Nellie - Part 1
Once upon a time, long ago there was a very long River named Nellie. So long was this river that it wound its way through many lands and was named differently in each by the local peoples in each. While Nellie was not the longest river in the most people of that time referred to Nelly as the Great River . For them they knew no larger river water as Nelly carried more that 38,000 gallons of water each second past you as you stood on her banks. ††In fact Nelly was so large that she pretty controlled all the civilizations and life that grew in the area for most on Nellie ran through very dry desert like areas.†
Now before I tell you about Nellie, I need to explain to you what water is really like. You see water is like the most basic thing to life that there is. If anything knows about life, its water. For most of the earths life forms live in water, need water to live and are made of mostly water. In fact you and I are over 90% water. Now you also need to realize that each body of water has a personality and a job and that job is to manage life itself. Yes the bodies of water on this world are all involved in some aspect of managing life on this world. Some in local areas like lakes and rivers and others like oceans managing life across the major continents even the whole world. So basically water is really important and guess what Ė the bodies of water on this planet know it. Yes the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams and even ponds all know how important they are and because they do, they are all pretty arrogant (you know Ė kind of proud and stuck up). Well Nellie was no different and since she was so long and large she was as arrogant as the oceans despite not being one. Well anyway, now that you understand how bodies of water think and what they do, lets get back to our story about Nellie.
†Now Nellie was very important to the peoples who lived in that part of the world as they depended on her for their lives. There was little rain in that region and without Nellieís water people could not grow food. Each year Nellie would overflow her banks at times and irrigate thousands of acres of land. This allowed huge farms to exist near her banks. It also provided life for all sorts of wildlife that lived near her so people could raise cattle and sheep. She also had many fish so she provided food for people that way. People also used Nellie to travel the area for despite being big, Nellie did not run fast for she was a slow moving river which was great for boats to travel on.† Another thing that Nellie did was provide people with building materials. The people of Nellies land used mud from her shores mixed with straw from her fields to make bricks and they made them in very large quantities. You see these people loved to build huge buildings and massive monuments. They even had hundreds of thousands of slaves they used to make the bricks. Nellie often watched the slaves make bricks and it was a very hard job. The slaves were not given tools to dig with and were made to dig with their hands. They worked from sun up till sun down every day and the people who controlled the slaves , called taskmasters,† did it with swords and whips. The slaves were always exhausted from the hard work and many would just die there in the mud from exhaustion.
Yes as you can see,† Nellie was at the very center of life for the people of her land and she knew it but the way the slaves where treated was really bad. She was all about life yet these slaves were not living, they were being worked to death and that should have really bothered Nellie, but it didnít. If fact she was amused by the slaves and the more they were mistreated, the more Nellie liked watching them.
Well one summer day, Nellie was doing her normal thing, watching some of the slaves digging up mud from her banks and kind of laughing at them when suddenly a group taskmasters came up and told the slaves that they had to work faster and now in addition to digging mud also had to go out the nearby fields and pickup their own straw to put in the mud bricks. The slaves cried out how unfair this was as now they would have to work into the night time just to get the same number of bricks made each day. The taskmasters responded by whipping them. Nellie was always up for a good show so she cheered (well she tried but of course water canít talk) .† The next day the same thing happened and the slaves were whipped more and more. It didnít really make them able to make more bricks but it gave the taskmasters something to do and Nellie got more of a show. †
Now on the third day after the whipping started, Nellie saw a group of people forming on her shore. Not the shore where the mud was being dug by slaves but on her other side, the side where the taskmasters lived. The group seemed to following a man who wore a long old dark following robe. This man must not be a taskmaster though Nellie for the taskmasters wore only white linen clothes that were kept very clean. As the group came closer to Nellie she could see that the there were 2 men in old dark robes being followed by a large group of taskmasters and in the middle of the group was the head taskmaster himself. He wore the most magnificent clothes and a beautiful headdress and Nellie had seem him from time to time being carried by other taskmasters as he inspected the work on the huge buildings and monuments the taskmasters were building. She figured this was just another inspection starting and was about to turn back to watch the slaves get whipped when one of the men in the old long robes held a walking stick out over Nellie. Nellie thought nothing of the action but as the man dipped his stick into Nellie, †Nellie Screamed !!!!
