She couldn’t see his face through the beams of light that seemed to emanate from the pores of his skin. When she tried to look at him the very first time, everything went dark – it was like looking into the sun. Now her eyes were starting to adjust and she could only just make out the shape of his face.
“You look so sad, my love. What troubles you?” His voice was like a peal of thunder, reverberating through her fragile form, yet as soft as wind kissing leaves.
“I’m not sad. It’s just…” She hesitated, looking around at the incredible foliage around them. The yellows and golds and maroons raised their voices in a loud, majestic chorus that commanded her heart to attention. This was her favorite spot, perched on top of the hill with miles and miles of glorious creation before her eyes. She sighed and continued, “Will I ever understand? Is there a point to this endless waiting?”
He turned his face toward her and her whole being flooded with warmth. He was the warmth of a roaring fire on the coldest winter night. “You meant to ask if this will ever end, didn’t you?”
He knew her so well. “Will it? Will I forever feel this lonely?” she replied, her heart heavy in her chest. “I mean, here. Before all this is restored.” She gestured towards the scenery before them.
He stood – or at least she thought he stood. “Look over there,” he said, as he pointed to the left of where they were. Turning her head in the direction of his hand, she saw a man walking down a wide path, towards them. She could barely make out his features because he was surrounded by fog, but her heart quickened with each step he took. Why did it feel like her heart knew his?
She strained to see his face and was so caught up in trying to decipher the feelings his presence aroused in her, that she almost missed the woman who was now walking by his side. Even she seemed familiar. Her skin was dark, her smile bright. They looked like lovers, fingers intertwined, laughing at the days to come. And like a ton of bricks, it hit her.
“Is that…is she me?” she whispered to the glowing figure beside her.
“She’s the person you’re becoming. That is what you want, isn’t it?”
The couple kept walking, hand in hand, stopping occasionally to stand under a tree and marvel at its leaves. She could see their legs moving but they hadn’t gotten any closer to where she was sitting. She continued to watch them as she contemplated his question. There were other things she wanted – like her dream career or the ability to travel whenever she pleased. But she knew what he was asking. At her very core, that picture was what she wanted the most. She nodded, overcome by a wave of emotion that rendered her unable to speak.
Once again, he turned to look at her. “Stand, beloved.”
She obeyed, still trying to keep a rein on her emotions.
“Give me your hand,” he said. She did, and he placed his palm against hers, matching finger for finger. Oh, the warmth. As she watched, her hand began to glow. The radiance began to creep up her arm and spread. Soon, the very skin on her arm was translucent and the same blinding light that shone from him shone through her. Very slowly, he turned her around so that she was facing the meadow and her back was turned to him. The foggy image of the couple was gone. His nearness was intoxicating, her senses swimming in the sheer delight of being so close to him. Then she looked down and gasped.
Her entire body had been made invisible by the same light. She wasn’t merely a reflection of his light, she had become the light! She turned around to face him and, engulfed by the brightness, she couldn’t believe what her eyes saw. A face! Warm and inviting, with eyes steeped in kindness and a smile that proclaimed undying love.
He reached out and tenderly cupped her face with his hands. “My love, this is the reason for which you were made – to be like the Son and shine like him. Stop holding so tightly to the promise of the gift – let the giver be enough. Return to your first love, beloved.”
She reached out to touch him, with the innocence and wonder of an infant reaching for her father’s face. “Oh Abba, I finally understand!” But the light was starting to fade, the image of his face melting away into the fields behind them. Stretching her arms in front of her, she saw that they were back to normal, as was the rest of her body. The wind whispered through the trees, a lone bird sang its flawless tune, and she was once again all alone. But the warmth from his touch lingered, and her world took on a different glow.