THE OTHER SIDE - PART I
All That Glitter Is Not Gold
Walking along on a city street I happened upon a childhood friend, Tom. We grew up next door to each other; attended the same schools, elementary through high school. Our parents went to a lot of social functions together. We even vacationed together. There was little we didn't know about each other, personal or otherwise, ...... or so we thought.
We were of the same mind that most of the city was. We know that what we accepted and did not accept was the general concensus of most of the city. Our values and moral convictions were written in our Constitution. We learned and understood them from a very early age. With the exception of one: "Do Not Venture Beyond The City Limits". This one amendment always puzzled me. No one ever talked about it, at least not openly. So I found it very disturbing discussing it even with my most trusted friend. We decided to go somewhere that we could not be overheard. We found ourselves in an empty baseball park. We walked to the middle of the field, looking around to make sure we were alone, we sat and began talking freely. "Have you ever gone past the city limits"? I asked Tom. I could tell he was still very uneasy about this subject. He was looking around nervously. Finally, he spoke, "the law clearly forbids it; but I've heard talk of some that have, and never returned", said Tom. I heard this talk too, but was afraid to inquire about it. In fact, my curiosity drove me to the very edge of the city. I was there, I could have crossed over; but I didn't. Fear of the unknown is very real, and very powerful. I got the impression that my friend had been to the city limit as well. He as much as said so. I felt that this was the perfect time to ask him what was really on my heart. After getting all my courage together I turned and looked at my friend, " let's go on the other side", I said abrubtly. He turned away, pretending he didn't hear me. Going on and on about the consequences of going beyond the city limits, he stopped and turned to me and made a very startling confession; " I've already been beyond the city limits", said Tom. I couldn't believe my ears. This was unheard of, no one had ever gone beyond the city limits and come back to talk about it. He saw that I was at a loss for words, so he continued. " I went over about a year ago. It took me awhile to adjust to the way of living over there, but once I did I liked it. I met a lady named Wisdom. We became friends, and she took me down to the City Building where they keep all the birth records of everyone born there. I found my name, your name and many others ", said Tom. I guess my expression prompted him to pause. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. How could this be? Weren't we all born here? There must be some mistake. I stood up; looking down at him I said in a very anxious voice, " take me there, right now." I had to see this for myself. " I will, but first we have to talk to our parents about this," said Tom. The thought of telling my parents about this made me tremble. They are set in their ways, and more important than that, they are comfortable. Plus, I'm not convinced myself, yet. As though reading my mind, Tom pulled out a map. Part of the map was sectioned off in blue and another in yellow. "This is where we are", said Tom, pointing to the blue section. The name was in bold black letters, 'CHIMERA'. The yellow section was beyond the city limit where Tom had gone, it was called, 'VERISIMILITUDE'. I had never known the name of the other city, until now. Looking at me rather sedately, Tom asked, " do you know what these names mean "? I thought for a moment before admitting my ignorance. Looking around again to be sure one last time that we were alone, Tom leaned to my ear and said, " CHIMERA " means Illusion or Deception, and "VERISIMILITUDE" means Reality or Credibility". I couldn't make the connection, so he helped me understand. " We weren't born here. We were brought here at an early age and was indoctrinated into this lifestyle and value system. None of it is real. That's why they don't want us to go beyond the city limits, because if we do we'll know the truth, and no one would want to come back here", said Tom. This was all an incredible story, but for some reason it rang true in my ears. "Not many people are accepting the truth, because those who came before us bearing this message was not only branded as fanatics, but was persecuted and murdered. Those who oppose it will do anything to stop it", said Tom.
"I heard of these people, and this message: There was Jesus the Christ, The Apostle Paul, Peter and John, there was Augustine, Spurgeon and, Martin Luther", I said. Tom nodded approvingly. "Then, these that they call myths are actually real"? I asked. "Yes, they are real", said Tom. I was stunned and relieved at the same time. Tom was a bearer of the message, and he was asking for my help. "It's going to be hard, and many times you will feel alone; but there are many lives at stake, and I believe, as I hope you will too, that it's worth it," said Tom. We walked to the city limit, looked around, and walked over to 'The Other Side' together.