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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Noah on December 19, 2010

The Angels' Visit

Joel was exhausted. Just when he thought his sheep had settled down for awhile, something had frightened them, and they were bleating as loud as the Roman's trumpets, announcing the census of the whole Roman Empire. Well, maybe not THAT loud.

He still couldn't find the source of their fear, it was all grass and hills for miles around, with just a couple trees and bushes scattered here and there, nowhere for a wild animal to hide. "But then again," he thought, "It might not be fear that's causing this uproar, you can never tell with my sheep. Maybe they're shouting for joy. For all I know, maybe they have an annual tradition; I only took charge of this flock a few months ago."

Joel lay on the top of a hill, looking up at the sky, with the stars shining brightly all around him. It was true; he had only taken charge of this flock a few months before. After a long argument with his father, Joel had finally convinced him that now, with him being fifteen, he deserved the care of a larger flock.

Suddenly, without warning, his sheep stopped bleating altogether. All was silent. "It must be a tradition," he thought. Then he saw why, or rather, he heard why. Only seconds after his sheep quieted, a loud noise, which sounded like a trumpet blast, shook the air around him. And then came a bright light, brighter than the sun, which forced him to cover his eyes. "What could it be?" he thought. He was terrified!

Then a voice like none he had ever heard before spoke. "Do not be afraid," it said. "I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly, many voices started singing and shouting, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." Then they left. It was quiet all around him.

Around noon the next day, Joel stepped inside the doorway of his house. After his experience with the angels last night, he had gone with the other shepherds to see this newborn king the angel had told them about. They had found him, lying in a manger of all places, in a stable next to an inn. He and his fellow shepherds had spread the word to all the people around, and then returned to their own homes. As Joel lay down in his bed, sleep came to him quickly.

One thing that still puzzled him, and always would for the rest of his life, was the behavior of his sheep on that long to be remembered night of the Messiah's birth. And ever since, on that same night of every year, his sheep did the same thing. Now, it really was a tradition.

One thing he learned from his experience: God works in amazing ways.

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