says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay
there." ~~Clarence W. Hall
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.
A Moment with Andrew story...
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
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.
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,
(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.)