Walk A Short Way With Me

An act of grace

Joel R. Dennstedt
Published in
5 min readJun 1, 2024


Image created by the Author on Midjourney

One time, perhaps in the midyears of my life, an ethereal being came to me and said, “Walk a short way with me.” It may have been a dark forest, but our path didn’t lead to an inferno. The being seemed feminine in nature, although I’m pretty sure the gender was imposed for my benefit. I respond better to maternal guidance, at least in matters of personal improvement.

She wanted to talk about things I’d forgotten. Those were her words.

“Do you recall your attitude just before birth?” she asked.

As if her question prompted a sudden and vivid recollection — something I’d not thought about in years, probably not since childhood, when I thought it was just a dream — I relived that dreadful moment that occurred immediately before being born.

I walked along a path departing heaven, two angels by my side. We all had wings, the thick, feathery kind seen in many illustrations. The two on either side of me possessed complementary pairs of wings identical to my own. My left wing, however, appeared severely broken, utterly useless for whatever purpose it once held.

“I’m being punished,” I said to my companions, devastated by the sentence imposed upon me.