"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." ~~Clarence W. Hall

Hi all,

I'm taking a bit of a break given it's Easter.  Actually, I was just gonna do a really short top ten for this but then I woke up Saturday morning with a couple mental images of Andrew.  And they wouldn't go away!  So I wrote this.  Will explain after the story.

May you all have a happy and blessed Easter and Passover.

God bless,

A Moment with Andrew story...

Easter Eggs

It was 3 AM on Easter morning and Andrew sat at his kitchen table in Serendipity dying eggs.  Thinking the festive task might put his mind at ease, he'd picked up a couple dozen following his last assignment.  He hoped the activity would make the hours until morning pass quickly.  Though many of his friends had a "call/come over any time you need to talk or just want company policy," the angel couldn't justify waking his friends on what was for many of them the holiest of days just because he was a little blue.  Besides, his work would just mean more fun for the children as they embarked on the annual Easter egg hunt. 

Andrew carefully dipped an egg in yellow dye and, while it dried, dunked another in the red.  He dyed each egg several times, sometimes totally submerging them but often not.  Mimicking a trick he'd learned from an assignment who had been overly fond of decorating shows, he occasionally utilized rubber bands to create intricate geometric designs.  The eggs were perfect.  Each line exactly where the angel of death wanted it, each hue as deep or faded as he wished.  It felt good to have something where every element fell perfectly into place.  No messiness.  No stray drips.  No surprises.  No cracks.

The order was a far cry from the prior 24 hours.  Friday night had found Andrew leading the traditional Seder dinner at Willowveil.  That had been pleasant although it still made the angel uncomfortable when the Tunnel children started asking questions about the deaths of the Egyptians' firstborns.  Still, he enjoyed sharing with them about the deep faith and rich cultural traditions behind the observance.  Having Violeta there for her first Passover among humans only made it better.  The admiring glances coming from a swath of his female friends wasn't too shabby, either, the angel of death recalled with a smile. 

But then it was back to his assignments.  It had been a series of brief, far-flung jobs.  Some... like an elderly man who had insisted Andrew split the last carton of ice cream in his freezer with him before going Home... had been wonderful.  But there were the others that began in dark alleys and war-torn villages...  Those were the ones that had driven the angel to seek something mundane and predictable while he waited for his friends to rise.  As blessed as he felt to be chosen by the Father to escort His children to Heaven, Andrew couldn't help but sometimes wish he could be more proactive.  It ached to often not be able to help people before they came to their worst moment.  No matter how many times he found himself in the midst of violence, he still couldn't make sense of how trauma could strike and change everything for a person, for a family, for an entire community.  Human life could change... even end... in an instant.  And that, too, was why Andrew had chosen to return to Dyeland instead of Heaven once the Father had told him his work was finished for the day.  Heaven would last always.  His time in Dyeland was transitory, fragile, and beautiful.  Like his Easter eggs, he realized.

When the final egg was fully colored, Andrew headed up to his bedroom.  He felt no need for sleep, only for the serenity of his room.  Upon entering, the angel immediately noticed a package laying on his bed.  It wasn't unusual for the girls to leave him a gift to find upon return from an assignment.  However, they usually reserved such displays of affection for when he was away for stretches of time.  Nor did it seem likely they would have gotten him a gift for the holiday.  Though they celebrated Easter together whenever possible, gifts didn't usual enter into it.  It was as if they know, even though he'd had no contact with them since the Seder, that his mood would be in need of brightening.

Smiling, Andrew picked up the box.  A note card had been taped to it which read "Thought it might be good for you to see this."  Beneath the wrapping paper, the angel thought he felt a frame.  Perhaps the girls had taken a group photo and framed it.  It certainly would do him good to seeing their smiling faces.  He tore away the paper and was surprised to discover it wasn't a photo at all.  There was a frame of gold and green mosaic tiles but where he'd expected to find a photograph was a mirror.  There seemed to be something on it but he couldn't make it out in the dim light from the hall so plopped onto his bed and flicked on the nearby lamp.  Looking down into the mirror, Andrew saw that his face was rimmed with familiar scripts.  It appeared that the girls had taken turns, each writing a word.  Some much needed warmth and peace flooded the angel's heart as he read the words: This person is loved so very much.

The face in the mirror, formerly a bit wan, brightened with a smile.  Andrew realized anew that he didn't need immaculate Easter eggs to give him a sense of order and constancy.  He had something better.  Something that would never crack or rot.  He had love: unconditional, eternal love.  It was the love he would bring to his assignments and carry in his own heart no matter what came his way.  It was the love he would find in friends who were so attuned to him they knew exactly when he needed a red velvet cupcake or a quiet talk beneath his willow tree or even a mirror. 
Andrew knew that it all was borne of the Love that had led an abused and suffering people into freedom... the Love that had rolled a stone away from a tomb and conquered death.  And that Love... God's love... would never, ever go away.

The End

Okay, so the mental images were of Andrew dying Easter eggs alone and pretty intensely.  The second was Andrew looking into a mirror.  So ya got the above from that.

This newsletter is dedicated to John's willingness to share his faith.  My high school years corresponded with the first few years of my crush.  Those were the years during which I was really exposed, for the first time, to a variety of beliefs (a good thing).  They were also the years in which I started to see how people twisted religion to suit their own purposes (a bad thing).  But it was also during those years that John spoke out against those who tried to twist God's love into messages of hate and division.  It wasn't until years later that I truly realized just how much of an impact John made on me when he spoke out as a person of faith.  It's one of the many things I hope to thank him for some day.  Happy Easter, John. 


JABB 353

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)