Nellie had never felt pain before but at that moment excruciating pain shot through every gallon of her water.† It was as though every drop of water had just been whipped. The sting from the pain was as enormous as was Nellie herself. She now writhed in pain as currents and waves of it flowed throughout her length and breadth. Wherever Nellie ran, she now hurt.
After what seemed like hours, the pain began to subside a little and Nellie could once again think. It had actually only been a few minutes but when you are in that much pain time really slows down. Nellie began to look around. She wondered what causes the pain, but she had never felt pain before so she had no idea where to look. Confusion over took her for a while and then she recalled the pain began when the manís stick had touched her waters. She looked now for the man and the group that was around him, but they were now gone from her shore. The pain had subsided more now but Nellie was now just feeling really sick. She ached and felt sort of thick. She had the feeling that she wanted to throw up but since every part of her felt sick she would have to throw up her whole self and that was impossible so she just moaned and hoped whatever happened to her would soon stop. Unfortunately that was not happening. What had happened Nellie thought ? What was going on.?
As Nellie began to search for answers she noticed another group of taskmasters approach her shore. These people were not the group started the pain but were normal people. They were all staring at Nellie and pointing. I wonder thought Nellie, can they see my pain? One of them bent down and dipped a pot into Nellie. He then stood up and poured out the water he had scooped up. When Nellie saw it, she nearly fainted for it was not clear. In fact it was not even recognizable as water. No, Nellieís water was now blood red and seemed to flow like syrup. Once again Nellie screamed!!
Over the next few days, Nellie no longer flowed but oozed across the deserts. All the fish in her died and floated to her surface where they began to stink in sun. All the frogs in her buried themselves deep into her muddy bottom where they could survive and pretty soon Nellie just plain stank. Her now blood red waters reeked of death and decay. Nellie who once thought she was life itself was now experiencing death and she knew it. She had watched enough slaves killed along her banks over the years to know death when she saw it. The pain from the whip, the blood from the sword and the decay of the bodies that were killed for being slow making bricks were all things Nellie had seen but Nellie now felt here own† pain, saw her own blood and smelled her own decay. That day Nellie resolved that if her life ever returned she would never again laugh at the mistreatment of people.
The next morning, Nellie began to feel a little better. Her upstream springs were feeding clean water into her lower parts and slowly the red smelly syrup was starting to thin. She was not drinkable so the taskmasters had begun digging holes out in the desert looking for fresh water. Now her water began running clear near her bottom but her surface was still a stinky mess of red rotting fish. The clear water in her lower parts now coaxed the frogs out of the deep muddy bottom where they had been holding their breath. Most of them now made a mad dash for the shore and frogs by the thousands were crawling out of Nellie. Soon they covered the streets of the nearby city. Frogs of course donít like the heat so next they all headed for shade and ran into all the peoples homes that lived their. The people of course started killing them and piled the dead ones out in the streets making great piles of dead frogs.
After a few days Nellie was getting back to normal. She was still red in color but no longer syrupy. Her pain was gone and she felt better. Some of the frogs that had remained in the mud longer were now able to come out but stay in the river. Nellie was happy as she was starting to sustain life once again but the same could not be said for the taskmasterís city for the lack of water from Nellie and the piles of rotting frogs had upset the balance of life in the city. First lice came out of the soil and infested all the people looking for moisture. Then a few days later when the piles of frogs rotted in the sun, huge swarms of flies arrived and covered the city of the taskmasters and its people. It was almost that the city had a blanket thought Nellie but as she watched the flies cover the city she noticed that one area of the city had no flies at all. It was the area where the slaves lived and it was called Goshen. She wondered how that could be but figured that it was no weirder than any of the other things that had all started when the man touched her with his stick?
It only took 2 days for the flies to disappear and† Nellie was now nearly back to normal. Her water was clear with just the slightest hint of red and had was no longer stinky although the people of the city had not started drinking it . Nellie was thinking that the worst was over and soon things would be back to normal but that was not the case for the very next day noticed all sorts of cattle and sheep beginning to get sick and die. Soon entire herds of cattle, sheep, pigs and goats were dying. These too the taskmasters had to gather up and mound into piles. Some people tried to bury the animals but there were just too many. Nellie had seen plagues before and she figured the disease started from the decay of all the dead frogs but never had she seen a plague affect all animals at once and never one that† only affected the animals owned by the taskmasters for the animals in Goshen did not get sick, not even one.
