By Nathan C. Vance
I saw a vision of a very young woman. This woman was fair to look upon but, more than that, she was humble and unassuming. I could see immediately that she did her very best to keep the law in her heart so that it would not be broken, but fulfilled. And above all of the things that were obvious, it was clear to me that this girl was innocent.
And I watched her in public and in private and I could attest to her absolute innocence. But, even as I was watching, somehow, she became pregnant. And the girl was afraid for she was not married. And in her culture, having a child out of wedlock was frowned upon. And I saw one cloaked in darkness whispering in her ear, telling her all of the options. And she resisted to the best of her power. And though I couldn’t hear what was whispered to her, I could clearly see the visions that arose in her mind so that what she saw, I saw too.
What she saw first was a picture of herself. In this picture, her own father and mother yelled at her and condemned her. And in their anger, they would not listen to her as she plead innocent and explained that her conception was supernatural. And their anger was so great that they shunned her and sent her out of their house. And she wept for fear.
But she resisted this vision as she knew that her parents were loving and supportive. Then the whispers grew louder and then the scene changed. What she saw next was the man that she loved and intended to marry. He was a rough man. He was sweating and his hands were blistered for he was finishing a very long day’s work as an apprentice in a carpenter’s shop. And she went to him and hoped for understanding. But what she saw instead was his anger. And she was again very afraid. It was obvious that he wanted to strike her as he didn’t believe in her innocence. He yelled at her for he was hurt and lashing out. Rather than strike her he told her to leave for she would not shame his house and make him the fool in her game.
The cloaked figure continued to whisper, never giving her a chance to process what she had seen. She went straight in to the next scene. She saw herself alone with a child, walking the streets and begging for food. And she saw a life filled with heartache and pain. In the vision, her clothes were tattered and torn and her child was skin and bone. And she was turned away from every place that she went. And then she desperately tried to return to her father’s house, but she was turned away for her parents hearts were hardened to her and her baby. And during this scene she eventually gave the child away as she could not feed or cloth it. And in doing so, her entire world was destroyed. She wept through this vision. And I too became overwhelmed with emotion. I wanted desperately to intervene on her behalf, but I could not.
As she composed herself, she thought of the man that she loved. He was a hard worker. His hands were very rough, but his spirit was gentle. He would never leave her desolate. And with this thought she was again able to resist the temptation to believe the figure’s lie. And so, the whispers grew louder. The next scene was of a king declaring death on all of the children of her ethnicity. And to avoid death, she saw a mother put a child into a basket and the current carried the baby down river. And that child was taken in by a great house and raised as royalty. And this thought was appealing to her, for though she had just learned of the child in her womb, she loved it immensely. But then, as she thought of this, she knew that the child would never really be hers. And she was torn by the prospect of this because her heart ached at the thought of losing this child.
And so the whispers and visions persisted. And then she saw a golden statue. It was of a giant that had retractable arms. And beneath the arms was a great pit of fire. And she saw a line of mothers who were poor and deserted. And above the head of the figure it said, give me your child and I will bless your house. And the mothers were torn, but they feared death and coveted prosperity and so they placed their children in the arms of the golden statue. Each time, the arms would drop from the weight of the children and the golden statue would drop them into the fire. The sight of this appalled the young woman. I myself became ill at the sight. Instinctively her hands moved to her belly as she was determined to protect the child from all harm. And she knew that no matter what was to come, she could never give her child over for her own gain.
The figure was frustrated by her resolve but it was determined to shake her and take her child so it persisted whispering and the young woman saw another scene. This time she saw a king. And this king was very jealous of her child. And he sent soldiers to kill all of the babies in the land. And as the dark figure whispered it hinted that it would be better for the child to never be born than to be killed forcefully by these dangerous soldiers. And the figure whispered to her that she would never be able to bare the sight of a soldier taking and murdering her offspring. And she agreed. But a determination rose up inside of her. She was resolute that she could feed, clothe, shelter, and protect her child for it was born of love and love would keep her and sustain her even in the toughest of times.
