THE NIGHT JESUS LEFT HOME
Jesus stepped into the throne room. Multitudes of blazing angels dropped to their knees, bowing their faces to the jeweled floors, wings covering their bodies. The symphonies of heaven—myriads of strings and flutes and voices from a dozen dimensions—all faded to a sudden hush. Crashing peals of thunder echoed to nothingness, and lightning flashed in blue and gold, then dimmed and winked out.
All was silent.
“Come here, Son.” The gentle words reverberated among the stars.
Soft footsteps approached the throne. “This is the hour, Father.”
“I know, Son. Let’s go to your favorite place.” God raised his hand and he and Jesus walked along a beach, quiet waves lapping the shoreline. A gull soared on the air currents high above the water, its lonely cry drifting on the breeze. Jesus stopped and watched. Then he turned, eyes blurred with tears.
“Will I know you—at first, I mean?”
“I’ll always be with you, Son, but at first, no. You’ll come to know me, as every other baby grows to do. You’ll grow in grace and truth and in my favor, but it will take time.”
Jesus bent his head.
“I’ll never leave you,” God whispered. “You know I love you, Son.”
Jesus looked up and smiled through his tears. “’How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…’”
God chuckled. “Holy Spirit will release those words one day.”
“’I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach.’” Jesus paused. “Do you think I’ll remember that poem?”
God slowly shook His head. “No, Son. You’re leaving behind your omniscience to live in the flesh, with all of its limitations and weaknesses. Your knowledge will be confined to what your senses tell you, and to what you’ll learn on earth and through the Spirit as you grow, but you’ll not take your foreknowledge with you. You’ll live in one dimension in time.”
Jesus stooped and drew in the sand.
“Are you certain you want to do this, Son?” God’s voice was gentle. “I’ll not force you.”
“I know, Father,” Jesus murmured. “I know.” He stood and brushed the sand from his fingers. “I only want what you want.” He scanned the water and the beach and the mountains beyond. “I want to remember this—somehow.”
“Your father on earth loves beaches, too, Jesus—he watches the sun set over the sea almost every night. You’ll watch with him.”
“Is he—is he like you, Father?” Jesus brushed a sandy tear from his cheek. “I hope he’s like you.”
“Ahhh, Joseph. He’s a truly good man, Son—the best I could find. He doesn’t yet know he’s about to become a father, but he’ll be a good one. He’ll train you, protect you, provide for you, and he’ll love you as I love you.”
“Is that even possible—that a human being can love so much?”
“It will never cease to amaze you, Son, what the human heart can carry, and what it can bear. There are realms of beauty you have not yet fathomed within the heart of man.”
“More beautiful than you, Father?”
God smiled. “The heart of a human being is his most precious crown. And when he offers it to you, it’s priceless—worth far more than anything else in all of creation.”
“I’ll miss you so much, Father.”
“I’ll miss you, too, Son. I’ll be with you every moment of every day and night, but I’ll miss talking with you and—” God waved His hand, “this—with you.”
He held out his arms. Jesus rushed into them, kissed his father’s cheek, and buried his head in his shoulder. Then he pulled back, cleared his throat and looked into his father’s eyes. “I promise I’ll talk to you every day, Father. I’ll find a spot, far from everyone else, and we’ll talk, just like we do now.”
“Call on me whenever you need me, Son,” God said, His voice low.
For a moment, neither spoke.
Lightning flashed, and a giant archangel dropped from the sky, his wings tinged crimson in the twilight.
“Here’s Gabriel. It’s time. I’ll send him to Mary first, then Holy Spirit will embrace her. Then… you’ll go…”
Jesus closed his eyes and nodded.
God motioned and Gabriel spread his wings and slipped through a portal to earth. A moment later, a shining silver streak of light bolted across the sky, and Holy Spirit splintered the portal and disappeared.
Jesus touched his fingers to his lips. His face began to shine, growing brighter and brighter, until a blinding light burst into the night—a brilliant star shimmering in the darkness far above the earth.
And so it began.