A little story


“Please sir, I want to give up my current responsibility”. I begged.

The archangel looked at me with a rather surprised expression on his face. “Hmmmmm, he said. I think I’ll need to consult on this one.”

He was silent for a moment, his eyes crossed with concentration. “She’s coming” he eventually said. A few moments later she flew in. I had never met the Most Senior before. She was beautiful in a way that made me hope to become like her.

She smiled at me and asked gently “Why do you want to give up?”

I began to cry, which as you know is something angels shouldn’t need to do. “He is so awful, I just feel wrong protecting him.” I sobbed. “Look at me, my wings are all tatty, my halo has pieces missing and it’s tarnished. I can barely make it through the day until he goes to bed.”

“I remember the day you said you could take him on” the Most Senior said gently. “You were so brave, so sure that your goodness would touch him, even though you were so young as an angel. I hesitated but I hoped that his free will could be changed from his current path to one acceptable to the universe, if he was exposed to your innocence and goodness.”

A few minutes later a tough older guardian angel arrived. The Most Senior asked me to brief him. “Tell him about it all, Kathy”, she sat on a cloud, her feet swinging a bit as she looked at me expectantly. She patted the cloud, “come and sit with me, both of you.” Her wings folded in against her back she looked smaller somehow, more like us lesser angels. Her gleaming black skin shone in the sunlight as it played around her.

I began to tell him of how I’d been allowed to take him on after his previous guardian angel had just flown away, leaving him unprotected while the lung disease devil had been on the prowl. She took my hand and holding it gently, yet warmly in hers she said “We never really thanked you for doing that. He wasn’t due for evaluation at that stage and we really needed someone to help prevent his dying. His previous angel went off to help shepherd souls who had been released after that disaster with the earthquake. He said there were inexperienced angels suffering and they needed his help with good people who were dying.”

“I know” I replied, “I saw that angel just recently, he came to sympathise with me as the man is getting more and more twisted and nasty in his soul.”

She continued to hold my hand. I could feel the kindness pouring into me. She asked how much Robin, my replacement as guardian angel knew of his past. When he said, “only what I have been able to learn from what he and other people say, she smiled at me with a look to keep me quiet.”

She said, “He was given so many advantages, a fairly good brain, exposure to a good belief and moral system, advantages in an unbalanced society. Yet he constantly has used his advantages as a power base to see himself as better than all others. He was a mean employer, with so little empathy that people shrank from him and felt dispirited and demotivated. When they didn’t perform well, he was angry and humiliated them, instead of discussing what was going on and motivating them by example. He was a bigot and a racist. He could not see that all souls are the same colours, all hearts beat as one.

So when the original angel had had enough we left him without protection quite deliberately. For a while, that is. Sometimes these exposures to disaster help people realise the good inside themselves and they become more and more ready for happiness.

I am sorry he now affects you so badly. He takes being ill and in physical difficulty as an unfair form of punishment. He still hasn’t learned any humility. I believe Robin here could take him on, simply keep him from coming to judgement before his allotted time. Robin, you do know you can leave if he allows the demons of bitterness, bigotry, jealousy and hatred to take over much more?”

Robin nodded sombrely. He had been through a lot as a human, dying in a gas chamber, after years of abuse. His disapproval of bigotry was legendry. He turned to me and asked, “What is it about him that has brought you to this sad state?”

I began to tell Robin of how he treated others, bullying, jealousy and vindictiveness being his common behaviour patterns. I told her of his campaigns against others. When he was tackled recently over his behaviour, he complained that he was being targeted by a clique of conspirators. His mental processes have become unstable, the hatred in him distorting all thoughts. How when he made a mistake he always found someone else to blame. How his wife’s guardian was having a difficult time as his wife was becoming sadder and more withdrawn under his onslaughts. How hard it was for us both to listen to her prayers that he would just die.

For me the last straw was when he commented over some accidental deaths as though it was a personal vindication of his attitudes.

The Most Senior smiled and said, “I think your heart needs a little holiday. I’d like you to go and help another angel look after someone far more physically handicapped than your man. Robin will take over from you now, and we will leave the man to decide his own fate. You have tried long and hard, we all thank you for your efforts.”

I went to join Lucy for a few days. I really did not want to be near another person with physical difficulties. Her man was physically unable to do anything for himself, yet there he was thanking others who helped him. As I watched over him, I realised why Lucy was so protective of him. Within a very short time, I was as protective of him as Lucy was.

