Gift of Light


Ahh! There it was. The planet Earth. Rising out of the dark reaches of space to meet him, its beauty breaking forth, unsurpassed by any other. How, then, could such beauty hold so much pain?

Oh, it was a great pain. A pain so strong and piercing, it guided him to its source as an emergency beacon draws its savior by blinking out its message of helplessness. It screamed through the air, soaring above the earth and shattering the galaxy into a million pieces. It spanned the horizons of all the celestial bodies and beyond, so intense was its cry. Could such a pain be cured?

He followed the cry down, down, to the earth. Through billowy layers of mist massing in the air, he followed it. Down, down, he went, down….

He broke free of the clinging vapors at last and found himself hovering in darkness. Then, far, far below him, he could make out the minute twinklings of millions of tiny lights, the rays coming from the windows showing below him a large city. He sat entranced awhile as, one by one, the lights began to blink out, sending the city into peaceful slumber…

The pain came sweeping back at him at full force, sending him falling down through the air again. As he neared the source of the cry, he realized that it was coming from a large building directly in front of him, one of the few with lights that had not all been dimmed. He quickened his pace, eager to reach his goal. The building loomed in front of him and he entered…

She sat in the maternity ward, absently twirling a pen in her hand, trying to set the hospital records in order. But her thoughts were elsewhere. She could feel the agony and pain radiating from the room next door, and it reached into her very soul. Wave after wave of pain rushed over her, squeezing her heart and almost causing her to weep.

Finally, she couldn’t take it any longer and slid back her chair. She stumbled from the nurse’s station to the door of the nursery and peered in.

Before her stretched the many beds and cribs of the hospital’s newborn infants, the occupants sleeping soundly. Through hours of habit, her eyes rested upon the plastic enclosure in the center of the room, its many connecting tubes giving life to the tiny baby inside.

Unfortunately, those life-support tubes could not stop pain, and Mary winced at the hurt seeping from the respirator. Then she gasped.

What she saw almost caused her to cry out, but some unknown force gripped her throat and she could not speak.

A shimmering figure flowed through the wall and began making its way across the room. As it passed by each of the tiny sleeping forms, it reached out and caressed them with his hand. It finally stopped beside the machine and peered through its clear plastic surface at the hurting, helpless baby inside. It tenderly reached down amongst the many tubes and wires and picked her up. It cradled its inner being in its arms, leaving behind the broken shell that had once been the baby’s home for life. A home, now abandoned, to be replaced by one that would never fail.

She stood stupefied, unable to believe her eyes and yet wanting to. She realized she was crying, for the baby’s pain was still great in her. It felt as if her heart was bursting. Suddenly, the figure turned to her and smiled. Love as light shone forth as it raised a shining arm. Instantly, her pain disappeared, the darkness overcome with light. She began to sputter, overwhelmed with gratefulness, wanting to tell it how much it had given her.

A movement of its hand silenced her. The figure began to fade and a voice, sounding sweeter than the sweetest song, floated through the air. She caught every word.

“He understands. He always has and always will. Do not bother to give Him anything but your heart. It is a gift from Him, given freely. Show your thanks by showing love to others. He loves you…”

February 28, 1984
(Written at age 16)

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