All would appear as should be to an outsider, just as it did to the woman, yet inside the heart of the man there was a restlessness growing as solidly as the baby was growing inside the body of the woman.
The sleeping woman turned gently, snuggling more deeply into the man’s arms, smiling unconsciously, one hand drifting to her swelling belly, protective of the life inside. Her other hand searched the bed for her husband’s. Their custom of holding hands while falling asleep had become such a part of her she continued it even without being aware of it; she continued even though at some point in the darkness the man’s hand had separated from her’s to draw into itself and clench into a fist.
The woman slept on blissfully unaware but the two figures watching saw it at all.
“The time has come, Guardian,” The One said to the other.
He gave the appearance of being the elder but it was impossible to tell His age. Wisdom was obvious in His face, but no wrinkles, no lines caused by frowns marred His perfect skin. The figure had experienced disappointment in but was capable of nothing but Love for the sleeping couple.
The Guardian stood close, right next to The One.
“Must we, Father? Is there no other way?” Some may have mistaken the Guardian’s question for arrogance (After all, who would dare question The One?), but The One knew it for what it was, a question based on Love for the woman, for the Family, and most of all for The One who Loved enough to have asked this question Himself.
The One, shook his head, “There were other ways, but they have free will. This is the way the man has chosen. This is the way she destined for herself decades ago when she gave her, “I do,” at my altar.
The Guardian spoke again, not out of disrespect but out of the understanding that the Father was All Good and All Loving and All Powerful.
“But she was so young then; she couldn’t have known…” the Guardian began.
The kindly figure smiled, resting a strong and firm but soft and gentle hand on the Guardian’s arm and stopping him mid-breath.
“I know you’ve grown fond of her. You waited almost as long as I, almost an eternity to meet her, and when I created her you rejoiced in your duty, ready to watch over her.
You have done well Guardian, and you will continue to do well protecting her and guiding her through the dark ahead. This is the way they have chosen, but we will see her through to the other side. She will feel alone, but she will not be alone.”
“She will be crushed,” the Guardian spoke softly his voice barely a whisper in the quiet room
“Yes she will be crushed; she will be crushed with infirmity and I will rejoice in that crushing for I have offered her other options many times, but she chose her ways, thinking her paths were better or easier than Mine, and they were in those brief moments, but over time, her choices led to this point, and now, it is only in that crushing that she will truly come to Me, that she will discover what True Love really is.”
“She will not know we are with her,” the Guardian sighed. He understood free will but still found it hard to understand why so many human creations chose to ignore the presence of The One in their lives. That he could not understand, “She will feel alone.”
“But she will not be alone. Even when she forgets I am with her, she will have the gift of that Baby in her womb, for just as I gave My Son over 2000 years ago, I give her this child growing in her belly, this gift she planned no more than my daughter Mary had planned The Child in her womb. That baby will touch this family as others cannot. He will pull Mother and Brothers together and draw them closer to me. She will see her Father is Good even when evil crushes.
Through her suffering, she will find Blessings. She will reach for Me and find My arms open. Through this suffering she will see and feel and embrace the unconditional love I offer her.”
“But what about You, Father?” the Guardian asked, a small furrow would have wrinkled his brow had he not known the answer already. He was not concerned for The One but still felt the strong desire to shield the Everlasting, Indestructible, the Alpha and the Omega from human failings.
“What about You, Father? In her anger and fear she will strike out. She will hurl insults at You when she should reach out to You. She will not understand and in her lack of understanding, she will be self-centered and wrong.”
The Father smiled reaching out His hand again for the Guardian in a small embrace, a gesture of reassurance, but His eyes never left the couple sleeping unaware in the bed. “She is my child,” He did not need to say the Words aloud for the Guardian to feel them in his heart. “What would she do for the child growing inside her?”
The Guardian smiled. He had been with this woman long enough to know what she would do for any of her children. It was like asking the Guardian what he would do for this woman. The question didn’t need an answer. There was no answer that would suffice anyway, but The One knew.
