A short story: Ashes into Gold

"But Lord I do have these ashes, this filthy rubbish on my hands, and I have nowhere to put it. They are stuck to me; it is as if they are part of me. I cannot get rid of them. I loathe them as angels detest the presence of lucifer; and the devils seems to be attracted to me. O what wretched ugly ashes I hold, what degrading materials are in my hands."

Christ then replied, "O my child, who plays much in the dirt, lingering in the puddle when I have made you this bright fresh river to play in, come here and I will trade your ashes into gold."

The dirty kid then reply, "But who would pay gold for such despicable ashes?"

"I will." Christ replied standing up to embrace the boy.

"O my Lord, do not touch me for I shall stain your garment."

"Without my touch," responded Christ, "those ashes will cling to you forever. I must touch you and fear not, the opposite will happen. You shall have my golden garment and I will have your ashes."

"Then my Lord, who shall trade your ashes for gold?" At this question Christ laughed and said to the boy, "These ashes will only last three hours or so and then they shall disappear forever."

The boy looked at his lord in mystery and perplexity, but knowing the genuineness of this man who seemed like a person whom he had known his whole lifetime, and seeing the rainbow love that emanated from him, he obeyed Christ at his words and at once was rid of all his ashes and had upon him a golden robe.

"You are now like me, a heir of all things that belongs to my Father." said Christ. "You may now come into the garden and into the palace at will, without the fear of those Cherubims and their flaming swords. They will not attack one with this garment."

"But Lord," replied the boy. "What if I stain this garment by swimming in that puddle?"

"Then boy," answered Christ, "only pray and ask for forgiveness and that Golden garment shall appear to you as clean and lovely again."

"Why would it only appear to me to be clean?" inquired the boy. "Will it not really be tarnished and thus loose its glowing ray."

"Not at all my boy. This heavenly truth I shall tell you, namely that which cannot be rendered is that your golden garment will forever retain its shine as I have given it to you. The reason for that is because it is mine. But it only appears to be unclean to you and rightly so because your conscience, another friend which I have given to you, not as you had it before, but now completely anew, will guide you and counsel you to desire to keep it clean. So every time you swim in that puddle, you shall feel the grieve of your error and come to me in forgiveness, and your garment will appear to you to be clean once more."

"Was it your good friend, who guided me to come to you in the first place?" asked the boy.

"Indeed it was him, known as the wind of  heaven and the one who hovered over the waters at the beginning. And in time you shall know him more and more as a kind friend, only keep in his step and stay away from that muddled water, for it really makes him sad." Christ looking up at the sky saw that the sun had long faded into the sea and told the boy to go home.

"But Christ," asked the young boy, "Is not my home now with you?"

With a tender smile Christ looked at the young boy and loved him and said, "You are quick to learn, aren't you."

"It is not me my Lord, but something inside me prompted me to say that."

"I see." radiated Christ very much happy that the boy could now recognize the voice which belonged to his new friend. "For now you cannot come with me, but you must go to your hometown."

"Why not now," asked the boy who really wanted to supper with his lord for he had not yet eating.

"Because I must go and prepare a room for you."

"Could you not have one of your servants to do it for you, whilst I sit at your feet and hear your wisdom like that woman of old who is famed in that book."

"You remind me of Jacob," said Christ looking at the boy with a wonder and with a face of care. "Because you have persisted in wanting to be by my side this evening, you shall have your hearts desire. But I tell you that it shall be a long while until you see your home again. For those who have visited here have stayed until it all becomes new again."

At this the boy leaped for joy and his heart raced in excitement. Now walking towards the golden palace, far from the dusty city and houses of the plains were the boy belonged, the boy asked timidly: "Dear Christ will I see your Father too."

"Any one who has seen me has seen my Father." replied Christ.

"You mean he is like you", asked the young child.

"I am more like him." Christ said smiling as he walked in his sandals towards the golden palace. "And you need not fear him like you did before for He is the one waiting to meet you."

"Then I am all the more glad that I shall not meet him with my ashes but with your garment."

"It really was his gift to you as well as mine," insisted Christ. Nearing the home of Christ the boy noticed the holes in Christ's feet and remembered how he got them from the book his mother read to him when he was long in his sickness; and then it dawned on the boy that how he was here, he knew not how, but should still be asleep in his mother's bosom.

"I see you have noticed," Christ said looking at the boy with great love. "This whole encounter is so that you may enter into your eternal rest and dine with me forever. Your eyes will one day open once more when I visit your home with my many servants, but for now they shall be opened in my palace."

The boy understood that his sickness was unto death and never again until that day will he stroke the hairs of his mother and kiss the cheeks of his sister. His mind also wandered to that question of Christ when he asked him to return home, understanding that, that was Christ's way of asking him whether he wanted to be healed. But the boy's heart wanted this rest, and although sad that he would not see his family again, yet his heart overwhelmed with bubbling joy like an overflowing spring.


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