As the evening dust settled and as children reluctantly unglued themselves from the seats of their neighbor’s houses, as the penultimate piece of meat was chased down unaccustomedly over-pampered throats by cheap wine and even cheaper fruit juice, and as the Noel blared relentlessly through badly-tuned speakers (the same speakers that played Obesere’s “Apple Juice” a night before”), Maravilloso coughed harshly, his eyes watering as he emerged from a thick cloud of smoke – the result of a backfiring Pepsi truck.


He squinted through puffy eyes – eyes that were tinged vampire-red by the conjunctivitis that was going around with all the Christmas cheer – and inhaled the toxic air. He rubbed callused fingers together, trying to force heat into his arthritic phalanges. His lips were badly peeled, for divorced of the soothing protection of a lip balm, his lips had presented themselves unwittingly to the rape of the harmattan wind.

Maravilloso began his walk in boots that had soles so thin he probably could have told what part of the city he was in, even if he had been blindfolded. He heard a man call through the fog, and he stopped, cocking his ear to hear better.

“Merry Christmas to you. God bless you.”

Maravilloso stared at the man. He was blind, and there was a plate beside him on the floor. People streamed past him, hurrying home, generally ignoring the blind man (some actively so, for they feared that if they stared at the man, they would be weighed down by crushing guilt), with only a few people stooping momentarily to drop some change in the plate.

Maravilloso approached the man, unobtrusive in the crowd. Even though he stood out from the crowd – wretched he looked – he easily looked like an assistant to the blind man.

He stretched his hand, and his fingers lightly touched the gritty forehead of the blind man. He felt a surge of power, but then he withdrew his hand.

It would not be right, he thought. I have people who should be doing this. This is no longer my job. Sighing, he reached within his multi-robed person and produced money – good money, an observer might add.

Pressing the wad to the blind man’s hands, he whispered, “Merry Christmas to you too. Go home and be with your family.”

There was a fleeting look of confusion in the blind man’s face, but that passed quickly, and it was replaced with an understanding. The blind man smiled, picked up his cane, and began the tap-tap, cane on concrete that heralded his return home.

Maravilloso turned and immediately saw a man stab another man and make away with his wallet. The sky darkened a shade, and there was a humanly imperceptible rumble overhead.

“Forgive him, pa,” Maravilloso mumbled. “Forgive everyone.”

He sat in the shadows, watching the stabbed man, fighting the near-overpowering urge to go touch the bleeding man. He breathed into his stiffened palms, his heart racing.

He knew he could not do anything anymore for the people of the world. He had given the power to his disciples. He had to respect his own principles.

But it was so hard sometimes.

It was hard when his disciples staggered about, with vacant eyes, apparently unaware of the urgent task they were commissioned to do. It was a physical pain building up between Maravilloso’s eyes, and it hurt to watch, to supplicate daily, to grip his pa’s hand as his pa gritted his teeth. His pa’s fury escalated every day, and it was all Maravilloso could do to say “forgive them, pa. I am the one who has a right to condemn them. I bought them…”

Here he was, in an uncomfortable body, sensitive to every stimulus the city brought, staring at a dying man in the shadows…

Someone came along. Maravilloso’s heart skipped a beat. The dying man may yet live, and he thought fondly of a story he once told – that of a Samaritan, and he settled in for an “I told you so” story he could tell his pa. This passer-by will save the dying victim, he thought excitedly, and pa will remember once more the good that resides in the hearts of these children.

The newly-introduced character in this story – the passer-by – noticed the dying man, blinked excitedly, looked about and took – literally – to his heels. Maravilloso saw his heart, and he knew the man was afraid. Afraid that he might be somehow implicated in the attack of the dying man.

Maravilloso came out from his hiding place, and sat beside the dying man. He held the man’s hand and was once again enthralled by the perfection of his own design. The old grief hit him, and he sighed.

“Mary did you know/

that this child you delivered/

would one day deliver you…?”

The carol brought tears to his eyes.

Once again the world was celebrating his “birthday.” Once again, the world had neglected to give the celebrant a birthday gift.


70 thoughts on “Maravilloso

  1. This ethereal piece literally took my breath away. A great piece this one, double thumbs up to you for this inspirational and timely masterpiece. God bless you, Compliments of the Season and Happy Holidays!


  2. This Deep tho…really nice piece,got me thinking if any “Good will” still resides in my heart? Let’s give the Celebrant a gift by touching some one life Positvely(not HIV) today…:)


  3. Seriously, let’s do a Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon. Marry me!!!
    But seriously, this is awesome. Really is. I didn’t know you were this deep (this is a godly post, get your mind out of the gutter!)


    1. Lmaoo. Heyyyy Lizi. Merry Christmas! Ooooh, a marriage proposal. Momma said if I blogged for long enough, the girls will start flocking in….

      Of course, you’re just one girl (hardly a flock) but still…


      Let’s elope to Hawaii


  4. Someone already stole my adjective. Ethereal. Beautiful piece son. Aside your literary genius,the message is golden. Merry Christmas.


  5. The first gift we ought to give the Celebrant is thanksgiving, have we? Not to talk of showing love to the people He created.
    This is a beautiful piece, a word in its season. I read it twice, it hit me hard. We Christians are not representing the Christ we profess and celebrate well enough. The Great Commission has been neglected. (I know this is Christmas but we can’t remember His birth without remembering his ministry, death, resurrection and all. The birth was only the beginning)
    May God help us all.
    And y’all would never imagine Justin would write something as deep and relevant as this ’cause most of y’all think he’s some profane, pagan person or something. Judge not.


  6. Someone RT’d the link to this post on my TL and out of boredom, I decided to read it.

    I’m glad I did. This is beautiful. Awesome.

    I don’t know you but God bless you.

    Merry Christmas.


  7. Lovely piece, timely message. You already know how I feel about your writing. As for the rest of you, Justin is not a pagan nor is he as profane as he’ll have us believe. As for you Justin, I’m glad to see that there’s still hope for you. God help us all.


  8. Read this while listening to John Legend’s “All of me” and I dare say I was deeply touched.

    The story… the plot… the words… this is beautiful.

    I remember terming you a wordsmith before I went on break. And man, you’re better… way better with words. Damn, you make me wanna write!


  9. Great piece.
    We wer bought despite our many ‘imperfections’…greatly loved though we did not love back. Maravilloso,a selfless man(God) who died for a selfish bunch. Merry xmas vundie!


  10. *standing ovation* really. You are awesome! You have really outdone yourself this time. Easily one of your best, in fact, easily one of the best posts I read all through 2013. I appreciate your genius. Magnificent!


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