The First Star
The hall was peopled with angels who acted as guides, and as we approached, one came to us at once and motioned us to follow. We were led to a large group of the Purple-Gowned and there was immediately a great number of introductions between us. Very soon my shoulder felt quite stiff with all the friendly clasps it had received! I noticed that our angel-guide had assigned us to a place toward the front of the group, and that those farther back were not wearing the Golden Sash.
Examining my companions, I had the opportunity of admiring the many beautiful golden-shades. To my right I glimpsed a group who were clothed in robes of deep cream, with an intricate design in gold on some of the foremost of them and with my extended Heaven-sight I saw other groups in the distance, some robed in varying shades of green, others blue, and one group stood out clearly in crimson. Far to my left I caught a glimpse of groups of pearl-grey and leaf-brown. “Who are they all?” I whispered to Janet. “I do not know,” she answered soberly, “except that some of them are of very high degree.” “Are they higher than the Purple-Gowned?” “Yes, every one, but if we are faithful we too shall climb to the Heights.” “Now we are two, it should be easier.” Janet smiled and quoted, “It is better therefore that two should be together, than one. . . if one fall, he shall be supported by the other,” and this time we heard the angels’ music coming faintly from the region of the Throne. As it died away, other music burst forth, much nearer, and instantly the great multitude fell on their knees.
Kneeling beside Janet, with Stephen and James beside me, I gave myself to the reverent hush, sinking into a deep absorption of spirit which I somehow shared with all. There was a long pause after that, and then a bell-like note sounded once, in the distance, followed by the sound of one who walked slowly but with a firm step behind us.
No-one turned, but the whisper flew from mind to mind, “It is Richard!” In a moment he came into view, walking between the ranks of kneeling figures. He gazed straight before him and his hands were touching palm to palm. As he halted, standing in front of the multitude, an angel came forward and faced him. In his hands he carried a scroll, and unrolling it, began to read in a ringing voice. “For faithful service in the Hall of Reception, the Hall of Adventure, the Hall of Children and the Hall of Friends. Also for special work carried out in a mission to earth, the First Star is awarded to Richard by the King of Kings!” Then a great sound of trumpets and singing broke forth; the angel turned and led Richard away from us.
We watched him drop out of sight into the mist. For a long time we remained on our knees, but not a word was uttered or a thought-message sent. Each of us inwardly revelled in our great privilege, breathing deeply of the blessing that our presence in this Hall afforded us. Each felt a growing strength, a deepening awareness of the glory of the Father, and every moment was precious.
At last the music sounded again. There was a sudden movement through the ranks and the far-flung thought, “It is the Mother!” At once all prostrated to the ground, veiling their eyes, and there was that same impression of brilliance and sweetness that I had felt before on that memorable occasion at the gates. Then came that dear embrace when I alone seemed to be in her bosom, yet I knew that each one was there also. During that long, time-less pause wisdom seemed to flow into my heart like a river.
I knew just how dependent the children are on the Great Father and how deep His Love. My own love and worship seemed to flow through my Mother’s hands to the very foot of the eternal Throne. . . Then she was gone, the bell-like note sounded again, and Richard appeared, walking, as it were, over the rim of the world, out of the colourful mist. Around him, a light seemed to glow, but brighter still was the first Star set as a diamond in the centre of his crown.
He wore that crown like the king he was. His face was far more glorious than any face of man we had seen before. As he approached the front ranks, he unjoined his hands and lifted them in blessing. We all bowed our heads, and as the rays from the Star touched us, it seemed like the touch of the Master’s Hand. How we sang after that! Richard stood in our midst, and with face uplifted, led the praises that went rolling up to the Throne. The angels joined with us. Gradually, the groups began to disperse, as messages of invitation arrived. We lingered as long as we could, but at last Janet came to me with the news that we were wanted in the Hall of Sleep.