A multitude of figures burst from the confluence of splendor that rolled through the heavens above us. My knees weakened, my gaze locked. I stumbled about and fell among the sheep.
Angels, too many to count, poured across the night like a tidal surge. A thousand or more streamed over the horizons. Droplets of light, prisms each, rained down from them and made the sky appear as a liquid rainbow. Their robes shimmered as if sewn with gems and flowed behind them like celestial tails. Their wings arched and moved with delicate fluidity.
My voice choked a guttural cough. Muscles constricted and the air in my lungs was forced out. So great was my awe that I couldn't breathe. The edges of my mind became hazy with darkness and the hills began to spin around me.
The beings moved with precision, patterns woven in flight more spectacular than the finest needlework. An accuracy beyond nature. Chains of phosphorescence trailed them, like streams of spilled jewels. My jaws gaped open.
Their voices blended in a seamless choral that encircled me. The song was as if coming from a single mouth, projected from one body, and harmonized to perfection. The sound embraced me, a rush of heated air that brushed my flesh and penetrated to my soul.
“Glory!” The angels sang and the resonance was purified incense poured over me. It inundated my senses: the fragrance of lilies, the caress of silk, the taste of the most refined sugar. Like a holy rock tossed into the waters of earth it broke through the firmament and expanded in ever widening circles. It filled the valleys and spilled over the mountain ridges.
It lifted me from the mire.
I stood and spread my arms to receive the blessing as if I’d stumbled into a rainstorm after a hundred years of drought.
The other shepherds gasped and ran in every direction. They pointed to the sky, open-mouthed, their skin ashen.
“Glory!” The heavenly choir continued. “Glory to God in the highest!”
It seemed as if a rift had been torn in the fabric of the envelope before us and I glimpsed the perfection of the everlasting, so pure and melodious were the voices. I reached out my hand, fingers stretched. I wanted it for my own. Brilliance, splendor, majesty. My mind couldn’t grasp the fullness of the vision. A sliver was all I understood. Still, tears of joy stained my cheeks.
“Glory to God and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men!” Their sound was paradise unfurled. I leapt into the air and laughed. My heart floated with them, followed them throughout the sky.
“Peace and goodwill! Peace and goodwill!” The words echoed through ravines and gullies. All of nature freshened. The air about me became new, a heavenly breeze moistened with dew. I inhaled and delighted in it. My body tingled.
The song began to fade. The lights in the sky ascended and dimmed. I longed for another note, a syllable. There was none. I savored the remnant that circled in my ears.
“Glory! Glory!” The music vanished. My preview of heaven closed.
Spirit singing, I fell on my knees and gave thanks to Jehovah.
*From Luke 2:14 KJV
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