Forgetting: A Story Retold

Conversion detail, St. Paul's, Cambridge

Conversion detail, St. Paul’s, Cambridge (Photo credit: TheRevSteve)

I could spend my time remembering being perfect. I could trace the river of my blood back to the beginning of time; the holy books were written on my heart. I never missed a day set apart in solemnity or celebration. My sacrifices were pleasing, my heart and hands clean. I thanked God I was not some heretic following a lunatic. I was on the side of right.

Forget that garbage.

I could buckle under the weight of the gaze Stephen fixed on me, his words ringing uncomprehended in my ears. I could dredge the memory up from my body: the crowd of witnesses rushing toward him, throwing their cloaks at my feet, scooping up stones. I can still hear the sound of the first one falling. The satisfaction I felt at that moment, knowing his words would be silenced, lives in my body like a poison, a pollution, a stain.

Forget this body.

I no longer need to be pure. I no longer live in mortal guilt. Now I am a new creation. New name, new family, new homeland, new mission, new life. I can’t afford to waste a second in regretting the prestige I lost, the power I abused. There is only the voice that called me, the power that threw me to the ground, the light that came after the blindness. There is no time but eternity. There’s nothing to do but run the race in the sure knowledge it’s already won.

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