already been been blessed the same way.  One day there will be thousands of thousands who will have made the same confession."

(*) Editor's note:  Pinballs were not invented for another 1900 years.  Please forgive error by elderly author.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Noah the Jewish Fly Chapter 5

  I wanted to dive into the cloud covering bar Levi but I felt immobilized and as though my six feet were firmly glued to the menorah.  What was going on in there?  My curiosity was pushing against its limits.  Though I had never seen it before, the cloud was strongly familiar.  Why?  Think; think----.  Wait; hadn't God manifested himself to the ancients as a pillar of cloud to lead them by day in the desert?  Of course; you knew that, Noah.  But, old boy, you can't be faulted for being confused.  After all, how often have you been in the presence of God before?  Well, everyday, sort of, as a matter of fact. Yes, that's true but------.  Stop!  Quit arguing with yourself before your brain turns to porridge.  Maybe if you'd noticed bar Levi's slippers were out from under the cloud you wouldn't have become so befuddled.

  "Tell me, son of Levi, do the rich, the powerful and the leaders of my people treat them well?  Do they have compassion for the weak, the sick, the elderly, the poor, the children and those on the fringes of society?
  "You know, Lord."
  "I am quite aware of what I know.  I'm asking for your observations."
  "My observations lead me to say there is little or no compassion forthcoming from those in control.  They desire recognition in the marketplace and the Temple and hearing their name praised is precious to their ears. How they love being pointed out on the streets as someone of importance. They expect the highest seats at feast tables and they never tire of seeking after this world's goods."
  "Just as I have noticed.  Do you think I may require too much from my children?"
  "No, Lord,"  bar Levi replied.  "Your prophet Micah said, 'He has shown you, O man, what is good:  And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?'  If we do these things we keep the covenant and the Law."
  "Yet,"  the Lord said with a sigh,  "Israel has apparently found that doing these three things consistently is much too difficult for them.  To do them requires change and personal sacrifice.  This they are not willing to do.  In the first place it requires an admission that they need to change.  They would be insulted at the suggestion that anything in their lives is wrong.  They would say they 'are children of Abraham' as though that entitled them to do as they pleased.
  They have not heeded my prophets.  Time after time Israel has called out to me in their distress. When I answered and delivered them they promised to obey Me but instead they soon drifted off into idol worship and concerns for their own affairs."
  "But," bar Levi said. "When Messiah comes all that will change for the better. They will finally become the people who will be worthy of you.  The people will welcome Messiah with praise and adoration.  Love, peace and compassion will abound throughout the world.  Each person, to the farthest edges of society, will have significance in the eyes of his neighbor because they will know they are all equal in the sight of God and are all loved equally by You."
  For several minutes, but what seemed an hour to bar Levi, there was no response to his glowing forecast.  He felt his enthusiasm slowly fading as a sense of foreboding took its place.  It was not to be.  Then the Lord spoke
  "You are to say no more to your colleagues or to Noah about Jesus,"  the Lord said.  "Jesus will declare himself in due time.  Eventually, Noah will play his part; minor and seemingly insignificant though it will be.  In the meantime, though he has memorized the Scriptures, guide him in depth through the writings of Moses and the other prophets.  Do not force-feed him.  Let him arrive at his own conclusions.
  Until just before Noah's death, he has been loaned a mind, will and emotions.  In other words: a soul.  Now he has a voice and, generally, those of his kind who have heard him speak, want nothing to do with him.  He is different and other flies, without understanding, become frightened, angered or threatened by his strange utterances.  The majority are indifferent, they ignore him  and go about their lives as usual.  Noah is not defeated in his loneliness and rejection.  He soon realized where his abilities came from and submitted himself to Me and dedicated himself to learning My ways. I am more pleased with that than all burnt offerings and the works of ten thousand who cry 'Lord, Lord,' but who have yet to seek and abide in My ways.  Nurture Noah. One year from now I want him to be studying the Messiah prophecies of Isaiah."
  "I hear and will obey, Lord,"  bar Levi said.

  From my perch on the menorah I saw the cloud suddenly evaporate.  Al bar Levi stood, his back to me, head lowered.  After a moment or two he raised his head, slid his feet back into his slippers and turned toward me.  I was not prepared for the sight of the golden glow covering his face and his brilliantly shining eyes. I almost lost my grip on the candelabra.
  "Noah," bar Levi said in a voice saturated with awe.  "I've been in the very presence of God."
  Overcome by bar Levi's appearance and the powerful holy aura still in the room I blurted out: "What did He look like?"
  "I only heard His voice.  Otherwise I would be stretched out dead on the floor."
  "How foolish of me,"  I said sheepishly.  "I knew that."  I felt like kicking myself with all six of my legs.  "Can you share anything He said?"
  "Yes. You are to diligently study the scriptures with my guidance  Together, we shall extract the full meaning of God's words."
  "I'm ready."
  "In all fairness you should know that, when the time comes, you will be bereft of your extraordinary
abilities.  You will die as an ordinary fly,"  bar Levi said, a hint of sadness in his voice.
  "I am not the least bit dissuaded,"  I replied.  "Nor do I have any regrets.  I understand who I am in God.  He knows me by name and He cares about me individually.  What more could I ask from the gift of life He has given me?  I rejoice in the certainty that I am part of God's plan."
  "Noah; you have more wisdom in your tiny body than in most of Israel,"  bar Levi said quietly.