I had a dream. And in that dream, I died.
I walked, forwards, towards the gates. I questioned, was questioned in return, my answers weighed, tasted, balanced to a mark.
After time, I walked, forwards.
From there, there was light, soft, everywhere. Shadows were gentle, caressing the corners, lying on the undersides of things, supporting the brightness and healing the holes in the light. Colours were pale, smooth. Gentle green, and white-tinted blue.
I could hear no birds, no creatures called out in the light or rustled in the darkness. Nothing climbed or soared or sidled or sang.
There was no path to follow, no boundary to cross. Just the gentle green, and the scattered trees.
The air was cold - a soft but insistent wind carried the cold around me, permeating my own boundaries of cloth and skin, reaching in towards the heart of me, and chilling me there.
I walked, forwards, towards nothing distinct from anything else, but a direction amidst the sameness that felt right, that felt colder, but smoother. Warmer but rougher. Different.
After time, I felt another difference around me. A coldness, permeating further into me, questing, finding, tasting. A faint odor on the air wafted by, tantalizing me with it's distinct intangibility.
I knew then, in this dream of mine, that I was in the presence. I turned, to catch a glimpse of the shape at the corner of my eye, then back, and knew. A searching, more profound than that at the gate, more insiduous than that of the cold - the searching had found me, and finding, had stopped. I saw then. Standing seated in front of behind me, the Lord appeared, invisible.
Wholy incomplete, two from three, the Lord wounded stood hale.
The odor again, wafting by, stronger this time. Sickly sweet.
I knew then, the truth of this place, and turned to face that truth in front of me.
A corpse, horribly, shockingly real. The wafting coldness bringing suddenly the stench, the sickening sweetness of rotting flesh - the truth, the reality, the sacrifice of the Son stood lying before me, behind me, inside me. The coldness. The paleness. The Body of Christ, broken for me. The Blood of Christ, thick, congealed, black, clinging.
The passion of the death, its reality before me. The one from three.
Jesus died, burning off the sin in effigy, but in effigy, taking that death, stretching it, living it.
The Lord sits, the Spirit nearby, the Son, dead. Sacrificed on the cross.
I woke, still feeling the stench of my salvation.