When it was time for me to leave and go on to something new, Lucy and I held hands to say goodbye for a while. Her thoughts flowed to me. Sadness for the man, yet happiness that his disability had let his good nature blossom. So different from what I had experienced previously.

How I wished for death for both of them. The good one, to release him from the difficulties to become an angel with us. The other, to be rid of him, as he was sure to take that nasty personality downstairs with him, for all eternity.

As the Most Senior said, “We can’t wish to change their lives, we can only protect and hope they feel the goodness and love we send them. We can’t change their deaths, we can only comfort and lead them on to judgement.”

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18 thoughts on “A little story

  1. I love the whole idea of this story, and feel it has great possibilities for a novel or novella. The only thing that really distressed me about it is that in my wildest imagination, I never thought an angel would wish for the death and condemnation of a difficult and recalcitrant soul! I can understand their frustration with someone who seems totally oblivious of anything or anyone other than his own selfish attitude and desires, but I nevertheless see a guardian angel as a being who would stick with a soul right to the end, always hoping for the best. I believe that angels are ambassadors of and for love. One of my very favorite paraphrases of I Corinthians 13 (the “love” chapter) by J. B. Phillips, says, in verses 4-8:

    “Love is very patient, very kind. Love knows no jealousy; love makes no parade, gives itself no airs, is never rude, never selfish, never irritated, never resentful, love is never glad when others go wrong, love is gladdened by goodness, ALWAYS SLOW TO EXPOSE, ALWAYS EAGER TO BELIEVE THE BEST, ALWAYS HOPEFUL, ALWAYS PATIENT. LOVE NEVER DISAPPEARS.” (Caps are mine.)

    I don’t think the story should end necessarily by redemption for the man – he condemns himself and needs no one else to do so – but I do believe and hope that any guardian angel would always want the best, even plead for it, and for any soul.

    This isn’t negative criticism, BTW. I love the personalities of your angels, that you were able to express in so few words. You write so beautifully. I am just expressing my slant and a desire for a different outcome! 😀

    1. Thank you Paula (I’m still wondering why I called you Pauline by the way?)

      I struggled with that bit and realised that some would dislike it, but it somehow felt right, that the angel wanted the same thing for two such diofferent people, and for such different reasons.

      Making the angels a bit too human maybe?

      1. As I told you – calling me Pauline is a very common mistake. When you see the Paula right next to the Tohline – it can sort of merge in your mind/memory! I hang on to that name because there are so few of us (less than 50 in the world at present – at least with that particular spelling. The story of the name is rather long and involved, (it is Swedish, BTW) I didn’t change my name to Calhoun until about 3 years ago – didn’t seem necessary as people were going to call me Mrs. Calhoun regardless, and I’m proud to be that, too! I only changed it because of Social Security/Medicare/Disability regulations. My name had to match everyhere!

        Anyway, perhaps it’s because the angels are a bit too human, but I’m not sure that’s completely it, because angels are almost invariably portrayed as human-ish. I guess I’d like to think that my guardian angel will never give up on me! (Even if s/he wants to!) I agree with you and Nancy concerning the heaven/hell thing. We only condemn ourselves to an incomplete, unfulfilled life. Or we bring upon ourselves the opposite. We create our own heavens and certainly our own hells. Both “kingdoms” are always immediately “at hand.”

  2. Interesting glimpse behind the veil, Sidey.

    I have felt guardian angels protecting me at times ~ stepping between me and disaster.

    A comforting feeling, indeed.

    I don’t believe in Hell or eternal damnation. I expect both are a creation of the church to control the masses. I’m not alone in that belief . . . this retired Bishop feels the same:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/god-is-not-a-christian-jew-or-moslem/

    Thanks for your story. 😀

    1. I think hell is living with the knowledge of what you have done. Knowing you could have done, thought, been other than you were and fully understanding the consequences for others, the world and maybe the universe would be torment for eternity.

      ‘Downstairs’ is just a way to distinguish from ‘here’ I guess.

      1. I tend to agree. It’s like Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol ~ wanting to look out for his fellow man and being tormented by the inability to do so.

        Either way, I can see guardian angels feeling that we have had enough of this life . . . and praying for us to be relieved of further suffering by “exiting stage left.”

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