In the Eye of the Beholder – a story

I could see her clearly.

A young girl dressed in rags, dirty and afraid.

Her tiny frame bore the evidence of a difficult journey,

Scuffed knees and scabbed elbows

All showed through her torn robe.

There were bruises and scars

She shuddered as if she’d been crying

Faltering for a moment, she seemed unsure

With head bowed, her grimy face turned to the ground

As if ashamed

Feebly she hugged herself for comfort

Then continued her journey

Across the floor of light

Towards the throne of The Most High

Having arrived at His knee her shoulders began to shake

Though her bedraggled hair hid her face from us

She was now sobbing

Her tears dropped to the crystal floor

Then her body crumpled and she fell at His feet

Using the sleeve of her ragged dress she wiped her nose and chin

I did not hear what He said,

but…

His gentle voice caused an immediate change in her

Though still timid, she stood and looked up into His eyes

With astonishment

The moment was electric, we all felt it

Cautiously she held out a hand and opened it

To release a balled up rag

The Most High leaned forward attentively

He asked a question

Her reply was in rapid stumbling words

Punctuated with sobs and sniffs

“I’m so sorry,” she said, deeply ashamed of the meagre offering

The torn cloth appeared to have stitching on it

Pointing to it she explained

“I tried to unpick it and do better,”

Turning the crude embroidery in trembling hands,

She continued,

“There, I pricked my finger and bled on it,

I had some trouble with this bit; it got a bit sweaty,”

She paused as if to remember the other stains,

“They were tears… some are mine but some belong to others…”

“Oh and I fell over a few times and dropped it in the dirt: I tried to clean it but I only made it worse.”

She took a huge shuddering sigh and glanced cautiously at His face

What she saw there held her gaze totally

He held His arms wide

The child suddenly fell into His depths

A brilliance of warmth surrounded them both and infected us who witnessed this delight

At last He held her away from Him

To look at her again

His face shone with Radiance

The child’s hair now glistened

Falling to her shoulders like a curtain of black volcanic glass

Washed clean she was dressed in a robe of brilliant white

Upon her head a coronet of gold

He placed a kiss upon her forehead; the evidence of it remained for all to see.

The Most High took the handiwork she had offered Him

With a second glance we could see

Blood drops had become rubies

Tear stains glittered like diamonds

Drops of sweat, delicate pearls

Stitches she had tried to unpick were once more revealed

Now threads of Gold they combined

Becoming an intricate pattern of meandering threads interlacing one other

Ragged and frayed edging had become a fringe of silken strands that fell between the fingers of His large, loving hands

Dirt was changed to a blinding white; all evidence of each fall gone

He turned her to the gathering

Angels watched in wonder as He spoke her name with Love

The silence broke as angelic voices sang out

Applause thundered like the seas

As she joined us, The Redeemed

I saw Him lift the cloth and gaze at it lovingly

A tear escaped His kindly eye

Raising the cloth He kissed it

Then turned to place it on a table at His elbow

Many treasures rested there

Among them

An alabaster jar and a lock of perfumed hair

First published on Faithwriters 2005

© Denise Stanford 2010

~ by Denise Within the Vine on 17/11/2010.

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