“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.”
1st Corinthians 15:52
Todd looked on as Carrie crumpled into a heap on the living room floor of her parent’s ranch style home—the only home she had ever known before going to college.
“No… no… NO,” she groaned. “This can’t be happening.”
There had been an eerie foreboding when Todd and Carrie first heard the local fire company’s alarm sounding, and then the shrill sirens of police cars and ambulances explode all over the city. It seemed odd that so many accidents had happened on the way to her hometown.
“What’s wrong, Carrie,” Todd seemed hesitant to ask. He had never seen her like this, and he had never been so afraid in all his life.
Carrie rocked back and forth, moaning as Todd knelt beside her. “What is it, babe,” he said as he stroked her hair and rubbed her back.
She looked up at him through mournful eyes. “They’re gone,” she whispered.
“I can see that,” he said almost impatiently. He needed some answers. “Do you think they’ll be back soon?” He watched as the torment turned to hysteria. She laughed as she threw her head back. She pushed him away and rose to walk to the door. She looked across the street as Mr. Baylor came from his house on the corner. He looked up at the sky, then down the street. Carrie quickly ducked behind the door and rolled her eyes.
“You would still be here.” She shook her head, “How many times did Dad witness to you?” she asked aloud but to herself.
Todd vacillated between being peeved that Carrie continued to shut him out and going crazy with the thought that the world was ending and she was losing her mind.
He came toward her, agitation in his voice, “Carrie, will you please tell me what is going on?”
She looked startled to see him, as though she was surprised to be coming back to a reality which included him. Her eyes darted from his face to the family portrait, to him then back to the picture. She sighed as though weighing which words to use. Would she finally tell him the truth about her family? Her gaze dropped to the floor. Another sigh…“The Rapture has taken place and my parents have gone to heaven.”
He looked at her in amazement. What was she saying? What was she talking about? “The Rapture?” His look broke her heart and maddened her all at the same time. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“My parents are Christians. My dad is a pastor.”
He looked at her incredulously, shaking his head in disbelief and walked to the window. As his gaze traveled to the church beside them, he noticed the church’s signboard for the first time. Beneath the name: First Baptist Church was the pastor’s name: Pastor Charles E. Spangler. Carrie Spangler. It made no sense. He turned to face her, questions written all over his face. “Are you a Christian?”
She rolled her eyes and huffed before spitting out her defiant answer. “No! If I were, then I wouldn’t be here.” Her thoughts flashed back to her fourth-grade classroom. Mrs. Beasley was standing before them, holding up an outdated picture. There were cars crashing and planes flying into buildings. A cemetery with ghost-like beings floating up into the air filled one bottom corner. The plane and the cars had the same beings floating up through the sky; and there above them all was The Man—Jesus was waiting with outstretched hands. Carrie dropped her hands in defeat, and stared into an empty spot on the wall.