A man stood just beyond death’s arched passage.
His life was now behind him.
He felt nothing but regret.
Why? he asked
Now that it is done
Why all the pain was I meant to suffer?
Why the heartache of lost love
And dreams that never real emerged?
Why the long days of work
And the long nights of worry
And the long, long years
Of watching youth turn into middle age
And then old age
And then no more?
And why the sadness and upheaval all around
In the lives of those I loved
And those they loved
And beyond these
Into the lives
Of all the myriad who ever lived?
Why a world so torn by trouble that even in death
My heart cannot be separated from the grief it gave?
No sooner had he asked these questions
than what appeared an angel now appeared.
So bright he stood
He might have been a star
At light years’ distance shining in the night
Though up close a mighty sun
Too bright for mortal sight.
He was but just a child
So innocent that all he knew
Was laughter and the trust of every moment.
And as the man gazed on this face
Into these gentle
He searched and felt his answers open him.
The faith you hard-won fought to plant and tend
Now you harvest here in this tiny sprout
Who starts his life with gifts of soul you earned
And now bequeath.
Such patience that you called upon
To pull you through
A thousand disappointments and delays
Now is his upon which to rely
Throughout his days.
The strength you daily summoned
To carry your waking self
Onward through seasons of sorrow and despair
Now serve this boy before maturity
Has even deemed to grow his muscles strong.
The full measure of wisdom you gained
While searching the barren landscape
For some small glint of truth
Rests now complete behind his brow.
Do you not see?
I do, he said
Though still he saw not
He felt the tie of loving fatherhood
Bind his heart to this beholden child
So that he wept with recognition
Born at once
Of joy at what he had begat
Yet still some inconsolable remorse
That he had been so blind to his creation.
Soon, though, as he watched
The child in all his light grew ever close
Till nothing separated lover from beloved
Still remnant of the sting of tears
The man’s eyes needed not to blink
But only stare in awe
As light bathed every corner of the sky
And chased away the dark.
Then he saw.
And knew that it was true
The only God that granteth life and light.