What the Angel Saw–a Story of the Incarnation
The angel world is not like it is in the human world
Their world and their ways is as mysterious and, yes, intriguing for us as our world is for them. Yes, they do resemble us in certain ways and characteristics, yet in truth the many creatures in the angel world perhaps share more in common with the animal world, being creatures of instinct and purpose, yet little choice or free will. They do what they are to do, which is why I suppose they have never truly understood the human world, or why the author cares for them so.
The Author—that is the name which those in the angel world use to speak of God, the Creator and sustainer of all that exists. The Author of Life—which is a name you would understand the moment you stepped into the heavenly home in which they lived. A Cathedral, it is called, although the greatest cathedral made by human hands would be a drab shack, a dirty speck in comparison to this one. Larger and grander than any canyon, the Cathedral was made of sound and light and colored wind-massive domes formed and painted entirely by brilliant music; a LIVING CATHEDRAL. The massive walls were lined with mile-high stained glass windows –which were actually thousands of dancing creatures, angels dressed in vibrant colors which have never been seen in the human world, all of them dancing and spinning. Spanning the walls were enormous baloncies made up of angelic choirs and bands praising the Author, the one who gave life to all of this, and all that is. Everything, everyone in this magnificent living cathedral pointing in a single direction, toward a mammoth ball of golden, fiery light. From this light came the most wondrous songs of all. Every word that is loving and right and good rang from these passionate songs, echoing throughout this holy house with waves of living light.
But this ball of light is not the Author, the Lord God. It is those who surround Him. As I said earlier, there are many different creatures in this world, many different kinds of angelic being, of which these are only one. These, the Shining Ones, are the Worshippers, the worship leaders. Their long, spindly bodies adorned with silvery wings, they are almost insect-like, and like many in the insect world, are drawn to a single thing; like moths to flame, these Shining Ones are attracted to goodness, and love, all that even in this world we know to be right and holy. Their hours, their days, their eternity is spent in the presence of the author, bathed in His holiness, breathing it in like air, then breathing it out through the bright reflection of their wings. Light It is toward this light that every angelic face is turned and every song is directed, not to the light itself, but the source of this light. The Author, the Living God.
In the Angel World, in this Cathedral, one angel began its life today. Poe. Her first moment of awareness, the moment she began her existence, was on the mighty floor at the Cathedral. If the great light of the shining ones was the front of the cathedral, then she was at the other end, at the entrance. Stretching miles above the floor was the Great Door, an enormous white thing.
Poe blinked and took in the sight around her. The entire heavenly host surrounding her, each engaged in some task or activity, except for her. Each angel has a purpose, which is why they exist, and now that she existed, what was her purpose. Poe looked down to see that she was holding a book—a beautiful piece of work made of gleaming cloth and leather. Poe quickly opened it and gazed upon the pages of pure silver—yet they were empty. “What is this?” She wondered. “Aren’t books meant to be filled with printed words?” And then it came to her. “Ahhh! There cannot be words for a story that has not yet been told. That must be why I exist. I must be a story-teller.” Poe held the book close to her chest, feeling pleased with her discovery until she realized “Of course, having just come into existence, I really have no story to tell.” She made a frown and searched about for someone who could give her some assistance, but alas every angel seemed to be immersed in some type of work or worship or purpose. Poe decided it would be best to wait, and perhaps she would think of something to write or someone would come along and tell her what to do. Of course, if she was going to wait, it might be good to sit, and there in front of her, as far as she could see, were chairs, beautiful cushioned chairs, row upon row for miles, stretching toward the great ball of light given off by shining wings of the worshipping angels. It seemed strange to her that each of these chairs appeared to be empty, until she saw that entrance to each row was blocked by a thick black rope. Poe shrugged her shoulders and sat on the floor. But before she could pull her new book into her lap, she noticed for the first time that the cathedral floor did not appear to be a floor at all, but some type of enormous window. Pressing her face to the floor, she peered into the blackness below—endless space, a violent, swirling storm of blackness that made Poe shiver. Below her, in this ugly blackness, she could see a small blue globe, a planet, drifting in the storm as if it was unaware of the majesty that dwelled above it.
