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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Singing (10/31/05)

TITLE: Encounter on High
By Maxx .


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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This article has been read 1219 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lucian Thompson11/07/05
Very descriptive; I praise Him with you
janet rubin11/08/05
Spectacular! Imagine being a witness to that scene- you did a great job giving us a glimpse of a shepherd's-eye-view. Lovely descriptions.
Jan Ackerson 11/10/05
I like the POV, and it's unique to write about the shepherd's experience, yet stop short of the trip to see the baby...I like it. This is a more accurate description of what I imagine it must have been like--usually it's pretty much depicted as a really good gospel choir. Good job!
Amy Michelle Wiley 11/10/05
Wow. I really enjoyed this. Beautiful!
Anita Neuman11/11/05
Wow! I've often imagined what it must have been like - and you captured it so exquisitely! Aside from the spiritual euphoria this invokes, this is also a great technical piece - it should be in a writing textbook as an example of TIGHT writing - using fewer, perfectly-chosen words is so much more effective than using lists of vague adjectives. GREAT JOB!!!
Alexandra Wilkin11/11/05
'My jaws gaped open.' Yes so did mine reading the beautiful description of the angels as they came to shephards. I am but an apprentice Maxx, and I am reminded of that reading this. Thank you. God bless
Brandi Roberts11/11/05
Wow! Very well written - but I should expect that by now LOL I enjoyed this!
Pat Guy 11/11/05
'A sliver was all I understood.' And Wow! What a sliver! Beautiful!
Linda Watson Owen11/11/05
Why in the world would anyone need movies and special effects when they can read an account as thrilling as this?!! Extraordinary!
B Brenton11/12/05
Beautiful. Glory Be, Maxx! Glory be!
Karen Rice11/12/05
Oh, wow! This reminds me so much of Black, White and Red, when characters went running into the waters. In those, and with yours, I get goosebumps and weepy. Thank you!
Shari Armstrong 11/12/05
Well written - very good descriptions.
Val Clark11/13/05
Very imaginative. Great sense of being there and seeing and feeling along with the shepherd.
Jessica Schmit05/30/06
It's too bad you weren't around when the Bible was written. You would've hooked readers better than the "Heavenly hosts appeared and were praising God saying ..." Yep, their would be none of this whol "Da Vinci" debate because people would read the Bible and say, "Well, the guy sure sounds right on." Honestly, how could you write something so...so...true without personally seeing it. It was as if you were there and watched the entire account. Goodness, I scraped a story I was writing last week because I couldn't (for the life of me) describe heaven. I should've called you. it seems you've been there. Your writing truly astouds me. I no you haven't had an abortion, killed your mother, seen your friend murdered and lying in a pit or had twins, yet you describe every story so clearly and truthfully that it leaves the readers scratching thier head and asking "who is this guy and what has he been doing?" This was one of those pieces. You must be a fmaous writer somewhere. You have so much talent it amazes me. To only allow the readers here on FW to read your work, would be doing the world a huge disfavor (is that a word?LOL)Amazing, brillent, beautiful. I take it this was for your Christmas project?