“The Light Of Life” follows the story of a certain biblical character who, upon his death, was given a very unique and special gift from God. It narrates a single, overarching story divided into “bite-sized” segments.
The story continues with the 2nd segment below. Read the preface and 1st segment here.
The Light Of Life — Christmas
Written by Nathan Johnsey
The Man woke up by falling asleep.
Have you ever tried to pick up water? The funny thing with water is that the harder you grab it and the tighter you clutch at it, the faster it will squirt out of your hands. After trying to grab water many times, you will have two things: first, you will probably have some wet clothes. Second, you will have a choice. You can either give up, or give in. It’s much harder to give in, because giving in means having to accept that the problem isn’t with the thing you’re trying to do, but with how you are trying to do it.
The Man wasn’t picking up water, so he didn’t have wet clothes; but he did have the choice. When the right time came, he chose to give in. Before you can wake up, you usually have to fall asleep first. After trying so hard to wake up for so many years, he decided to trust in God, Celeste, and in the gift, and he let himself relax and fall asleep.
That’s when the dream began.
“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.”
Joseph steps through the doorway. Mary turns to face him. Her eyes are red.
Joseph embraces Mary, tears of relief and joy fall from both of their eyes.
He shakes Zechariah’s hand, meets Elisabeth and little John for the first time.
A customer breaks contract with him halfway through the project.
Old friends look at him differently and whisper when his back is turned.
He tries to explain to his yelling father that neither he nor Mary did anything wrong.
Mary catches him singing to himself while working.
They say goodbye to Mary’s parents as they leave for Bethlehem.
He wakes up with dirty hay in his hair and sheep bleating in his ear.
He holds the fussy, delicate, helpless God incarnate in his arms.
A blinding great flash of white and gold starlight, and the quivering voice of an old man ringing out: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”
While The Man was dreaming, Celeste stood with her back turned to him, brushing something off of the long curvy line of white rock that ran along the left wall of the valley. Aside from that vein of white rock, everything else in the valley was covered in a soft green grass. The walls of the valley were gently curved and not too steep, but still high enough to keep someone in the valley. The sky stretched out as far as the eye could see, without a single cloud on the blue canvas. The grass was the soft wild kind: deep, but not too deep. The Man lay on his back in the middle of the valley, his face pointed up at the sky.
When The Man woke up, he sat bolt upright and blinked for a moment. He wasn’t scared, just very, very ready to wake up. He looked around at the green valley, turning and twisting, taking in his surroundings. He didn’t notice Celeste at first, so she patiently and quietly waited for him to notice her. He looked down at his empty hands, remembering the dream so vividly that he could almost still feel the child laying in his arms. Gazing at the nothing he held (but remembering the something it was in the dream), he quietly whispered the first words he had spoken in over five hundred years:
You might be surprised to hear that he didn’t notice the angel standing right in front of him. This is actually quite an easy mistake to make: in fact, most people walk right past angels on a daily basis without the slightest idea! But this is an especially easy mistake to make with Celeste; you see, she was put in charge of the stars by God, so she looks different depending on where she is and what she is doing. Often she looks like a quiet, timid young woman; but other times she looks like an excited little girl, and sometimes she looks like the young woman, but her hair turns white and her eyes glow very brightly with starlight. She does not seem timid when her hair turns white and her eyes shine. And when she is working on the stars at night, she turns into a great bear made out of stars. But no matter how she looks, she always goes barefoot. I imagine that once someone walks barefoot among the stars, they never want to put their shoes back on ever again.
When The Man finally noticed her, she looked like the humble young woman. He looked at her, then he slowly stood to his feet. His legs felt a bit wobbly at first (after all, he hadn’t used them in five hundred years), but he soon got used to the feeling of standing again. Bending down, he picked up the coat that had been rolled up under his head as a pillow. With a flick of the wrist he unrolled it and swung it around over his arms and onto his shoulders, shrugging it on with one smooth motion. With his eyes closed, he took a long deep breath, enjoying the feeling of filling his lungs full of air. He turned his palms up to the sky, feeling the gentle warmth of the sun dancing on his fingertips.
Then he abruptly turned, and walked towards Celeste, a big grin on his face. Her smile was much smaller, but it was enough to light up her whole face. As he walked, his boots left prints in the grass, but it was the kind of grass that did not mind, and the bootprints quickly disappeared.
The Man and Celeste stood beside each other and turned to examine the pale stone in the valley wall. The entire surface of the rock was covered in tiny intricate carvings that stretched on for miles in the valley. The carvings were tiny letters, hundreds of hundreds of little letters. The letters made up words, and the words made up sentences, and the sentences made up one long story. The Man stepped forward and gently traced one of the letters with his finger. He spoke quietly, his voice full of respectful excitement.
“All I have to do now is find the part I’m in.”