I once met a boy
I will never forget. I was a friend of his mother for quite some
time, but I'm certain that even if I hadn't been I would still have seen
him, or at least heard his words. He was a sweet, charming boy, a
bit quiet, with a generous heart and a gentle temperament. I always
knew he was different from the other boys somehow...he was more obedient
and perhaps humble than any other child his age, and calm as the river
that ran by our town; but I never could have suspected the reason.
He followed me down to that river once, as I went to fetch some water for a stew later that same evening. We walked along the worn out roads peacefully when he said something that startled me greatly.
"Miss Diana...do you love my father?" he inquired quite earnestly. I was taken aback; what on Earth was he talking about?
"Child, what do you mean?" I asked him incredulously. "Surely you know your father better than that!"
"No no, I mean my Father," he corrected with some emphasis. I was puzzled. "Our Father, perhaps I should say." I understood now what he meant—it made sense for him to ask such a question, what with all the time he spent with the priests in the temple.
"The Lord our Father, you mean! Well, of course I love Him. Why do you ask?" He looked thoughtfully up at the sky, as though relaying the question to the Lord Himself.
"I wanted to be sure that you will be saved," he replied quite simply. I was certain by this point that the boy must've been crazy. With all the time he spent at the synagogue, didn't he know that the souls of sinners went straight to the Lake of Fire? I shook my head.
"Oh, child, I only wish I could be." I laughed then in spite of it all, and as we reached the river, I dipped my jug into the serene waters, and when it was full I lifted it up and the two of us began to walk back in the direction of our homes.
"Miss Diana, don't you know that my Father wants to save you? He wouldn't want to see you suffer for eternity." What an open mind he had; so optimistic, it seemed. He appeared confused that I didn't believe him.
"Even if He wants to save me," I said, "He does not. I have sinned, and it is too late for me. All humans have sinned; we are not fit for the Lord's kingdom." He sighed. "This is too dreary a subject, child," I told him. "One day you will understand." He looked at me and smiled then.
"I think you will one day understand," he told me. The conversation ended abruptly when we reached his mother's home, and I left the spiritual young boy with her before going home and cooking my stew.
I thought much
that night about the conversation I had had with the boy. I never
did forget it, and as he grew older I still wondered about it. Whether
or not he still remembered I was not sure, but the spiritual young boy
I had talked with that day hadn't changed much—he grew gradually into a
spiritual young man who preached the word of God. He loved the Lord
with all his heart, and he was endlessly devoted to his cause. I
admired him greatly, and was proud of who he had become; but I was determined
to find out what he had meant those years ago.
For this reason I paid him a visit at the synagogue in the autumn of his twenty-first year. He had already gained some celebrity as a preacher of God—and by others, even, as a prophet—so inevitably there were a few people standing in awe of him nearby as he prayed. I stood by and waited until he turned to me to speak; I would not have wanted to interrupt his prayer. When he did pause his communion to see me, he smiled that same smile of his boyhood, stood, and kissed my forehead.
"Diana," he greeted me, "so good to see you! What brings you here?" he asked. It was not entirely uncommon for me to visit without a motive at times, to check up on the son of my dear friend, but somehow he knew that I had a reason for coming today. Whether he knew that reason before I told him I still am uncertain, but even at the time I could tell that he sensed my motivation.
"Do you remember," I began rather tentatively, "ten years ago, when you walked with me to the river, to fetch some water?" He nodded sagely and smiled, as though he already knew what I would say. "I've been wondering about it lately; something says to me that it was of import. What might it be?" I asked. He shook his head, then turned it to the heavens.
"Oh, Diana," he said with a certain joy, "you do not yet understand? The Lord's day is coming!" He was perhaps more excited at that moment than I had ever seen him. I looked at him once more in puzzlement. "My Father will soon provide a way for His children's return to heaven. There shall be life beyond death!" I stared. Was he mad?
But he continued to prophesy many things to me—the coming of heaven and the world after death. A small crowd drew around us as he spoke to me of a great revelation. The crowd kept on growing and he spoke louder and louder, until he finally began addressing the entire gathering.
He talked of life—how death would pave the way to eternity, even for sinners like us. He talked of hatred, sorrow, and defeat; but also of love, joy, and victory. He talked of endless, unconditional love and the Kingdom of God that would one day rule over the Earth in peace and harmony, and I realized in that instant that he told absolute truth.
It was then that he called himself the son of God. It was then that I knew just what Jesus meant when ten years ago he had asked me if I loved his father and told me I would be saved; I felt wash over me at that moment the true glory of God, and I rejoiced in the revelation that the Messiah had arrived—and my soul was saved.
Author's Notes: Admittedly,
this could have been better for what it's worth. Still, it came out
all right. I wrote it on a whim, mostly. The title was a line
stolen from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Mr. Bojangles". Great song,
by the way, if you haven't heard it; very touching. Anyways, I'd
say this is fairly obvious—quite a religious thing, and if you don't like
it, tough luck, I live in a free country.
I guess this could be classified as historical fiction in a way, or Biblical fiction...but the term "Biblical fiction" sets my teeth on edge so maybe not...XD I'm not sure what else to say about it, but if you have something, don't hesitate to contact me! ^_^ Review me (*is addicted to reviews*) or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Minna-san arigatou! ~MJ
Date of Composition: Wednesday, September 25, 2002