Uncertain of his destination, brilliant light caressed the senses as the newcomer arrived. Much had happened in such a short period of time. In moments, he had been given a name, a home, and a place to be loved and to belong. Darkness to light, he quietly mused.
"You're new here, are you not?" asked a beautiful girl, twirling the ends of her curly locks.
"Yes," replied the boy.
"What name did Father give you?" she asked smiling.
"Abimael," he answered, wondering at his surroundings.
Abimael slipped past the girl and stared in awe at winged creatures zipping back and forth, streaming prismatic light across the sky.
"Don't you want to know my name?" she interrupted his curious observation.
"Yes, of course. What is your name?" he asked, directing attention to his new acquaintance.
"It's Zibiah! It means 'Roe'. Father named me perfectly. He says I was the first!"
"You were the first one here?" Abimael asked, surprised.
"No, no," she giggled. "Father said I was the first to arrive, after another kingdom far away decided they could send me."
"Is that what happened to me? I was sent?"
Zibiah's smile widened and her eyes sparkled. "Come with me," she invited.
Zibiah grabbed Abimael's hand and both ran tirelessly in the direction of rapturous melody. Voices in innumerable parts of harmony praised Father for His goodness and love. Scampering to the top of a grassy knoll, they paused hand in hand. There before them, a choir with members as far as the eye could see focused worship in the direction of a great throne enveloped in light.
"Who are they?" Abimael asked, mouth agape.
"They are like us. We are like them," she responded. "Sit down here, Abimael," she requested, patting the lush vegetation.
Abimael obediently dropped onto the grassy carpet, keeping his eyes on the splendor before him.
"What do you remember about the far away kingdom, Abimael?"
Abimael slowly turned to face Zibiah. "What do you mean?"
"I mean you came from the far away kingdom. What do you remember about it?"
Abimael closed his eyes and fought to remember the land of which Zibiah spoke.
"I know that when I arrived, I was surprised by the light. Wait a minute," his eyes shone with recognition, "I do remember. I came from a dark place, but I felt safe there. There were voices...voices that became familiar. One in particular."
"Yes, my mother," he affirmed, unexpected knowledge coursing through his being.
"What was she like?" Zibiah wanted to know, leaning forward.
"Her voice was soothing, even though she never spoke to me. She knew of my existence, but it seemed that I caused much concern. She cried often. I once heard other voices tell her that she did not need 'that kind of responsibility'. I assume she meant me?"
"The last thing I remember is screaming in pain, and then being instantly embraced in light and love."
"Do you remember the far away kingdom, Zibiah?"
"I remember," she nodded. "My mother considered me an unwanted responsibility also. Her voice seldom soothed; hate filled words were common. I recall screams of 'my body, my choice'. I didn't know what that meant, but shortly after the kingdom sided with my mother, I was sent here. I do, however, have an additional memory."
"Go on," Abimael urged.
"I remember being held."
"Yes. I remember excruciating pain, but then someone, kind and gentle, cuddled and spoke to me until my arrival here."
Both remained silent and then softly hummed the song offered in worship. Suddenly, the melody bubbled up from Abimael's soul and he joyfully raised his voice in chorus, singing each word as if he had composed the song. The refrain ended and a thunderous chorus of hosannas erupted.
"What's it like to be held?" Abimael shouted above the joyous fray.
Without saying a word, Zibiah dragged Abimael to his feet and they raced toward the throne. Abimael noticed one sitting to the right of the great light, whose welcoming smile encouraged Abimael to run faster. He released Zibiah's hand, rushed to waiting arms and jumped into His embrace. The Father's Son swung him round and round, both laughing with delight.
The Son lowered Abimael to the ground, a loving hand upon his shoulder.
"Lord, I have so many questions, but first, may I ask what Abimael means?"
"Abimael means 'God is my Father'. Welcome home, child. Welcome home."
My name is Bryan Ridenour. I am married and have four children. I am a full-time music and youth pastor. Eventually, I would like to be a published writer, genre still undecided. Some children's stories I have written appear at puffpeople.org. Feel free to browse other Faithwriter entries.