A Christmas Proposal

By Brent King On December 8, 2014 Under Short Stories

mary-and-baby-jesusMusic surrounded me as I nestled beneath a blanket on my sofa. Strings of lights danced around my vision. Lost in the glory of another place, I blended into the ambience of a Christmas night. I chased rhythms and wonders to the borders of my imagination until the light glowing above my crèche arrested my eyes.

It’s luster shone on the manger there. As I gazed on it, it grew brighter as the vibrancy of choirs and orchestral strings swelled around me. Its brilliance filled the room.

I gasped. The splendor filled my lungs, my mind, and my soul. I squinted against the vision from behind a forearm.

“Arise, favored one of God,” a voice said.

“Arise?” I asked. “Where are we going?”

“On a journey,” the voice said, “a journey that began before you were born, a journey that you will never complete.”

“A journey…” I mouthed the words and repeated them in my mind.

“Yes,” the voice said. “For behold, God is with you. He will be conceived in you, and from out of you He will bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to captives. His power in you will have no limit or end.”

My eyes dropped to my nativity’s manger with mother Mary hovering gently over baby Jesus.

“But how can this be?” I gazed up at the herald. “I think I understand how Mary and baby Jesus—how that happened—but me?” I paused, and at last finished my question, “Me, give birth to God?”

Then the glory of the angel exploded through my flat, igniting the night with showers of fireworks. I drew back. My eyes widened and made room for the myriad dancing colors.

“The Spirit of God shall come upon you, and His power shall overshadow you.” The angel’s voice boomed through the room, dropping off as the fireworks faded to twinkling lights. “And the holy thing which shall be born of you will be God.”

“Can I mother God?” I asked under my breath, my voice distant.

“With God, nothing is impossible,” the angel said, and what happened next I will never forget as long as I live.

The strings of lights about my ceiling exploded to the heavens, and the heavens plunged to the earth. Star, angel, and light merged in a fantastic display across the sky, erupting into symphonies of song. I clutched my blanket under a host of singing angels, trembling as I took a few steps toward a manger that was now much larger than the one in my nativity.

“Fall on your knees,” they sang from all around me. Waves of rapture slammed me and I did, I fell on my knees. I fell on my knees before a stable and watched Mary cradling her Son in her bosom and Joseph standing by. Was it hours that I knelt there with a heart of solemn stillness, wrapped in my blanket, surrounded by angels? Yet it must have been only minutes that I bowed before the holy family, listening to the angel’s song—that ancient song of old.

“O night Divine….o night when Christ is born,” they sang, “O night Divine, o night, o holy night.”

The stars above mingled with my tears as it struck me. The angels were singing for me. My mind raced to remember the words to my favorite carol. What were they? Ah yes, above its sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing. And ever o’er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing. They were singing now for the same reason they sang that night so long ago: Christ is born!

I closed my eyes, and my hand found my heart. “Be it done unto me according to your word,” I whispered.

The angel choirs faded into the starry night, and I was left kneeling before the crèche in my living room. My Christmas lights twinkled there instead of angels and stars. I rose and peered down at the nativity. A light yet brightened the face of baby Jesus.

“This is a night Divine.” I said under by breath. It was more than I could take in all at once. I sank back onto the couch and pulled my blanket close. “This is a night Divine.”

Lost in revelation, I gazed at the smile on Mary’s face. I resonated with it somehow. Mary and I had something in common. The One who encircled the heavens was encircled by her, the Creator within His creature—and now me. How could it be? I inhaled long and deep. What had the angel said?

“Nothing is impossible with God…”

As I sat wondering, the carol came again through my speakers and hung in my room, “O night Divine. O night when Christ is born…”

“A journey.” I spoke to the quiet and holy darkness. “It all begins. He is conceived in me tonight, the highest and most precious thing that could ever happen to Mary—or me.”

I snuggled up on the sofa, and my thoughts trailed off. Strings of lights danced around my vision as I lay back, submitted to the Divine proposal, and let Christmas happen.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. AshleeW
    December 9, 2014
    3:01 pm #comment-1

    “The Creator within His creation.” I love that.

  2. Gary
    December 9, 2014
    6:52 pm #comment-3

    Wow. Very thought-provoking! Thanks, Brent!

  3. Gary
    December 9, 2014
    6:59 pm #comment-4

    Reminded me of this perfect quote for this piece:

    Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,
    If he’s not born in thee thy soul is still forlorn.
    Should Christ be born a thousand times anew,
    Despair, O man, unless he’s born in you!

    ~ Angelus Silesius

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