WALKING ALONG a bend in the trail I came to a clearing, where out on the hills I saw flocks of sheep peacefully grazing. My eyes roamed the lush landscape of MeadowEdene but the Lord was nowhere to be found. What did catch my eye, several miles away from where I started my journey, was the King’s palace. With eye-stunning magnificence the palace towered majestically above the valley, gleaming with the radiance of a million stars. Everything in the valley below seemed to bow in its direction.
Just then I heard my name being called from across the meadow.
I turned to see the Lord ambling down a hill. A small lamb was leaping happily near his side. We met at the bottom of the hill and greeted each other with a swell of enthusiasm.
“Gabriel,” he said, “it is good to see you!”
As he spoke the air stirred in adoration.
“My Lord,” I replied, “when I received your message my soul was warmed with thankfulness that I was to be with you today. And now your servant is anxious to hear of the Divine plans.”
The little lamb was jumping up and down desiring the Master’s attention. So he picked up the lamb and held it close to his chest. Slowly, he ran his fingers through its coat, soothing the small creature with a tender touch.
“Did this little one get lost in the meadows?” I asked.
“No, no” he said as he gently petted the lamb. “She loves to be sought after.”
Turning his face toward me he continued, “It’s a game she likes to play. She hides…at least she thinks she does, and I go looking for her.”
Rubbing its little woolly head he cheerfully remarked, “Oh, I know where she is, but I play along just so she can have the joy of being found.”
Honestly, I couldn’t understand why the Lord would spend time at play with such a creature.
I thought to myself, What a strange game?
He grinned. And with his eyes affectionately focused on the lamb he said, “It is not such a strange thing when you realize all creatures have a longing to be loved.”
He paused thoughtfully, lifted his head, and with a far-off look he stated, “I am to become as one of these lambs.”
Perplexed I asked, “What do you mean?”
“Come,” he said, “walk with me.”
He carefully lowered the lamb on the grass and we watched as it scurried back into the sheepfold.
We made our way back to the Crisalyne River and then hiked along the winding banks. The river was unusually clear, almost transparent, seeing to the bottom. Like clear glass our faces were mirrored on the surface.
High above us a large flock of yellow-breasted doves with gold and white wings were interlocked in flight. From where we stood they looked like a huge feathery ball. As the birds turned and glided gracefully across the bright azure skies they appeared, because of their brilliant colorations, as a slow turning kaleidoscopic globe. We knew well what was going to happen next.
The lead dove, who was in the center of the flock, called to the others. On his melodious signal the birds increased their speed, flew straight up and then shot outward like a flare. The performance made for a stunning starburst effect. They repeated this aerial show several times before disappearing over the Mountains of Majesty.
The Messengers have tried many times to duplicate this feat in the outer heavens, but with embarrassing results. One of the brothers always veered off course at the last moment. From the earth-world he appeared as a falling star. It’s quite amusing to realize that on such a mishap humans make wishes.
Well, the Lord and I continued our hike upstream where schools of opal colored fish jumped high in the air. Their long bodies spun, as if in slo-motion, round and round, like dancers in a ballet. Vigorously flapping their fins, beads of glistening water sprayed off their backs like tiny gems.
Approaching the multitude of leaping fish, the Lord stepped out knee deep in the river and pulled from under his garment a small net. I followed close behind. He held out the net and waited. It wasn’t long before the airborne fish competed to dive inside the net. When two of them dove into the net, the Lord quickly withdrew it. The pair of aquatic acrobats stopped wiggling, calmed by the knowledge they were specially chosen for the Master’s good pleasure.
Wading back to the river’s edge he then directed my attention to a rocky bluff.
“Up there,” he said, “where the tree with the twisting trunks stand near the cliffs. That is where we will dine and talk.”
A peaceful and secluded place in the meadows, the bluff was thickly covered with purple clovers, which fielded a small number of flat crown trees and a few caves.
In an instant we appeared on the bluff.