The Assignment

Be careful what you desire. You might not get what you expect.

The assignment was beyond him, or was it?

Amariel returned to the Angelic Dispatch center to receive a new assignment.  He dreaded another long term, boing task that had no obvious value. He never expected the Dispatch Cherub to offer him a choice between two assignments.

One he knew he could do well, but it would likely bore him to tears.  The other was technically beyond his level. The choice would teach him more than he expected about himself and the God that he served.

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Amariel stepped into the Angelic Dispatch Center with a sigh. A smile lifted his lips.  Soft light illuminated the space, reflecting gently off the white walls and floor.  The ceiling, well, nobody looked at the ceiling. It was just there and gave the impression of clouds.

As much as any place, it felt like home. And it was full of angels.

Comfortable chairs and sofas scattered around the room.  Most of them were occupied by angels.  Some were chatting quietly, giving the room a comfortable buzz of conversation.  Others read books.  A few looked like they were sleeping – although that was just an impression.  Only humans slept.

Right now, he wanted to talk to someone.  Anyone.  A stranger would be fine.  He didn’t know how long he would have before the next assignment sent him far away.  His assignments were always long, lonely and not very interesting.

Hesitantly he began to walk between the seats.  Everyone seemed to be too preoccupied to notice him.  He loitered a moment near a cluster of chairs filled with angels talking in low voices and animated hands.  Not one glanced his way.  When they burst out laughing, he gave up and moved on.

He felt small, insignificant, unimportant.  All these angels and no one seemed interested in him.

Looking to the left, he considered his appearance in the mirror which hung over a sink.  His once-white clothes looked like a kaleidoscope of brown, the fabric was wrinkled and torn, stained with blood in spots.  His pants fared no better.  He’d never looked this… disreputable… before.

“What a joke,” he said to his reflection, his voice heavy with bitterness.  “Completely ineffective!”  His head was clearing, and the implications were starting to settle in.

Geleriel had given him the assignment, thinking he would succeed.  Yet he had barely taken two steps before the Fallen captured him and made sport of him.  This was not what he had expected.  This was not how the dreams had ended while he watched that stupid spring!

I have to do this! He thought.  But the figure in the mirror, wearing dirty clothes mocked him as if to say “Look at yourself.  You can’t possibly do this!”

“I have to do this!” he shouted.  Stepping from the desk to the sink, he clenched his fist and punched the mirror.  It exploded.  Glass shattered and shards flew all over the room.

Pain radiated from his knuckles up to his elbow.  He shook his hand and tried to determine if he’d broken anything.  It didn’t seem like it, even though his knuckles had begun to swell.  Chips of glass were embedded in them and as he watched, blood began to ooze from the cuts.

Turning on the sink, he let the cold water run over the injured hand.  His blood mixed with the water, turning it pink.  The cold water felt good.  Gently he began to pull the glass from his skin.

Amariel turned to see the source of the light.  A shining figure strode toward him, in front of a train of smoke like a cape billowing in the wind.  A man’s body, but the very glory of God streamed off of Him as if He were made of golden flame.  After a glance, Amariel involuntarily lowered his eyes, unable to bear the brightness.

Slipping from his bench, Amariel huddled on the floor, below the level of the smoke.  He was not worthy to be seen before the shining figure.  All around him angels and saints alike were doing the same.  

Slowly, the King mounted up the steps to the top of the platform.  Light streamed throughout the room, lighting every corner, although it was no longer so bright that Amariel had to look away.  Smoke poured off of His body like flowing robes, cascading down the steps like a waterfall to join the sea of cloud that filled the room.   

Amariel lifted his head up through the smoke so he could watch.  At the top of the steps, Jesus turned and looked over the room, extending His hand in benediction and blessing.  Then deliberately and with tremendous majesty, He sat down on the throne.