A New Thing
A few years ago I had an idea. I was reading a critique on Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein, and the writer mentioned Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s very obvious god-complex. I remember thinking at the time that what Victor was trying to do was far more similar to what God does than the writer was suggesting. Specifically, just as Victor was using dead and broken parts to create his being, God uses our broken and dead parts to rebuild us. The difference being, while Victor only reanimates death, God creates something new out of it and gives it real life.
As I thought through that idea and tried to figure out how to structure it as a blog post, I started to realize that it was a longer story. One of my favorite books is The Great Divorce, by CS Lewis. What I like most about it the way it’s written as a conversation between two main characters. As I thought through the idea of God as a divine version of Frankenstein, I began to see a story that was centered around a conversation between my own two main characters, one a more mature Christian and the other, a new Christian just waking up to the work of Christ in him. Almost immediately this “conversation” became one that I wish someone would have had with me when I was a new Christian.
So I started writing a book and called it Divine Frankenstein. I am currently working on another book, that will be out before this one, but I felt like I needed to share this first chapter. I have only ever shared it with a few other people (5 exactly), but here it is… Divine Frankenstein, Chapter 1.
It starts in darkness; creation always does. The second creation can only ever start with darkness. For it’s only in the darkness that the genuine need for hope is realized. Before that, hope is simply an impression that, when the synthetic light we manufactured in the first creation begins to dim, causes us to momentarily ponder what might happen if the light is extinguished. That dimming causes us to search out something to grasp. We look to anything that might help us maintain our bearings, should the darkness come. As children, we seem wiser with regard to understanding darkness. We approach it with a healthy fear or at the very least caution.
Eventually though, somewhere between the nightlights of our childhood and the reading lamp of adulthood, we lose our fear of the dark. We forget that scary things lurk and skulk there. We dismiss that it is the preferred method of cover for the ominous creatures that seek to undue and destroy us. Somehow it simply becomes an absence and we ignore it; sometimes we might even welcome it.
Collapse of the First Creation
But the truth of it is, darkness entering into creation was the most dreadful of things. Darkness in creation reveals void. It exposes the created to emptiness, ultimately ending with the death of all that was intended to be good in the first creation. It stifles the life that creation brings, choking and pressing out every bit of it, until all that remains is a distorted reflection of what once was. Creation was not meant to function in darkness. It was light that was introduced into creation first. Creation was intended to flourish in the glory of The Light.
All created eventually collapses into darkness. Truth be told, darkness has already consumed the first creation. If this were not true, there would be no need for hope. And seeking something like peace, specifically in this world, would be a frivolous pursuit. Likewise there would be no need for the second creation. But we seek hope and we do desire the comfort of the light. The second creation is necessary.
The Second Creation
The desire of The Creator is for His created to release its tight-fisted grip on the first creation and welcome the dying that darkness brings, ultimately surrendering to the work of His second creation. It is only in this second creation that hope can be truly experienced and peace, which until now has only ever been spoken of around treaty tables as a fanciful and utopian idea, becomes a reality. It is in the second creation that we realize the wholeness and peace, we have so long hoped to experience, first occurs in us. Then, and only then, is it able to work its way outward into all of creation.
Peace is grown in the light of the second creation. Light is always brightest as it extinguishes darkness. The only way for second creation to come about, is for the first to end in darkness; there is no other way. And that end of the first creation results in void and emptiness. On the surface this seems a dreadful thing. But without void and emptiness, filling and fullness cannot occur. If we are filled with the trappings of the first creation, what room is there for the second creation? The work of the second creation requires the first to end. And the first ends in darkness. Only after this end can hope take hold and peace become tangible. So it is that your second creation starts in the midst of darkness.