A few days after the plague hit, Nellie was pretty much all clear. That morning she awoke to people trying to bath in her once more. That made her very happy until she noticed that they were not just bathing. These people were covered in sores and blisters and they were trying to wash off whatever was on their skin causing the sores. All day long the people came to wash , taskmaster after taskmaster, man, women and child alike . Nellie figured this was just the continuation of the plague that had killed the animals and it was now affecting the people but one thing made no sense. Not one slave came to her to wash. Not even one!
By this point Nellie was starting to see a pattern. All the trouble that started with the man in the old robes touching her was only affecting the taskmasters. The slaves of Goshen were not being afflicted. Nellie began to think. Could this be the act of Godís justice on the taskmasters ?† Nellie knew she had been created by God a long time ago but never thought He took any interest in people.† For her God was just the creator but maybe that was not the case. Maybe He had heard the cries of the slaves and had seen their pain as the taskmasters beat them and abused them. Maybe he was acting† on the behalf of the slaves ? Nellie pondered the thought but then decided that all the things that happened could also be just natural events and coincidences. Her change into syrupy red stuff could have been from a volcano erupting near her upper streams and flooding them with red toxic mud and all the other problems were just the natural things that followed that. After all she assumed she was the source of life for these people and when she was unable to do that for a while, every one around would be affected. But why were the slaves of Goshen †not affected? She was soon to find out.
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Nellie† - Part 2
The next day around noon, the man with the old robes appeared. He came out of the city in the same fashion as he had done the day he had touched her with his stick but this time and their was no group of people following him. He did have his walking stick but he did not approach Nellieís shore. Instead he simply lifted his hand into the air and looked toward the sky. What happened then was shocking for as Nellie watched the sky turned black with clouds that seemed to boil. Lighting began to flash and thunder rolled. Now Nellie had seem storms before that was not watch shocked her. It was that the storm started immediately with no warning as if the manís lifted hand had commanded it. But Nellie had no time for pondering that for as she watched hail the size of grapefruit began to fall from sky. And not just a little. It was as if the rocks were raining from the sky. The hail storm lasted all day.
Nellie of course being waster was not damaged by the hail but everything else was. All the crops in the fields were smashed. All the trees were broken down and the animals that had escaped the plague where killed. Even a lot of the mud brick building were greatly damaged.† Then as quickly as it stated it stopped and there once again was the man in the old robe and again his hand was in the air. Nellie was now convinced, this man was causing the damage. This storm had no connection to Nellie. It seemed someone else was controlling the life of these people. Who could this man be? Nellie looked over to Goshen and was surprised to see that there was not one ball of hail on the ground there and even the trees of Goshen were still standing.†† Could it be this man was a slave of Goshen ? If he was perhaps he was protecting Goshen? But no man could command the weather or turn her waters into blood. This was no ordinary man she decided.
The next day while people were trying to clean up the damage from the hail, Nellie once again saw the man in the old robes appear. Again he lifted his hand to the sky and Nellie expected a new storm to appear. But it did not† although in the distance she saw a low cloud forming. It appeared to be more a cloud of dust and dust storms were common so she relaxed a little but as the dust cloud got closer , Nellie began to hear a hum. The hum got louder and louder and louder until the cloud hit the city and then Nellie saw it was not a cloud of dust, but a cloud of locusts and they were eating everything the landed on. Millions and millions of locust , swirling and flying and eating. Over the next 6 hours they stripped the land bare. Later that day the man in the robe came out again , raised his hand and a strong wind began to blow. Soon the wind had blown the locusts away and Nellie could see again. The land was bare. Not one plant or leaf survived . Nellie was impressed. Who commands the wind she thought ?
The next morning did not come. Nellie woke as usual (yes rivers do sleep)† at what should have been daybreak but the sun did not come up. The sky was jet black. Yesterday the locust cloud had darkened the sky but you could still see light from the sun but today there was no light. It was even darker than night for their was no moonlight either. Was this another storm? Nellie looked about for the man in the robe but she could not see anything in the pitch black darkness so soon she gave up. As she looked toward the city she saw that the land of the taskmasters had very few torches burning. The city itself was dark and each home had no light in its windows and the people there were not moving about. Yet every building in the land of Goshen †had at least a candle or a torch burning. It seemed once again the slaves were not affected by even the darkness. The darkness lasted 3 days.
