I hover in the massive cloud, watching the man whose life had been entrusted to me. He doesn’t believe in me, but then he doesn’t believe in the One who sent me. This fact does not have an impact upon my mission, although it grieves me terribly.
Before I have the opportunity to settle in and observe, I sense my fellow messenger, Tefilah, passing on his way to the Throne Room. He carries a sacred prayer box constructed of wood taken from a tree to which Humans no longer have access. Tefilah pauses beside me; I can tell he wants to talk.
“Delivering prayers to the King, my friend?”
“Many more requests these days. I think Humans have forgotten how to give thanks.”
I nod in agreement and to indicate the Human I am watching. Tefilah looks where directed.
“How long have you been guiding this one, Merea?”
“Since his birth, but I’m not guiding, not even influencing in any way. The Creator was precise in his instruction when He said to simply make sure this one fulfills his purpose.”
Telifah draws back for a moment, as if he knows he should complete his task but desires more information.
“Who is he, Merea?”
“The one who will broker peace between the Creator’s Chosen People and the World.”
“No–I can’t believe it. You’ve been given the assignment of watching the False Peacemaker? But you’re just a–”
Tefilah looks stricken over his blunder, but my laughter moves the cloud around us, allowing shafts of light to reach the Human beneath the tree. The Man mistakes my mirth for a change in the weather.
“Fear not, my friend. I know I’m just a choir angel, but this man was just a teacher when he started. Look how far his ambitious writings have brought him; the whole world listens to what this Man says. I have followed him for forty five of his years through every church, cathedral, temple, synagogue, shrine, and mosque across every continent as he looked for ways to thwart the Master. He thought he was seeking, but his heart…”
“Already hardened,” Tefilah finishes for me. “Does Michael know?”
“Michael is the one who ushered me into the Ruler’s presence when I received my assignment.”
“Why isn’t Michael overseeing this task?”
“He’s busy battling…”
Neither of us is willing to say the name of that Fallen Angel.
“I worry, Merea, that your task will not be easy. We both know how this ends.”
Tefilah points to the vile form of Tsalmaveth moving like an oily shadow, lingering among the branches of the tree under which my charge stands, waiting to descend upon him during a moment of confusion or distraction and hasten in the Fallen One’s plan before it is time.
“That demon is nothing more than a minor irritation. I’ve already run him off ten times in this moon/sun cycle.”
“Still, Merea; don’t underestimate his power.”
“Do you really think Tsalmaveth has the ability to deny our Sovereign His due glory?”
“Of course not. It’s you I worry about.”
“I admit that as our battle grows in intensity, I sometimes wish Michael would take over my obligation. But, I also know that the Maker would not have given me this task if I wasn’t capable of completing it.”
Tefilah moves closer, reassuring me with his strength and presence.
“I wish more Humans had your faith, Merea. It would make our job so much easier if they just relied on the King the way you do.”
Tefilah leaves me, but I know I’m not alone. None of us, whether Human or Spirit, can ever be out of the Holy Presence. I take comfort in this fact, for even as I recall it, I sense a change in my Human. I do not possess the ability to see into Men’s hearts, but I can witness the alteration to their countenance, the look that comes into their eyes, when a decision has been made.
The time has come. I honestly did not think it would be this soon, but I haven’t a moment to spare. I gather my wits about me, my sword, and my shield. I feel the growing darkness even as the clouds split and Michael leads the Heavenly Host forward to guide me back to Heaven. Our final battle is just beginning.