One night, in the midst of my dreams, I paid a visit to the Celestial City. Oh, the sights that I saw there! Angelic guardians, powerful and mighty, led me through the gleaming gates, which were sculpted out of brilliant gemstones. Down the glorious paths of gold we went, listening to the sweetest music that ever touched my ear, and basking in the comforting light of the Eternal One.
The most striking destination, however, was the Room of Prayer. Beckoning for silence, the guardians led me inside. The place was very quiet, and filled with a profound sense of peace. The walls were lined with shelves of diamond, and each one was adorned with shining bubbles, which shimmered in absolute brilliance. Fascinated, I drew near and picked up one of these objects, and was surprised to find that it was a pearl – gleaming white and humming with vibrant life.
“What is this?” I asked, mesmerized by my reflection in the pearl’s flawless sheen.
One angel bowed slightly. “That orb may appear small, but it is one of the most powerful objects you will ever encounter. It was created by the faithful prayer of a human heart. Go ahead… listen.”
With wide eyes, I held the beautiful orb close to my ear. To my amazement, I heard the voice of an elderly grandmother, as clear as a bell. In my mind’s eye, I saw the old woman, stooped with age, kneeling next to her bedside in the early morning hours.
“Almighty Father,” the woman cried passionately. “I know You can heal the marriage of my children, if only You will. I believe with all my heart that You want the best for them. Won’t You help them today?”
With new understanding, I began to replace the priceless pearl, but the guardians stopped me.
“This one must go over here,” they told me patiently, “with the prayers of the faithful hearts. These were answered even before they were voiced.”
Slightly troubled, I turned around and examined the pearls behind me. Their light was not as bright, and as I picked one up I noticed that it bore a dark stain, as if it were tainted somehow. I held this pearl to my hear.
“I don’t know if You’re listening, God,” a young man’s voice trembled. My mind’s eye revealed a college student, sitting next to his dying mother in the hospital. “But if You are, I need You to heal my mother.” The young man laughed. “I don’t even know if You can do that at this point, but… if You can… would You bring her back to me?”
As I replaced the pearl with the deep black stain, a guardian watched me closely.
“Did you notice the difference?” the guardian asked solemnly.
“Less passion?” I took a guess.
The guardian’s face was grim. “Unbelief,” he said sadly. “Oh, how many prayers have lost their effectiveness because of the sin of unbelief! If only more humans understood the power of genuine faith, and the terrible danger of the word ‘if’…”
I awoke with the guardian’s voice still echoing in my thoughts. Smiling at the beautiful memories I had collected, I began to go about my day… but caught myself. Sinking to my knees, I began to prepare myself for one of the most important and life-changing tasks any human being has ever been given the privilege to experience…
And I prayed.
This short story was submitted as part of the Christian Flash Weekly challenge, where we were given the Scripture prompt below and up to 700 words to craft our tale.
“And Jesus said to him, ‘If you can!’ All things are possible for one who believes.”