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Authors: Kacy Barnett-Gramckow

He Who Lifts the Skies

BOOK: He Who Lifts the Skies
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HE WHO
LIFTS THE
Skies
  KACY
  BARNETT-
  GRAMCKOW
M
OODY
P
UBLISHERS
CHICAGO

© 2004 by
KACY BARNETT-GRAMCKOW

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Editor: LB Norton
Interior Design: Ragont Design
Cover Design: Barb Fisher, LeVan Fisher Design
Cover Photo: Kamil Vojnar/Photonica and
                       Paul Burley Photography/Photonica

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Barnett-Gramckow, Kacy, 1960-
   He who lifts the skies/Kacy Barnett-Gramckow.
        p.cm.—(Genesis trilogy; #2)
   ISBN-13: 978-0-8024-1368-4
   ISBN-10: 0-8024-1368-0
   1. Noah (Biblical figure)—Fiction. 2. Bible. O.T. Genesis—History of
Biblical events—Fiction. 3. Noah’s ark—Fiction. 4. Deluge—Fiction. I. Title.
   PS3602.A8343H4 2004
   813′.6—dc22

2004005169

We hope you enjoy this book from Moody Publishers. Our goal is to provide high-quality, thought-provoking books and products that connect truth to your real needs and challenges. For more information on other books and products written and produced from a biblical perspective, go to
www.moodypublishers.com
or write to:

Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60610

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Printed in the United States of America

To my wonderful brothers, Bob, John, Jim, and Joe,
who could conquer any wilderness.
And to Kerrin, Lynn, Debbie, and Janine, my perfect and beautiful
sisters-in-law, who conquered my brothers.
Thank you for the joy and blessings you’ve brought to our lives
.

Acknowledgments
THANKS TO Moody Publishers editors Amy Schmidt and Dave DeWit; I appreciate your hard work. Also to Michele Straubel, blessings! Amy Peterson—Author Relations Manager and fellow author—you are a jewel for being so patient while answering my last-minute questions. Special recognition to Lori Wenzinger, Becky Armstrong, and Carolyn McDaniel for sending files on short notice, and to LB Norton for her perfect critique—and all the fun questions.
Mary Busha, my agent, thanks for all you do—and for your gracious, timely advice. Regards to Seth Bartels/ Solidstate Interactive, for all the dialogue while creating our Web site,
www.gram-co-ink.com
. In addition, gratitude to John Barnett and Janine Barnett for their inspirational bow-and-arrow experiences—you didn’t know you were doing research for me, did you? I owe you each a dinner “out.” Special thanks to Chris Seeley and the Falcon 1644 Crew for all the work, fun, and support. And to Rosanne Fahrenbruch for the coaching in Hebrew; you’ve added to my family’s lore. I just wish I’d inherited sturdier vocal cords.
Barbara LeVan Fisher, your artwork is amazing!
I would also like to recognize Tim Wallace at
www.trueorigin.org
. Thanks for your courtesy and for your informative Web site. To the staff at Triple R Ranch in Chesapeake, Virginia, thank you for your eternal lessons and for teaching this coward to enjoy riding years ago! Also, to my local critic crew: Jennifer, Natalie, Celeste, Diane—I’m typing as fast as I can. To my dear husband and the whole Barnett-Gramckow clan, I love you all.
Prologue
IN THE FIRST AGE beneath the blue heavens, before the times of nations, all the kindred tribes of the earth yielded to the Most High as their judge.
But from among all the kindred tribes of the earth came those who contended against the Most High in the darkness of their souls. Longing after their own desires, these rebellious ones bowed to a man of many names: the Hunter, the Grand One, the Mighty Assembler. And he became their Great King of the earth.
Delighting in his own power, this Great King encouraged his rebels to scorn the Most High and seek other ways to ease their guilt-stricken souls. Now, because the Great King so gladly lifted the burdens of their hearts and shouldered the weight of the very heavens for their sakes, the rebellious ones gave to him a new name: He-Who-Lifts-the-Skies.
The earth’s leaders are plotting together
against
Adonai
and his Anointed.
“Let us break their bonds,” they cry
,
“and cast off their restraints!”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
Adonai looks upon them with scorn
.
(Adapted from Psalm 2:2–4)

One

STEPPING OUT OF HER lodge, Annah breathed in the soft spring air as she studied the evening skies. Dawn and dusk were her favorite times—if it was not raining—for then she could see the colors she had loved from the heavens of her childhood. The first faint tinges of rose and violet soothed her now, as always.

Have I stopped mourning for the skies of my youth?
she wondered.
I think I will change my mind every day of my life. Today yes, tomorrow no
.

As she stared up at the sky, Annah felt thick, heavy woolen folds descend upon her tunic-clad shoulders. Her husband, Shem, was wrapping her in her gray wool shawl. He scolded her gently, his voice soft against her ear. “You’re as careless as the children of our children. It’s too cold for you to be outside without your shawl.”

Annah smiled, patting her husband’s long brown hands
as he wrapped his arms around her. “After all these years, beloved, you should be tired of following me around and fretting about me.”

“I’ll never grow tired of following you,” Shem murmured teasingly. “As long as you know where you’re going.”

“I’m going for a walk.”

“Then I will follow you.”

Almost as one, they turned and went down a well-trampled path, traversing the sloping fields surrounding their lodge. As they walked, Annah looked up at her husband. Shem smiled at her, his warm brown eyes glinting in his darkly bearded face, as irrepressible as a little boy.

Your smile is more wonderful than all the skies of my childhood
, Annah thought.
Why should I mourn for them? As lovely as they were, they covered nothing but violence and hatred
. “You almost look younger than your own sons,” she told him.