Streaming from this blue earth were faint streaks of light, hundreds of them, one by one launched from the blue planet as if they were aimed straight for the cathedral floor; but one by one, each streak of light would change its course and hurl into empty space, or lose its momentum and sink back to earth, one by one, each light fading into the blackness.
“NOT A ONE HAS EVER MADE IT TO THIS WORLD” A voice behind her spoke.
Poe spun around to see the angel hovering above her, like a granite eagle many stories tall, with his great wings barely moving to keep himself aloft, he hovered above the countless rows of chairs, watching Poe with cold, stony eyes.
“You are Spar.” Poe said. An angel didn’t need to have existed for long to know that name, for Spar was in command of all that happened on the Cathedral floor. Everything had an order and a purpose. All things were to be as they were to be, and Spar saw to that. With a stony grey claw he pointed at streaks of lights streaming from the blue planet. “NOT A ONE HAS EVER MADE IT TO THIS WORLD” He said again. It was then that Poe realized there hundreds of angels walking to and fro on this clear cathedral floor, and yet she and Spar were the only two who seemed to notice the blue planet below them. “What are those lights?” Poe asked.
“They come from the human world,” said Spar. Humans live for a while in forms of skin and flesh. Then when those earthly forms have finished their purpose, their true selves, their souls, come here. Well, that was the Author’s plan.”
“But they never make it, do they?” asked Poe.
“No,” said Spar with no emotion, pointing to the stormy blackness. “They never make it through the storm. They lose their way, or turn back. I have watched each one of those lights since the beginning of it all, and they all fade away.”
“What happens to them then?” Poe asked
“They die.” Said a voice, but this was a different voice, sad but kind. Poe looked up to see the most beautiful angel, like a stallion, strong and wild, with a dark flowing mane and bright eyes.
“Hello, Danzer,” said Spar.
“Hello, my old friend,” said Danzer, kneeling down on his great flanks to gaze upon the blue globe far below. He looked at Poe with a smile. “I see that you have discovered the human world. It is hard to tell from this distance, but those lights, those souls, are quite beautiful, really.”
Poe suddenly looked up. “The chairs, those chairs are for them, aren’t they?”
Danzer nodded. “Yes, they were. That was the hope. But as you can see, they will die-out there.”
“As it should be” cried Spar, the impatience building in his voice as he flew to the floor and landed at Danzer’s feet. “They deserve nothing less.”
“And you would know, wouldn’t you?” said Danzer. Poe could see that Danzer was looking not at Spar’s face, but at his hands, his great claw-like hands gripping an object. She couldn’t tell what it was, only that Spar would never let it go. Spar held the object up to his stony eyes. “It is my purpose to know, and to remember, remember what they did. Why they will never enter this Cathedral and sit upon those chairs.” He shook his mighty wings in disgust. “Do those humans realize what any of us angels would give for a single moment on one of those chairs-to see the authors face, not just the light of the Shining Ones. I cannot fathom why they would choose to give up such a thing, but trust me,” he said, glaring at the horrid object in his hands, “they chose.”
Poe was so startled by the roar in Spar’s voice that she dropped her book with a crash. “I am sorry.” Said Spar, his voice growing softer, and bowing his head. “There is no need to be sorry,” said Danzer. “You speak what is true.”
“And still you hope.” Said Spar. Danzer nodded.
“then it is clear why you have paid me a visit,” announced Spar, clapping his hands and flying to the great white door at the entrance to the Cathedral.
The door could hardly be called a door, for it was comprised of mammoth angels, tortoise-like in white shells, standing one on top of the other. With a single word from Spar, a single white angel moved aside, creating a gap in the door. Danzer quickly passed through the gap, into the black storm outside.
Poe could see that Danzer was not alone. With Him were two angels, though unlike any angel she had ever seen. Strange beings with hairless pink bodies and a single patch of fur covering their heads. They covered themselves in glimmering white cloth.
“Those angels are messengers,” Spar explained to Poe. “Messengers to the human world, which is why they need to look so much like them.”
“What is Danzer doing?”
“Giving them instructions.”
“He’s trying to help the humans, isn’t he?”
“Yes,” said Spar. “Danzer still hopes that the humans can become strong enough for their souls to reach this world someday.”