And the figure could see that she was strong beyond her station. It knew that she was not going to give the child over to death without a fight. Rather than continue to whisper in the manner that it had, it decided to go with a different strategy. What I saw next was wild. I saw world-changing defiance. I saw caterpillars morphing into butterflies without ever nesting in a cocoon. I saw flowers of every color. I saw bee’s flying to and fro pollinating them as though their lives depended on it and I saw the flowers blossom and bloom. And I heard music that was melodic and dangerous. It flattered my ears and temptation burned in my loins. And then I saw again the golden statue of prosperity. And there were women lining up to see this statue, just as I had seen before, but they did not carry their children with them as they had done in the days of old.
This time, as they approached the statue they were merely given a bit of the fire to consume, and when it was consumed they were blessed beyond their wildest imaginings. And again the figure put its silver tongue to use whispering that it was capable of blessing her just as these were blessed and that she wouldn’t ever have to put her child in the outstretched arms of the statue. And she very much liked this vision. And she was compelled by this. And for the first time since the cloaked figure had arrived, the young woman appeared happy. And then she asked the figure if she could see a vision of her child in all of their prosperity, but the cloaked figure could not produce such an image. The figure became uncomfortable. Before long, she questioned it again. She was desperate to see the bright future of her seed in this magical world, but the figure continued to stall. It went on boasting about the great wealth and happiness it could provide her, but it could not show her the child. She eventually realized that the image could not exist as the fire that the golden statue gave for consumption had destroyed the seed.
The child was no more.
The young woman stood boldly. She demanded that the dark whisperer leave her immediately. She was so emphatic that it startled the figure and it ran from her in haste. She knew that its plans were dark and could not survive in the light. She knew that the visions she was seeing were deceptions. And when the cloaked figure was gone another came to her. This wondrous creature shined bright like a star. And this creature spoke loud. And she asked this creature to see a vision. Without hesitation it spoke to her and through her eyes I could see a loving family, an understanding husband, and a child whose smile could light up the night sky. She held him close and I could feel the absolute love in her embrace. Next she was holding hands with a small boy and they were walking and talking without a care in the world. She gave him guidance and nurtured him.
And then she saw the cloaked figure under the moon whispering to a pack of wolves and they surrounded the boy, but she and her husband stood by his side and offered him protection. And the wolves fled from them. And then her boy was a man. He was tall and handsome and he made her proud because he had a loving, giving heart. And then the cloaked figure returned. He spoke to the pack of wolves once more and they surrounded the woman and her husband. And then, she saw me, and I was with them and we were all three frightened as the wolves’ eyes lusted for our blood. I trembled as they drew closer. Their eyes were as black as coal and their mouths were white with foam. And then out of seemingly nowhere the young man appeared. It was the man who the woman greatly loved. He stood in between the three of us and the wolves.
And as he stood, more wolves came, and more, and even more until there were thousands of wolves. Despite being in obvious danger I felt a sense of calm, for as many wolves as came, they never dared attack us as long as the son stood by our side. And in the end, the wolves backed away from her son and they trembled in fear.
As she looked on, the woman started to cry again, but these were tears of joy. And I found myself weeping alongside her. In all that she had seen, she was unwilling to imagine her life without the child. In her love she knew that his life mattered to her suddenly more than her own. And no matter what outcomes the liar who was cloaked in darkness presented, she was willing to face them as long as her son was born.
She thanked the creature of light that had shown her the vision. It raised a hand to her cheek and dried her eyes. It assured her that she had no reason to fear for she was loved, and her child, who was still in her womb, was greatly loved. And he assured her that even more than that, her child loved her more than she could ever imagine. And then, the being looked up at me. I tried to hide myself, but I could not move. And the being said to me, “Do not be afraid, for this child loves you that much too.”
And just as had happened before, as quickly as the vision came, it was gone. And I couldn’t believe the audacity of the cloaked figure or the resolve of the woman. And as I thought about it, I was so glad to know that she was out there. Her strength gave me hope and her son gave me a chance.