Short Story

A Letter From The Hill

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Luke 2:17-18
NIV

To you, from me.

…What a day.
Angels showed up while we were out on the hill. Cold, stressed, nose to the grind, you know?
They blew out the whole sky, washed out the stars with this light, this presence,
and there was this chaos of noise cheering some holy of holies. Singing about the God of Abraham.

It almost spooked some revelry out of us, too, to be honest. I was ready to make a few choked hails to a God who’s holy above the holies. Doesn’t matter if I didn’t know Him, and He didn’t know me.
But, turns out, it wasn’t a show to make us a drop a knee to some far off, distant, power.
In fact, they said don’t be afraid.
They said this was some beginning; just the start of God’s renewed pursuit for friendship. Intimacy.
This God’s plan to be close to us, even us out there in the cold. Us, on the fringes.
Us, in the dark.

So, okay. It’s a message, our God’s message, apparently.
He told the angels,

‘Make sure they know that I see them. Tell them, they’re not rejected.
Not at a distance. Not alone.
Not anymore’.

Now, come on, we don’t get people bringing news out this far from the city, never mind a God.
None of the village runs up through the sheep and says, ‘Hey, something good is happening and we don’t want you to miss it’. So, how could angels show up and say, ‘Hey! Something good is happening’.
Something they wanted us there for. Something we had to see.

But, they did. God did. His angels ran right out of Heaven, singing all the way down, and showed up there in the sticks, for us, to fetch us, so we’d go and be the first to see what He’s doing.

They said we’re included:

‘This for you, the people God sees and has always seen. The ones that He loves.
That He’ll always love’.

I’m still a bit shook up about it.
It got me to thinking – I think we’d stopped expecting to be noticed. And I don’t know when that happened, or when we decided the fields were just quiet and not empty. Not lonely.
But, when they told us that, when they said here’s a God who loves, who does, who’s here, and came to tell us about it, it woke something up in us.

Anyway, we ran for it. You would, wouldn’t you? Bail from the fields and go chasing to the city just to make sure you heard right. That these crazy, singing lights in the sky, weren’t some collective daydream or hangover; that they were really angels.
That the good news wasn’t a lie. And, I had to come and tell you because I kind of can’t believe it myself, but…it wasn’t a lie. It wasn’t a fantasy.
I saw it all.

We found things just where they told us to go. Right there was girl. Her husband. A baby, just like they said there’d be.
And they were just as surprised to see us. They didn’t kick us out and we all just kind of…stared at each other.
Just a bunch of people in the sticks, on the fringes, looking a bit worse for wear. Brought together by weird sights and angels with crazy news from a God who kept saying that He loves us.
And if we didn’t believe it, there we were, in the same room together so we could swap stories, make heads and tails of it all. And, you know what? Somehow, we did. Even ended up celebrating together.
Praising this God, our God, as one big group one big…family.

A bunch of people suddenly out of the dark and in the centre of everything. Right bang in the middle.
People with Hope.

Anyway, I’m back. My feet hurt from running and the sheep probably fell off the hill.
But, I had to come back. I had to write it all down, because I saw everything; I know it’s real.

And if it’s my Hope, like they said it was, then I know for sure,
it’s your Hope, too.

 

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