The Father continued smiling, “How much more would I do for my child than she, with her lack of understanding, would do for her children?”
He paused significantly letting the Guardian who was made to reflect such perfect Love absorb His Words. “I am happy to take the pain she will inflict on me just as she must be willing to take the pain that will be inflicted on her so that we may draw closer together.”
A third figure cleared his throat, “What about the man, Sir?”
The Father’s smile never wavered, “He is my child too; it is his choice. His actions will not go unnoticed or unpunished. Within his heart he too will suffer although he will deny it and he will look to the world like he is prospering. Whether he chooses to return to My Love is up to him. He is my child, but this is his choice. Stay with him. Guard him. Love him. You were created for him almost an eternity ago. Stay with him until his judgment. Only then will he decide his fate.”
The Guardians looked at each other. They knew was a moment they were created for.
The Father father embraced both Guardians and kissed the heads of the man, the woman, the unborn Child and his Guardian in the womb before turning to leave. The three Guardians knew He would watch always but appreciated this extra special visit.
They knew, minus any human doubt, that this is what they were created for. They knew that the Guardians upstairs in the sleeping children’s bedrooms were also on guard, Lighting and Loving in all circumstances. These Guardians knew the children’s Guardians were receiving similar visits where they kept watch, protectively, lovingly.
The Guardians looked at each other and again at the family sleeping in the bed always so unaware of the conversations taking place all about them, foolishly unaware of the Beings surrounding and Loving their children, selfishly unaware of the Protectors surrounding and Loving them.
While the humans remained unaware, the Guardians were on heightened alert, understanding the gravity of the moments about to unfold, understanding of the gravity of the many weeks and months and years ahead.
They understood the work placed upon them far better than the man or the woman, and yet where the man and woman doubted their ability to stick with the job, the Guardians knew they were up to the task. There was no doubt that with the Lord’s Grace they would see their jobs fulfilled. The Guardians lacked the curse of doubt that human beings seemed to embrace.
The Lord paused in the doorway and turned back to the room. He narrowed His gentle eyes until they glinted like cold steel and flexed fierce muscles where gentleness had softened lines only seconds before.
“This house belongs to me,” His voice echoed deeply sending torrents of wind and fire racing through the Home. The One’s voice boomed to the evil only He could truly see, the evil that had threatened His children. “This Family will feel alone, but legions of angels will descend to light their way. Be warned – soon My Holy Spirit will be invited into the heart of the woman and there will be no containing Him – or her!”
The booming voice stopped as quickly as it started and The One turned again to smile gently at the couple in the bed still ignorant of the plan He’d put into place to protect them an eternity ago.
“You will not be alone.”
The words, intended for both Guardians and humans, were felt more than heard.
The Guardians, feeling their Creators Love, exhaled determined and ready for whatever showed up.
The woman, sensing something even in sleep, turned ever so slightly searching for her husband’s still fisted hand. Instead, her Guardian climbed into bed beside her. He wrapped the woman in his embrace, his downy wings warming and comforting her in the softest blanket, and when her hand reached out again he took it and held it fast.
The man’s body was rigid even in sleep. The second Guardian stood by the bedside, watching, knowing his embrace would not be welcomed at this time, knowing the man’s fist was clenched as hard as his heart, knowing the fist and the heart shut out the hand of God as much as it had shut out the woman.
The Guardian didn’t know how this would turn out, but he new The One did, and he would stay and do his job. The Guardian would continue to Love the man as created in the image and likeness of God despite all that was about to transpire because of him. The Guardian had Hope for the man.
The Guardian knew better than the humans that the Father had created this man in Love and where the is Love, there was always Hope.
* I usually post about the Gospel, but when I saw this first reading from Sunday, October 18, 2015, this scene played out in my head so vividly, I had to write it. God is with you in your hardest times. He does have a plan to draw you closer, to offer a Peace and Love greater than you’ve ever imagined. It’s up to you to reach for that plan.
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