Karlene Jacobsen has spent years dreaming of a fictional world with her husband and four children as her greatest cheerleaders. Together, they all journey into the lives of many characters who invisibly traipse through her mind. When Karlene takes a break from her world of pretend, she studies English at Grand Canyon University (distance/online), assists in a kindergarten (Montessori) classroom, volunteers at church, reviews books and films, and offers her services as freelance writer/editor. It’s not uncommon to see her with a stack of books in her queue. Whenever she can, camping with tent and family is her vacation of choice.
A trumpet blast signaled the time was near. Swords crossed, creating an archway up the center aisle. Michael and Gabriel acknowledged each other with a nod; their eyes sparkled.
Michael called for his forces while Gabriel summoned his. Row after row of warriors gathered, lining the halls in gold and white raiment, countenances filled with expectancy.
The King was coming.
Gabriel raised his horn, prepared to announce the King’s arrival. Sound exploded from the bell like no other, producing music unmatched in beauty by any—except the King. As though on cue, the expansive acacia doors swung inward.
The King had arrived.
Unimaginable radiance shone from His being. Invading shadows fled at His entrance. Members of the court and those on the fringe ducked low, covering their faces. He passed through the throng. Reaching His throne, He turned, took His scepter in hand, and beckoned for His attendants to arise.
A child turned to Michael, his eyes wide with wonder. “How much longer?”
“Just a few more minutes.” Michael knelt beside the lad and extended his index finger toward a window. “See there?”
The boy looked.
The glass appeared as a prism, casting myriad colors of the spectrum on the marbled floors and ceiling; yet, he could see clearly into all of creation outside. His gaze fell upon cities and towns, farms and schools, beaches and amusement parks, roadways and airfields. “Who are they?” His hand directed Michael’s attention to people, many in motion, some resting in parks, others reclining wherever they pleased.
Michael nodded toward the throne. “They’re His.”
Watching, the child asked, “Do they know it’s almost time?”
“Some do.” Michael showed him those who leaned forward, watching the expanse above them. “See?”
A frown tugged on the corners of his mouth. “Will there be more?”
“Doubtful.” Michael drew the child close to his side. “Many are busy and haven’t time to stop.”
Tears spilled from the child’s eyes to his chin and onto Michael’s hand. He looked up into the angel’s face. “But—”
“Shhh.” Michael nodded to the throne. “Not a minute more than He says, and it will begin. Those who aren’t in position will miss it tonight.”
“Will they come tomorrow?”
“Perhaps. Perhaps not.”
A rumble, much like thunder rolling, claimed the attention of all present. Lightning flashed from the throne. The child watched Him, awed by His splendor. His gaze seemed to flit toward the child—only briefly—causing warmth to rise, birthing adoration and praise within the child’s heart. The new life swelled until the expressions of worship soared from his tongue.
His gaze drank in those around Him. His blazing eyes flashed. A crease formed on the side of His face as His mouth stretched into an ear-to-ear grin.
The child felt the King’s pleasure. He was about to create. A nod so miniscule, the child thought he might have imagined it. With the host, he followed the King’s gaze to the window.
“Just one minute more,” Michael whispered into the child’s ear. Raising his arm, sword in hand, he directed the child’s attention again through the pane.
An explosion of color blew open the portal.
Missiles of varied reds streaked across the expanse, followed by purple, gold, orange, and pink. The great fireball warmed the colors, sealing them to the expanse, splattered and striped in nonconforming patterns. They fused together, becoming one in majestic artistry.
Those below the expanse watched, eyes aglow—some filled with tears.
“That was awesome!” The child squealed, clapping his hands. The King fixed His eyes upon the child. Under scrutiny, his hands and feet burned with fiery passion. Unable to tear his gaze from the King, the child tugged on Michael’s sleeve. He bent low for the child to whisper into his ear. “Why is He crying?” He turned Michael’s face toward the throne.
The child couldn’t be sure if it was a hint of sorrow or reverence that mingled with Michael’s tone. “That’s His love for all creation overflowing.”
Glancing back through the portal, the child asked, “Don’t they understand?” His gaze followed those who rushed about, never once pausing to notice the display above them.
Michael didn’t respond until the fireball bid farewell to the inhabitants of the land. “Only He knows the answer.”
“Will He do this again?”
“Yes, little one. In another one thousand, four hundred forty minutes.”