On the 4th morning since the darkness cam, Nellie awoke to the sunrise. Over the last 3 days she had forgotten the damage to the land but now she could see it clearly. The land was devoid of life. Nothing seeming alive. Every thing looked smashed, damaged, dry, stripped and silent. No boats had survived, no animals came to her to drink, no fish lived anymore in her waters and the few frogs that survived kept themselves well hidden. The only area that looked as life even existed was Goshen, the place of the slaves. In it people were moving about although not very much. They all seem to be repairing the doors their house. That seemed normal considering the recent storms† but as Nellie looked closer she realized they were not repairing their doors they were painting them, at least part of them. For some reason they were all smearing something red across the top of the door frame and a little more on each side. It was if they were painting a cross on their doors in red paint and as she watched that was the only activity she saw all day long. The rest of the land was silent. Well anyway it was until late that night, for at the stroke of midnight Nellie was awakened to the sound of screams coming from the city.
†As she listened the scream increased more and more came crying, screaming until it seemed the whole city was in pain and was wailing. Nellie did not sleep that night and neither did anyone else for the cries and screams filled air until daybreak and long into the next day. During the night† Nellie did not know what the screaming and crying was all about but as the day broke that next morning she saw it. People were streaming out of the city and carrying dead children. Family after family had awoke and found one of their children dead. The screams were the cries of the grieving parents as they carried the bodies of their children to the local healers to see if they could be revived. Long lines formed at hospitals and fights broke out as people tried to find someone to help their child first but soon it became apparent. None survived. That night death had come to the taskmasters homes and each lost a son. Nellie later learned that in every case it was the oldest son that had died. She also learned that this time some of the slaves of Goshen lost sons as well but as she watched she noticed that only happened to families that had not painted their doors. Since most had painted them, there was little wailing in Goshen but there was some. At this point Nellie was convinced. This time the man in the robe was not around. This death came silently, without storms or bad weather or sickness or sores. It was just death.
Nellie now knew the Creator was involved and she shuddered for if God was dealing with men like this taking life where he chose and protecting it were he wanted, perhaps everything she had thought about her being the source of life for these people was wrong. Perhaps she was just a tool God used like the weather or like the locust. The thought struck deep at Nellie stomach and she felt sick for she had always assumed she was the source of life. She now realized she was not the source but only one of Gods tools and that humbled her. Now she realized that all these years as she had watched the taskmasters abuse the slaves of Goshen that God was watching and unlike her he was not amused. Nellie resolved that day to not take pleasure in peoples pain or treat people badly. She now knew what pain felt like and didnít want to feel it again.† She now felt compassion for the slaves and wondered what could be done to help them . Did they have to be slaves or could they be free like the taskmasters were.
Nellie didnít have long to wait to find out for the next day she saw the slaves were all coming out of their homes. It was as though the whole land of Goshen was moving. Thousands and thousands of people were moving in the streets and loading their belongings onto carts and donkeys. There were some many of them now on the road that they stretched al the way through the city of the taskmasters. There as Nellie watched the taskmasters were handing the slaves all their belongings. It was almost as though they were apologizing to them. By nightfall the line of people, carts, cattle and donkeys started to move out of the city. They crossed Nellie on one of the great bridges the taskmasters had built as the left the city.
As they went by Nellie started to count them. There were so many that she decided to only count men †2 days later she was still counting as the last of slaves passed out of the city. Nellie had counted over 600,000 men .† Wow she thought. I did not realize that there were so many slaves. They are an entire nation of slaves that God has now freed. As the last of the slaves passed over Nellie she cheered. A warm current now ran through her depths and she was forever changed. No longer was she the cold arrogant river that controlled life but was now a servant of the creator. That day Nellie decided to see if she couldnít get in touch with the Creator again. I wonder if he and I can be closer since I am on his team. I want to support life for that is my job but I want to do it with his wisdom and blessing. And with that she went off to try and figure out how to contact God.
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Are you a servant of God? Do you support life ? Or are you just someone who assumes they are in control and others are not important. ? .. Nellie leaned to look at life Gods way and not the way the taskmasters did. She decided to get close to God and learn his ways. Do any of you know how to do this ? Well if you donít, try going to church. Its where Gods ways are taught. Then you may learn the important lessons of life the easy way, like in a story and not the hard way that Nellie had to learn,