My Lord came to me early in the morning while darkness still held the horizon in its fleeting grip. "Must it be now?" I asked drowsily, still not quite awake…not quite sure. He nodded. It must be now, so I flung off the blankets and sleep and followed Him.
The streets of gold were gray in the morning twilight. It felt cold to my bare feet. Nonetheless, it was not unpleasant. More of the happy coolness of chill grass on a Summer evening or a Fall breeze that asks for a blanket but does not require it. But He led me off the road and onto a path of His making.
Over quiet, shadowy hills and through flower beds that bowed as the Master passed and even suffered me to wander clumsily in their midst. We ducked under thick boughs of trees whose days could not be numbered and stepped over roots that went as deep as creation. At last He led me to a steep incline. It was an arduous mission, to climb to that precipice, and yet I was not tired when we reached the pinnacle at last.
My Lord gestured for me to sit, and then He sat down beside me. I looked from that point, high upon a mountain, across a great valley veiled in purple shadows. Then I looked at Him. He seemed in no hurry. I looked to the horizon and back to Him--must have been ten different times. And still He simply stared off to the distant mountain peaks. He said nothing.
Then, all at once, there was color. The gray world was set aflame in brilliant red, gold, orange, and pink. The sun rose behind those mountains, kindling the vaporous clouds with a fiery border. I gazed in wonder at the colors that, before, had seemed so routine, so meaningless…
And yet now…tears streaked down my face, and I finally understood it all. I looked to my Lord and asked a deeply personal, desperate question: "Forever?" I asked.
My Lord took my hand and said, "Yes, forever. Do you understand?"
I bit my lip and nodded.