There was no sensation of time passing as Maria met each and everyone who was in the crowd that had come out to meet her in the meadow. She knew each person instinctively even though they all seemed to look as they did in their early twenties. Her mom and dad, brother, aunts, uncles, grandparents and then there was a cloud of witnesses that had come out to meet her.
Friends too had come to welcome Maria to eternity. She saw her best friend from ninth grade, Olivia, who had tragically died in an automobile mishap at the age of sixteen. Several unfamiliar faces approached and hugged her, with the warmth of a father or mother, who turned out to be her distant relatives from Spain. Auntie Nina and Carl took her by the hand and began walking towards the great light that streaked out of the large arched gate in the distant wall.
Maria looked up to locate the source of light that radiated, warmed and enveloped her entire body. It was like a hot summer sun that has paused mid sky where you can feel the heat roll over you in waves but it wasn’t coming from any celestial object in her view. The light was brilliant, like light refracted through a large diamond where all the colors of a rainbow mixed and swirled in a kaleidoscope of color.
“There is no need for the sun or moon to shine on us Maria for it’s the glory of God that illuminates eternity.” said Uriel intuitively.
Maria noticed that the wall stretched on, disappearing into the horizon, with three massive gates spaced out equally along its length. Looking down she noticed the ground below her feet resembled coarse coral sand, where each grain and pebble had been individually tumbled and polished with colors of black, white, green and tan.
In the blink of an eye the gate that had been in the distance was now right in front of her. Maria saw that the sand had disappeared from under her feet and she was now standing on what looked like translucent amber or maybe it was transparent gold. Uriel waved his right arm as a mighty angel standing guard lowered a silver sword and two enormous lions hunched into a resting position on either side of the massive wrought iron gates that were already open.
“You wouldn’t want to put these angels to task” cautioned Uriel as the group paused at the first step.
“Why are they here?” asked Maria
“Why they have always guarded the entrance to the Holy City” smiled Uriel
Now standing before the gates Maria could see the massiveness of the city’s walls. Their height looked as tall as a soccer field that was stood on end, rising up to 300 feet. The huge hand cut blocks of the wall were solid jasper marbleized with colors of red, yellow, brown and green all delineated by thin lines of white crystal quartz. The first course of blocks sat upon twelve layers of precious gem stone.
The bottom foundation layer was made of Jasper like the blocks that made up the wall; the second layer was equivalent to translucent baby blue colored glass, next lay a microcrystalline translucent agate followed by another layer of clear emerald green. Each layer was a cubit in width and complemented the next in contrast or color. At eye level was a layer made up of a solid red and brown banded stripes separated by white crystalline quartz which captured the light and reflected it back into Maria’s eyes.
On top of this layer was an orange-reddish cloudy quartz layer that highlighted a translucent olivine layer above it. A clear aquamarine-blue layer adorned and highlighted the yellowish-gold layer above it. The second to last layer was spectacular as Maria’s attention focused on the brownish-red faceted crystal face. The last layer was pure translucent purple, a regal color fit to adorn heaven’s eternal kingdom.
The wall’s foundation layers were staggered and formed twelve steps that led up to the gate and into the Holy City. As Maria walked up the steps towards the gate she noticed that the name “Judah” was carved into the stone above its massive arch. She also realized that each layer of the foundation was decorated with etchings of the names of the apostles with the last layer of amethyst bearing the name of John.
The gate itself was made out of one pearl and Maria couldn’t help but wonder what the oyster must have looked like that produced it. Uriel stopped abruptly in the middle of the wall’s portico. His massive silhouette blocked the bright light that streamed in and began to smile as he pointed to an inscription on the wall “Behold, the way is the Lamb!”