Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Angel Lace
By Jim McWhinnie
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Her voice sounded like light-hearted brook water making its way through the maple woods. Her touch was like kitten’s fur rubbing upon the cheek of one’s soul. Her smile was like God’s gentle grace embracing you, even tickling you. I loved her and I still love her, for she loved me and she still loves me. Yes, we loved each other but even more than that, we loved being with each other.
We would often wander together through the wide-open pasture that stretched out beyond the barn. We would go searching for a delicate, white flower she called Angel Lace. The rest of the world seems to call it Baby’s Breath. And that name is fitting enough, but I still hold a liking to Grandma’s preference.
She once told me that Angel Lace would sometimes appear here and there in the morning dew. You never knew where it might appear. It simply appeared.
Where did it come from? According to Grandma. It seemed that sometimes during the moonlight, angels would come down to earth and dance among the fields. The angels were so beautiful that the earth would be reluctant to have them leave. And so as the angels rose up with the first light of dawn, the fields would reach up and snatch a bit of the lace from the angel’s skirts to remember them by.
Oh with all my biblical scholarship and theological sophistication, I realize that this story of Angel Lace is but the fancy of mountain legend, yet I cannot help but remember the story of Jacob’s Ladder. Yes, the old gospel song does claim that we are the ones who are climbing up that ladder rung by rung to heaven’s higher realms, yet the Biblical account is something quite the contrary. In the story, the ones who dance up and down the ladder are the heavenly angels, not we earthbound mortals.
Again and again, this seems to be the direction of God and human souls, up and down and down and up. God comes down to meet us here and we go up to meet Him there. We go searching for Him up there on the mountains and God comes searching for us down here in the valleys. Our praise rises up and God’s grace showers down. I am not always sure if we are going up to heaven or heaven is coming down to us.
But in this mellow autumn of my life, I am thankful that every now and then I still find myself in those places where angels have come down to play. And I have the Angel Lace to prove it.
“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” - Genesis 28:10-12 NIV
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