He became somber, as if troubled by the truth of her words. “Annah, beloved, I’ve been thinking about our children.…” He stopped.

Wondering, Annah turned to see what had caught his attention. A young man’s cheerful voice echoed up to them from the forest-hedged slopes below.

“Father of my Fathers! Are you leaving because we’ve arrived?”

“That depends upon how many people you’re bringing with you,” Shem called back, laughing. “Come greet your Ma’adannah.”

“Who is it?” Annah whispered to Shem as they watched the dark outlines of the woods. Almost as soon as she asked the question, Annah saw a lanky young man emerge from the shadows of the trees. He was clad in leather and fleece, burdened with a thick bentwood-and-leather
traveling pack and armed with a flint-tipped hunting spear and a knife of stone. The young man’s cheerful face, his smooth, deep brown skin, lustrous dark eyes, and straight black hair all marked him as one of Annah’s own descendants: Eliyshama, the youngest son of her grandson Meshek.

Delighted, Annah called out, “Eliyshama! Is your father with you?” She had not seen Meshek and his family for nearly three years.

“Ma’adannah.” Eliyshama waved a greeting, then pointed his hunting spear toward the shadowed trees. “My father and my I’ma are coming. And we’ve brought Metiyl, son of your son Asshur.”

“Metiyl?” Annah gasped. She hadn’t seen Metiyl in more than ten years. Almost dancing, she hugged Eliyshama, accepting his hearty kiss. “It’s so good to see you again. You’ve grown! And thank you for bringing Metiyl.”

Shem greeted Eliyshama with a fond hug, then caught his arm eagerly, asking, “Is our Asshur coming to visit us too?”

“Only Metiyl, not his father.” Eliyshama sighed heavily. But his dark eyes sparkled, betraying his joy. “Are you grieved, Father of my Fathers? Should I go to your Asshur and beg his presence here?”

“No, because then my Asshur would keep you with him for ten years,” Shem answered, his tone half laughing, half serious.

By now, Annah could see her grandsons—the tall, black-haired Meshek, and the shorter, stockier, wild-haired Metiyl—both armed with stone knives and flint-tipped hunting spears. Just behind the two men, Annah glimpsed a blue-shawled head: Meshek’s wife, Chaciydah, walking slowly, her head bowed. Immediately, she
grew concerned. Glancing up at Eliyshama, Annah asked, “Is your mother ill?”

“My I’ma is worried,” Eliyshama answered, the light fading from his dark eyes. “Ma’adannah, she’s had a daughter; we’ve hoped the child would improve.”

“Improve?” Annah clasped Eliyshama’s wrist. “The child is ill?”

Eliyshama shrugged. “We don’t know. We’re praying that you and our First Father Shem can tell us what to believe. My I’ma has been half crazed with fear.”

Chaciydah has always allowed her fears to rule her mind
, Annah thought, trying to soothe herself.
Perhaps the child’s illness is Chaciydah’s own nothing-whim
. Quickly, she descended the slope to meet her grandchildren.

As the elder grandson, Metiyl claimed the privilege of kissing Annah first. Laughing, he jarred her with an enthusiastic hug, scratching her with his coarse beard and almost rapping her head with his spear. “Ma’adannah! You’re as young as ever. Here’s a kiss from my father, with his most respectful greetings; he misses you.”

“Then where is your father, if he misses us so much?” Shem demanded, his genial question echoing Annah’s own feelings of quiet disappointment.

“He couldn’t leave his lands or his flocks.” Metiyl curled his hands around his hunting spear reflexively, his brown face suddenly grim. “They need his protection.”

Annah frowned. “His
lands
need protection? From what? The wild animals?”

“No, Ma’adannah. My father protects his lands and belongings from the sons of his cousins.”

Metiyl’s growling hostility made Annah shiver.

Glancing from Annah to Shem, Metiyl said, “I’ll tell you everything at the evening fire. Here are Meshek and
Chaciydah. And …” he whispered, “their youngest child.”

Annah’s heart thudded. If Metiyl was concerned, then obviously there
was
something wrong with this infant girl.

Annah kissed the tall, silent, black-bearded Meshek. Then she turned to Chaciydah. The younger woman’s large, tender brown eyes were shadowed with fatigue, and her slender, tawny face lacked its usual ruddy glow. Before Annah could greet her, Chaciydah dropped her leather supply pouch, babbling like a frightened child.

“Ma’adannah, after seven healthy sons, the Most High finally grants me a daughter—then He allows her this affliction. Look at her, Ma’adannah! I’m in despair!” Chaciydah pushed aside the light blue folds of her woolen shawl, revealing a small bundle nestled against her chest in a soft leather carrying pouch.

Gently Annah lifted the small bundle from its carrying pouch and opened the gray folds of the outermost blanket to reveal the sleeping child’s face. Annah could not prevent herself from gasping in shock.
This child has no color. O Most High, what does this mean?

Even in the growing dusk, Annah could see the pale translucency of the infant girl’s skin and the extraordinary noncolor of her hair. Shem was beside Annah now, his long brown fingers holding back the gray woolen blanket. Lifting her gaze to his, Annah questioned her husband silently:
What do you think?

His lips faintly puckered, Shem lifted one dark eyebrow, cautioning Annah without words:
I don’t like this
. He spoke to Chaciydah and the others soothingly. “Come, let’s go visit with my father and my mother. They’ll want to welcome you. We’ll present your daughter to them and
ask their opinion. Don’t look so worried, Chaciydah; I’m sure your daughter will live.”

BOOK: He Who Lifts the Skies
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