Thursday, April 21, 2011

"The Garden Prayer" - A beautiful short story by Alan Kregness

As Good Friday draws near I want to share the first of two readings written by Alan Kregness, which were created for the Easter series our pastor has been sharing at our church (First Baptist Church of Minneapolis).

Alan is a wonderful writer, as you will be able to see below and does a beautiful job of forming a simple, but moving image of what it may have been like as Jesus prayed in the garden before the time of His imprisonment and crucifixion.

Photo Credit

The Garden Prayer

            He returned to the small clearing. They had fallen asleep again. Even as he roused the disciples, he felt waves of fatigue washing over him. Now, as he knelt again in the waning moonlight, a terror seized his heart and chased the weariness out. The burden of the impending hours was heavy on him. He nearly wretched at the thought of the cross, even as he was aware of the glory beyond.
            Angels stood encircling him at a distance, hidden from human eyes. Never had they seen him this frayed, and yet the Light of his Divinity shone so furiously that even heavenly eyes ached at the sight. They wept with him, their hands raised, their prayers rising from their mouths like white smoke.
             The last few days and hours had deepened the lines in his brow and the rings around his eyes. Tears cascaded down his weathered cheeks. The streams gathered in pools, blurring his vision, mingling with his sweat now tinted red with blood. Breaths came shallow, rasping through his dried throat, his voice barely audible as he prayed.
            In an instant the full weight of his decision barreled down on him; he collapsed on the grass, sobbing in intense anticipation for what loomed ahead.
            In his mind he prayed for strength, for calm, for steeled resolve. The heaving sobs began to subside, and he suddenly felt his Father's nearness.        

            A great pillar of fire thundered down from the sky, enveloping his kneeling form. The angels covered themselves with their wings and fell on their faces, crying out: Holy! Holy! Holy! 
           The Divine Glory pierced through every leaf, every blade of grass. Beyond the circle of prostrate angels, the fallen ones shrieked in terror and fled from the light that crackled like lightning through the darkness. The voice of Yahweh was heard above it all, and the angels pressed themselves into the earth, the Eternal Breath washing over them in waves.

           And yet, to human eyes, all was quiet save the whispering of the man kneeling in the dew-covered grass.

Short bio for Alan: 
"I was birthed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the 21st of January, 1987. The minute I was born there was a power outage at the hospital, and if I were superstitious I'd say that signaled either the genesis of a life of mythic proportions, or that my life would consist of the worst possible moments back-to-back. I attended K through 12 at a hybrid American/Brazilian high school, and I owe most of my love for writing to two of my teachers there. College involved me going: 'Huh. Well, I like to write. Look, an English - Writing major!' I'm currently employed at The Toro Co., and write creative fiction/slightly fictional non-fiction on the side. Hopefully, that will change at some point."

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