“So he sends the messengers to help them”
“Wait!” exclaimed Poe. “I just saw a messenger give him something. A Scroll.”
“Yes, sometimes the humans send messages back.”
“To the Author?” Spar nodded.
Soon, the messengers disappeared into the black storm and Danzer stepped through the gap in the door, scrolls in hand. It was then that Poe saw a most curious thing. The moment Danzer’s foot touched the cathedral floor, the scrolls in his hand melted into dust, something that Danzer didn’t seem to even notice. Spar saw Poe’s confusion and explained that the prayers and messages from the human world are so fragile that they could not survive in the Author’s world, just as their human souls could not, which is why Danzer must go outside the Cathedral walls to read their prayers. Poe could see the weariness in Danzer’s eyes. As Danzer returned, Spar motioned for the White-shelled angel to return to his place in the great door.
“Any progress today?” Asked Spar. Danzer tried to smile. “You know the answer to that, old friend. The storm gets worse, and they get weaker.”
“And still you send the messengers,”
“Every day.” Danzer did not say goodbye to his friend, but simply made his way toward the great ball of light.
“Who is he?” asked Poe
“Danzer is the LEV of the author.” Said Spar.
Lev, Poe had never heard that word before, but assumed that it must mean “servant,” for that seemed to be what Danzer did. A servant, a lev, a go-between for the author. Throughout that day, Poe watched him, Danzer the servant, back and forth between the great worshipping ball of light and the great white door, never stopping in-between except to gaze at the faint streaks of light streaming from blue earth below the cathedral floor. Poe made the observation that every time one of these faint streaks of light faded into the blackness, a look of pain flickered across Danzer’s eyes. During one of these moments, Danzer fell to the floor and wept. “Spar, why don’t you weep for them?” Poe asked. “I weep for neither man nor angel.”
It seemed like this continued forever, Danzer moving back and forth, from the great light to the great door, from the author to the messengers, time and time again throughout the day, until even in the angel world it became night, when Poe’s drowsy thoughts were awakened by a bellowing roar from the Great white door. An angel had sounded the alert, and within seconds both Spar and Danzer were at the great door, shouting orders for it to be opened. Their faces were slapped with a foul wind from the open doorway, Along with the stench came a flurry of prayer scrolls blown into the cathedral and melting before they hit the ground.
Poe gasped as she saw the pink-skinned messenger crumpled at the feet of Danzer and Spar. Soaking through his angelic garments was a black stain. She saw it at the same instant as a white-shelled angel did, who immediately retched and fell to his knees. In seconds, the entire doorway of white angels were bellowing in anguish like wounded beasts.
“ABOMINATION!” raged Spar. He grabbed Danzer by the neck and pushed him toward the stained, suffering angel. “This is what people do!”
Danzer was silent. Spar loosened his grip on Danzer while keeping his clawed hand tightly wrapped around the mysterious object he never released. “I keep this horrid thing to remind me of what they do-what they did at the beginning, and what they do now, what they will always do, and why they will NEVER enter this place.”
Danzer remained silent, his eyes pressed shut.
“I have stood here while he waits.” Poe knew that Spar was speaking of the author. “He has waited for them in vain, and now THIS! They will never learn and they will never change!” Why does he not end this?”
In a soft voice, his eyes still closed, Danzer replied, “He will.”
Danzer’s words lingered in Poe’s mind long after the wounded angel had been taken away to the healers, and long after Danzer himself left the place by the great white gate where Spar and Poe remained, unspeaking, because Poe did not dare disturb the deep thoughts of this great winged angel as he watched the fading lights around the blue earth.
Without warning, Spar became alert. “Something has happened,” he said. Without a moment to think, the Cathedral was rocked with a deafening, awful noise, like the ripping of steel, then plunged into darkness. Poe clutched her book as the waves of sound tossed her about the floor, while all around her she could her the frenzied cries of angelic creatures falling from the great windows.
Then, as quickly as it began, it was over. Poe pulled herself back to her feet as she watched the angelic creatures stumble about, stunned and confused.
“Spar, what has happened?” she demanded, but Spar could not speak, able only to stare at the center of the cathedral which once held the great ball of worshipping light but now was dark. Poe stared too, in disbelief, she stared as she began to make out a figure staggering toward them from the darkness.
