The life of an angel, I suppose, is not always easy. Certainly, it is a privilege to be in the presence of God Almighty, it’s overwhelming frankly. And though I never tire of singing “Holy, Holy, Holy,“ a new song would be nice every now and then. Do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do or something.
But it’s not all singing and harp playing. We have the duty of delivering strange and challenging messages from God. Some times I wonder where he comes up with this stuff? But the moments that make it all worthwhile are when I get to actually interact with the human beings. Most humans can’t or won’t see or hear me. I could do jumping jacks in front of them singing Yankee Doodle Dandy and most humans wouldn’t notice.
They’re too caught up in themselves. I watch them year after year, rushing about like they were doing the most important thing in the world, never noticing the angels about them pleading with them to slow down, breathe, smell the roses, seek God, . They run right over you. Mainly, I feel sorry for them. My Boss has sewn so much goodness into the creation, it’s practically bursting, but most humans just see emptiness. They are so lonely it hurts.
But there are some, here and there, that see the goodness and in it they see the Holy One. They generally aren’t considered important by human standards. Some would call them silly, feet off the ground, dreamers. They move at a different pace. Things that seem small to the others are big to them, and things that seem huge to others, are wisps of smoke to them. They see with their eyes, just like everyone else, except their eyes are connected to their hearts, which are like deep wells filled with water and spirit. These are the human beings with whom I can actually interact. They see me and hear me. Not always, but when it counts.
Over the centuries I have interacted with many humans, sometimes in dreams, sometimes through other humans, and every now and then a human is so receptive to my presence that I can be seen and heard directly. This happened only a few times for me and one stands above them all. The Holy Boss stood before me one day. It’s impossible to describe his appearance. There’s a lot of motion and a lot of light. He’s definitely One being, but…well He’s like a spinning top. If you just watch it, you see kind of a blur, but if you blink really quickly you see all the faces in one. All I can say, is that even if you couldn’t see him, you would feel his presence.
What He told me was quite astounding and strange. He was going to be born of a woman in order to save the world from it’s misery. He explained that not enough of his children could hear, see, and feel him, so he must become one of them. I was very worried. I’ve been to earth many times. Most of those people don’t respond well to people claiming to be God. They’ll kill him. He understood this.
He told me of a young woman, practically a child, who had just become engaged to be married. She lived in a poor little town. I had just visited the husband of her cousin earlier that year. I told him that his wife, though quite beyond child-bearing years, would bear a child who would be a great prophet. He didn’t believe me and he wanted a sign. As if an Angel appearing isn’t enough?? But this young woman, she was different. As God described her you could hear the fondness in his voice. She was tender and mild, like a lamb. Most might mistake her for timid, but in reality she was fearless. She knew in the depths of her soul that God took care of her. Who better to be the mother of his son?
It was a hot day, late… around dusk, that time of day when the world is in transition, from light to dark, from hot to cool, from the sweatiness of Adam’s cursed work to the pleasant aroma of the evening meal. The time of day where the sun is more like a candle, everything is shadows and the supernatural seems possible. There the young maiden was, making her way down a path that had come to be so familiar to her, carrying water for the animals. She was young enough that the daily grind was still novel and cheerful, but her eyes revealed an inkling of the knowledge that the world could be hard and cold. “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”, I said. She looked up at me with wary eyes. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. (I’d been working on this speech for days) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne on his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
I really did not know how she would respond. As I uttered the words, they seemed so amazing to me, and yet, I imagined they must have seen absolutely ludicrous to her. Perhaps she would simply run away. That would have been the sensible thing to do. But Mary stood, her head cocked to the side a bit, eye-brows knitted, considering the words, as if they represented a sensible proposition. And she spoke, voice unwavering, “How will this be, since I am virgin?” I explained, what could not really be explained, but can easily be summed up with what I knew as an angel of the Lord, “Nothing will be impossible with God.”
I supposed it must be hard to believe something like this if you haven’t seen what we angels see every day. God does what God wants to do. But he doesn’t bully people into obeying him. He is looking the willing to share in the work. Would Mary be willing? Again she looked up at me with those unblinking, innocent, childlike eyes. There was no doubting in them. It’s hard to describe what I saw in that moment. It was a moment of perfection where only vulnerability shown forth, no suspicion, no guard, no excuses, only a heart perfectly yielding. And then she said the words that fulfilled the prophecy spoken centuries before, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” The way was prepared and open in Mary’s heart of faith, yielding and submissive, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
I knew in that instant why the Holy One had chosen her. She wouldn’t raise a man of power and dominance. She would raise him to be one of perfect servant hood. And yes the power seeking people of the world would despise him for it, but the poor pitiful ones would see the love of God in his eyes. They would see that they were not worthless, but precious, not abandoned, but found. I left her, feeling a hope for the poor humans that I had never before had. But I just had to see this miracle for myself.
9 months later I hovered above the manger and saw Mary and Joseph and the tiny, fragile, little baby. I thought, “How could this be the Almighty One that fills all space with his overwhelming presence? So small. So vulnerable?” But I could feel his overwhelming presence. Tears filled my eyes at the sheer wonder of it. And as I blinked through the tears, I could see him, just like always, like that spinning top of a God, all motion and light: The Holy One. I dropped to my knees and sang my favorite song, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”