Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
A Beautiful Story Part II
Then it came to pass that Jesus, the Son of God, was to be born of Mary at Bethlehem. And as the glorious tidings spread through Paradise, all the angels rejoiced and their voices were lifted to herald the Miracle of Miracles, the coming of the Christ child.
The Angels and the Archangels, the Seraphim and Cherubim, the Gatekeeper, the Wingmaker, even the Halosmith put aside their usual tasks to prepare gifts for the Blessed Infant. All but the Littlest Angel. He sat down on the top-most step of the Golden Stairs and anxiously waited for inspiration.
What could he give that would be most acceptable to the Son of God? At one time, he dreamed of composing a lyric hymn of adoration. But the Littlest Angel was woefully wanting in musical talent.
Then he grew tremendously excited over writing a prayer! A prayer that would live forever in the hearts of men, because it would be the first prayer ever to be heard by the Christ Child. But the Littlest Angel was lamentably lacking in literate skill.
"What, oh what, could a small angel give that would please the Holy Infant?..." The time of the miracle was very close at hand when the Littlest Angel at last decided on his gift. Then, on that Day of Days, he proudly brought it from it's hiding place behind a cloud, and humbly, with downcast eyes, placed it before the Throne of God. It was only a small, rough, unsightly box, but inside were all those wonderful things that even a Child of God would treasure!
A small, rough, unsightly box, lying among all those other glorious gifts from all the Angels of Paradise! Gifts of such radiant splendor and breathless beauty that Heaven and all the Universe were lighted by the mere reflection of their glory! And when the Littlest Angel saw this, he suddenly knew that his gift to God's Child was irreverent, and he wished he might reclaim his shabby gift.
It was ugly and worthless. If only he could hide it away from the sight of God before it was noticed!
But it was too late! The Hand of God moved slowly over all that bright array of shining gifts, then paused, then dropped, then came to rest - on the lowly gift of the Littlest Angel! The Littlest Angel trembled as the box was opened, and there, before the Eyes of God and all His Heavenly Hosts was what he offered to the Christ Child.
And what was his gift to the Blessed Infant? Well, there was a butterfly with golden wings, captured one bright summer day on the high hills above Jerusalem, and a sky blue egg from a bird's nest in the olive tree that shaded his mother's kitchen door. Yes, and two white stones, found on a muddy river bank, where he and his friends had played and, at the bottom of the box a limp, tooth-marked leather strap once worn as a collar by his mongrel dog, who had died as he had lived, in absolute love and infinite devotion.
The Littlest Angel wept hot and bitter tears, for he knew that instead of honoring the Son of God he had been most blasphemous. Why had he ever thought that the box was so wonderful? Why had he ever dreamed that such utterly useless things would be loved by the Blessed Infant?
In frantic terror, he turned to run and hide from the Divine Wrath of the Heavenly Father. But suddenly he stumbled and fell, and with a horrified wail and clatter of halo, he rolled in a ball of consummate misery to the very foot of the Heavenly Throne!
There was ominous and dreadful silence in the Celestial City, a silence complete and undisturbed save for the heartbreaking sobbing of the Littlest Angel. Then suddenly The Voice of God, like divine music, rose and swelled through Paradise! And the Voice spoke, saying:
"Of all the gifts of all the angels, I find that this small box pleases me most. It's contents are of the Earth and of men, and My Son is born to be King of both. These are the things that my Son, too, will know and love and cherish and then, regretfully will leave behind Him when His task is done.
"I accept this gift in the Name of the Child, Jesus, born of Mary this night in Bethlehem."
There was a breathless pause, and then the rough, unsightly box of the Littlest Angel began to glow with a bright, unearthly light, then the light became a lustrous flame, and the flame became a radiant brilliance that blinded the eyes of all the angels!
None but the Littlest Angel saw it rise from it's place before the Throne of God. And he, and only he, watched it arch the firmament to stand and shed it's clear, white, beckoning light over a Stable where a Child was born.
There is shown on that Night of Miracles, and it's light was reflected down the centuries deep in the heart of all mankind. Yet earthly eyes, blinded, too, by it's splendor, could never know that the lowly gift of the Littlest Angel was what all men would call forever:
"The Shining Star of Bethlehem"