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by Jason Nemrow last modified 2018-03-29 15:42

The trellis outside of Rachel's bedroom window was still as rickety as ever, but the sturdy wooden ladder placed beside it would serve the woman better tonight. She climbed up as quietly as she could, not wanting to worry Jennifer about what she was doing.

As she sat in her favorite spot, her knees pulled up close, Rachel looked up at the glittering canopy of stars above her and just cried. There were no more wishes to pray for, only grateful thanks to be offered to God. She had nearly given up hope a thousand times, but always, some part of her believed that her prayers and dreams would somehow come true. Tonight, she had danced on the stage of the penny theatre, and she would have many more opportunities, she hoped. A chill wind blew up from downtown, and she looked at the tall buildings and knew that nestled among them was her theatre, soon to be again that magical place where people could come and hear the stories and feel the magic and the joys of inspiration. She breathed in deeply and dreamed of the wonderful possibilities.

The brisk wind nearly tore the budding rose out of her hand, but she clutched it tighter, determined not to lose it. She thought back on her glorious day and realized that her knight in shining armor had been with her through all the years, and she had never recognized him. He really had saved her from the cold stone that her father had convinced her to become. And even though he was not there, his influence was all about her and had made this most blessed of all nights possible. She couldn't resist another urge to weep.

The world truly was a wonderful place, full of opportunities just waiting for dreamers to discover them. There is so much more than what can fit inside of a television screen or in the finite mind of thoughtless or uncaring people. There is so much that cannot be bought with money, and often those things are the most worthwhile and carry with them joys beyond price. There is far too little time to waste on cruelty or greed or frivolous possessions; the world is in far greater need of faith, and hope, and charity, and love.

It is our uniqueness that helps these things come out, for only when we can truly be ourselves, our best selves, we finally show forth our capacity as children of God. Conformity within a crowd can only rob us of that tiny light of Godliness within each of us, for each gift that He gives us is different. Is He not the most unique, the most different individual there is?

With another deep breath, Rachel looked up at the incredible blaze of light around her and the glorious Milky Way stretching from one horizon to the other. Just like in her vision as a child, she saw God moving along the glittering path, surveying the boundless bounty of the world. But this time, He didn't walk alone.

There beside the Great Creator, a knight strode, his armor a blaze of shining silver and gold. As he came nearer, he took off the ornate helmet and she could see his face clearly, smiling down on her from above. Robert looked just as he had in that dusty dance hall, standing like Ascendus before her Betadin, and it was as if he were saying the same words as he said then, his love grown greater with the passing years. From behind his back, he revealed a large red rose. "I love you," he mouthed soundlessly. "I'll be waiting for you!"

A Hand touched the young knight's shoulder, and the two figures continued their walk. And God, the One who made it all possible, took up His list 'of things to do' and checked off Rachel's childhood request. Turning to look down at His beloved daughter, God smiled and said, "I'll be waiting, too."

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