The Vision, pp. 235-46
What is this mess.
Asher stood on the hill where The Last Publishers offices were located. Below he could see Cheyenne sitting beside the rock herb pond, dangling her feet in the ice spring water. She had changed.
Had she, now? Had she really?
I am getting damnably tired of the tell, don’t show in this book.
He recognized in her the same feeling of destiny that he had experienced after his mission trip. Seeing life and death up so close purifies one’s perspective, purging out the mundane and irrelevant, leaving only the eternal. A melancholy came over him as he realized he missed her childish antics, her flirtatious nonsense that came from always assuming that life would just keep on being the same safe, happy place that it had always been.
I don’t buy this, for two reasons. First, Cheyenne does not actually seem any different, and she still does that flirtatious nonsense. Second, I don’t think Cheyenne at all saw things as as safe or happy before as Asher seems to think.
Frankly, this would read more realistically if Asher were a serial killer stalking Cheyenne, and making his own guesses and assumptions about her internal life, all in the name of eventually justifying whatever he does to her.
The bombing and birds, and then the murder of the young Muslim girl had taken something from Cheyenne … from all of them. Young Magdalene looked like a scarecrow; Bobbie Jo was often visibly sad. Even Dusty and Ben seemed subdued. It was like eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Until then they had only known good folks. Now they had stared evil in the face, heard his scratch voice, and seen his deadly deeds.
They live in a town governed by white supremacists long out to get them and their land, but sure. I just. Why can’t Debi show us this instead of telling us it? And I still don’t buy it! They don’t actually act any differently!
Next we see Cheyenne sitting by the herb pond and crying over how precious life is, which I suppose does seem somewhat different from Cheyenne Before The Bombing, but it’s immediately followed by this:
Bobbie Jo and Julie had been crammed into the backside of one of the warehouses packing her herb orders while she lallygagged in Hope’s herb garden. She grinned. Oh well, the perks of being boss.
First, this is more evidence that every workplace Debi has known has been awful, but second, this does not seem any different from old Cheyenne at all.
Food and Questions
Now it’s time for a meal. Everyone goes to the dining hall.
Yancey has questions.
“Yo, Malachi, I’ve been wondering about da passage dat speaks about da USA, Russia, and Israel in prophesy.”
Why is Yancey here?
“Yeah, I looked up all dose woids you listed, and it appears dat da good old USA might be in for some hot lava. I found verses in Jeremiah 50 and 51 dat seems to say dis. So, whaddya say?”
“The passage you’re referring to in Jeremiah 50 and 51 prophesies of a nation that is the hindmost of the nations, which means that it is the youngest of the powerful nations. It says it is the hammer of the whole earth, that is, it is responsible for nation building, and it is populated with what is termed mingled people … many different nationalities forming the citizenry.”
Jeremiah 50 starts with this: “The word that the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.” To me that rather sounds like it’s about the past and not about the future. This is about a specific moment in the history of Israel and Babylon, etc., not about the tribulation. But try telling evangelicals that!
9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.
11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;
12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
That, of course, is the King James Version. Interestingly enough, that last phrase is translated as follows in more recent translations: “Behold, she will be the least of the nations, A wilderness, a dry land and a desert.”
Malachi is just making things up here.
What about Malachi’s comment about “the hammer of the whole earth” being a reference to a country “responsible for nation building,” aka the USA? Here’s the bit he’s talking about (in the KJV again):
23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the Lord.
The “hammer of the whole earth” is a reference to Babylon. As in, ancient Babylon. Man, evangelicals get trippy when they start reading all these bits as prophesy about the future, rather than commentary on an (ancient) present.
Okay. What about the “mingled people” reference?
35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.
36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.
37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.
Now, in fairness, the New American Standard Bible reads: “And against all the foreigners who are in the midst of her.” However, it reads this way because we are talking about Babylon, which conquered other nations and sometimes moved entire populations. This verse is in no way a reference to the fact that the USA is a diverse country. FFS.
And then there’s Yancey:
“Yeah, so how is dis nation suppose to be destroyed?”
Malachi tells him to read the verses and makes some references to droughts and plagues and mountains coming down—which I assume we’re to think is probably a reference to Yellowstone erupting.
Someone asks why the US would be destroyed when so many other countries are even more wicked, and Malachi says “to whom much is given, much is required,” and then talks about child pornography and killing babies (i.e. abortion), which for some reason makes me think of the three children who died because their parents followed Michael Pearl’s child training advice and beat their kids. You know, Michael Pearl, our author Debi Pearl’s husband.
Why is it that those who style themselves as defenders of children, when it comes to issues like child pornography or abortion, are so often downright gleeful about beating children?
Debi includes this passage:
“God says concerning those who offend these little ones that it is better for them to be cast into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause such offense.”
Uh, Debi. Mirror. Look in a mirror.
Anyway, Michael—oh, I’m sorry, Malachi—then adds that the most immediate reason the US is about to be cursed is that it is stepping away from its friendship with Israel:
“God kept his promise to bless us while we blessed Israel, and in 200 years we became the greatest nation in modern history.”
I’m sorry, what? Israel became a country in 1949.
These fetishists, it’s gross.
Oh, and for line most indicative of the problems in this book, we have:
“We worry about Muslims, White Supremacists, volcanoes and such.”
What even is this book?!
Okay, that’s the end of the chapter, but let’s look ahead and see what else there is … oh I see, nothing but everyone pressuring Magdalene to call her dad and asking her what the “big deal” is anyway. She is a runaway! Do they not realize that calling her dad will probably mean she has to return to him? He’s abusive! And why are all these people so mean to Magdalene! Bobby Jo pushes her and tells her to “stop procrastinating and just call”! Leave her alone!
There’s also this bit:
The girls spent a few minutes quietly praying with Magdalene.
They still had their heads down when Bobbie Jo pinched Cheyenne’s bottom. “Ouch,” Cheyenne whispered grouchily. “What’s your problem, you knot-head? Why do you always pinch or kick me?”
“Oh, cool it. You’re too sensitive,” Bobbie Jo chided.
What even is this book.
Oh and Bobbie Jo gets angry that they can’t go bowling or swimming at the creek, since they’re staying on the compound to ensure their safety, and declares: “Bunch of stinking, murdering Muslims!” So there’s that. Cheyenne tells her to “Watch it, BoJo,” but Debi tells us that “Cheyenne’s rebuke held little conviction.” So there’s also that.
One last thing: everyone is chilling on the hill above the house, and there’s a playground back there where “eight little boys” are “building a fort” nad “the same number of small girls” are “playing princesses.” Which makes me wonder whether Debi has ever actually watched children or tried to get to know them. These sixteen children—eight boys and eight girls—are apparently all Malachi and Hope’s grandchildren from their first four children, whom we never meet or learn the names of. Cheyenne tells Bobbie Jo that once she starts having kids, her parents are probably going to end up with 30 grandkids.
Cool, but out of place in this book, since we never actually meet these older four siblings and their spouses and children. They’re just … there … at moments like this. No, I’m sorry, only this moment. This one picnic up on “blueberry hill” behind the house. Otherwise these four families might as well not exist.
And that’s all that happens in that chapter.
I’ll stop here, but next week we learn more about Asher’s brother, the Jewish volcanologist who works for the US government and has ties to both American and Israeli intelligence. Because of course he does.
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