“Danzer!” cried Poe. “What has happened?” Danzer pushed her aside. “the floor! He gasped. “I must see the floor.” Danzer’s great mane was soaked in sweat and he fell to the floor above the shape of the blue planet. Spar, awakened from his daze, flew to Danzers side and pressed his face to the transparent floor.
“The lights,” whispered Danzer. “Watch the lights.” Below them, they saw it, what they had never seen before. The faint lights of the human souls growing brighter and stronger, racing farther from the blue planet than they had ever gone before, streaking toward them like comet fire, toward the Cathedral.
Spar stared at the lights in disbelief. “Do you know what this means?” Danzer nodded. Spar raised the clawed hand with which he had gripped the horrid object for a thousand generations. Poe strained to see once and for all what this terrible thing was, only to see the pulverized remains fall from his claw like dust.
Spar did not dare breathe. “There is only one way this could happen.”
“Yes,” said Danzer, his voice growing faint. “And it has happened.”
Spar turned to Danzer with a grave, knowing look. “Do you truly love the humans this much?”
Danzer shook his head. “No. He loves them.”
Then Danzer died. Something that no angel believed was possible in their world, but it had happened. An angel died. Spar fell upon the lifeless body of his friend, and wept.
“You weep for him,” Poe said to Spar, amazed.
“Danzer was my friend,” Spar said in a low voice. “But I do not weep for him. Do you not understand what has happened?
“Yes,” said Poe. The servant of the author has just died.
“No,” said Spar. There is only one servant in this world, only one so good that he would die for them, but it is not Danzer.”
“But he is the Author’s servant, his Lev.”
Spar looked Poe in the eyes. “Young one, you do not understand this word you use. Lev is a human word, a Hebrew word.”
“What does it mean?”
“Lev means heart.”
Poe gasped. “the author’s heart.”
“Yes,” said Spar. Every angel has a purpose, and Danzer’s purpose was to know the author’s heart. “To feel what the author feels, and to love what the author loves. Danzer’s death means that the author has done something. Something wonderful…and terrible.”
“What has the author done?” pleaded Poe.
“I don’t know. Not yet. But it’s something that has torn his heart—for them.” Then without another word, Spar rose into the air upon his massive wings. With a sweep of his hand, the black rope, around which miles of chairs remained untouched, fell to the ground. With another sweep of the hand, the massive white-shelled angels which formed the entrance door bowed their heads and, one by one, climbed down to the cathedral floor. With the entryway now exposed to the winds of the storm, another flurry of paper prayer scrolls blew into the enormous room, but to Poe’s amazement these did not melt into dust. Poe saw, for the first time, something of the human world that could remain in this holy place without being destroyed.
And then she knew. Poe knew her purpose, the story she was to tell. The story of what the author had done, this terrible death he had tasted for the sake of these poor souls that he loved so much. That they could be with him. This is the story she would tell, and she opened her beautiful book, but now, the pages of the book were full. In colors and script that no eye had seen before, the pages were full of words, but more than words, NAMES. Names of those who would soon be entering through those wonderful white doors.
“Spar,” she said, collecting the book from the floor, “You will be needing this.”
But Spar did not respond. Speechless, motionless, he hung in midair with an expression of joy that seemed to have melted his great stony face. At what? Poe followed his gaze across the massive Cathedral to the place where once the firey ball of worshipping light had dwelled. Poe could not describe the wonder of what she saw, except that the Shining ones were no longer there. Poe spun around to see the last of them disappear through the open doorway of the great Cathedral. With a shout of delight, Poe fell to her knees upon the clear cathedral floor to watch them fly. Millions of them, shining Ones, silvery angels whose one purpose and love was to be in the presence of the author. They flew, like moths to the flame toward the blue planet until Poe could see them no more. Poe and Spar together waited and watched, until “THERE!” She cried. Pointing to a spot on the blue planet, they saw it. A spark, a growing light, from the bodies of the silvery angels who lived for the one purpose of reflecting the author’s light wherever he dwelled.
Poe and Spar watched with a quiet awe, as the brilliant light continued to rise, and with the light an angel song:
Glory to God in the highest heaven, for today in the town of David a Savior has been born.