I arrived here quite suddenly. A sharp pain in the chest, a burning sensation in my right arm. Dizziness, I knew I was falling but could do nothing about it. Darkness, sudden and sweet and all-enveloping. And now light, light that illuminates everything. So many questions to ask, so many mysteries to solve.
I finally got around to angels.
“Why the angels? What are they all about?”
God was revealing all to me as kindly as he could. In a way I had challenged him. I quoted Corinthians 13.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.”
“I suppose I never really got the results I was hoping for when I created the angels, my angels.”
He paused – and if a God could be sad, he was sad.
” You see, many people expect that when I engage in that activity – creation- it should be perfect. It just doesn’t work quite like that. It is true that I’m perfect. I mean that’s a given. The fact is that the things I’ve created, the components, are perfect in a structural sense. But when you combine them, that’s when problems can set in. ”
I felt myself settling in comfortably. Not that I needed extra comfort. Where I was couldn’t be more comfortable.
” Take the ‘big bang’ for example. Everything I put in to that was perfect. But put together, what do you get ?”
I tried to look intelligent.
“Yeah, you got it in one. The big bang. Hell, you just have to take a few chances. But we got a lot of good out of that little event. Planets all over the show, whole new galaxies, beautiful skyscapes, black holes, all sorts of things. We got the blueprint for all creation. And we got the earth, where you came from.”
I was going to ask him about Hell, which he had just mentioned in passing but decided to stick to the Angels first. No point in muddying the water. Not that I could see any evidence of muddy water. Everything looked pristine and clean. As far as the eye could see. And I could see a hell of a long way. (There’s the hell word again).
“You see, almost by accident, I had fashioned the most beautiful thing of all. You. Well, Humankind. People like you. Out of that ‘big bang’ as it came to be called, you came along.”
I felt myself blush. Here was my creator praising me to the skies. Being stark naked didn’t help my feelings. I knew I was beautiful – but it was going to take a little getting used to.
He continued. “Even your most perfect poet mentioned this. He knew what he was talking about . William Shakespeare, boy, did he know what I had made: “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world.”
“Can we get back to angels? You just said – how like an angel.”
“Oh, yeah. I decided to create them to give you all some assistance. For all your Shakesperean perfection, you guys started having a hard time. The earth wasn’t really fully formed . It was a rough place.”
“Maybe it’s the way I made them. Angels seem to hang together in threes. So Michael and Gabriel and Raphael liked hanging around together. There were plenty of others too. That’s the way they do things. They’re strange that way.”
“Two’s company, three’s a crowd.” I suggested.
“Yeah, they got touchy. Some got jealous. I don’t know what happened. Suddenly another faction developed. The whole thing got out of hand.”
“So that’s where Hell came into the mix.”
“Yeah. I had to do something.”
“Your solutions are pretty drastic.” I suggested.
“I know – but some started running around on earth, spoiling everything. It was never what I had in mind.”
“Lucifer – that serpent, the dirty snake.” I said.
I was getting emotional. I hoped I would calm down but he just went on and on.
“Look what they did to Macbeth?” He said.
“Macbeth – what’s he got to do with?”
“Those witches. They were three evil ones. They weren’t witches. They were three strange angels.”
Maybe I was rude or stupid. Anyway, I got up and left. It was going to be hell if I was forced to listen to these crazy stories for the rest of my life.
(c) Vincent Mcardle