Raphael So I’m guessing that right now you’re pretty confused.  What’s going on?  Where’d these angels come from?  Well, read on and you’ll find out.

            I call this The Opening because it isn’t really the beginning of the story.  I could begin this story at The Beginning, if I wanted to.  I watched it, and that is where all stories really begin.  All the tales ever written, imagined and told are just branches and leaves, while the roots for all begin with The Beginning.  The ending of all stories was planned at The Beginning, for that matter.  However, I really don’t care to go over ancient history again.  It’s in Genesis, after all, and Paradise Lost, if you’re at all interested.  I don’t want to tell a story that’s been told before, and I imagine you don’t want to hear a story you’ve heard before, either.  To begin this story at its real beginning means doing that, so I decided that I would skip ahead to a point that seems like a good place to open the tale I want to tell.  This tale nobody knows but me.  Well, from every angle, inside and out.  Well, God knows, but He knows everything.

            So, this story starts with me, if you absolutely have to have a beginning for it.  The story isn’t about me much, although I do show up for some of the crucial scenes.  I’m important because I saw pretty much the whole thing, from beginning to end, and can tell you all about it.  That’s not the only reason I’m important, but that is why I’m the narrator.

            Who am I, you ask?  Oh!  I’m sorry.  I should have introduced myself sooner.  Where I come from, everybody knows pretty much everybody else, so I forget sometimes that you ephemerals need introductions.  I am Raphael, one of God’s seven archangels, beloved of Heaven.  My name means “God Heals,” just in case you’re wondering.  Some people do.  Wonder, I mean, about names.  Have you ever wondered what yours means?  They all mean something, you know.

            God does heal, you know, if you ask Him right and really believe that He will.  Sometimes He’ll even surprise you and do it when you don’t ask.  And I don’t mean little things like paper-cuts or hangnails.  God could heal those, don’t get me wrong, but He prefers to find ways to lead you to healing your soul, for when balance is brought to the spirit, the body follows.  Remember that, it’s important and there may be a test later.

            But, I digress.  For an angel, I do that a lot.  Take my brother, the archangel Michael, for instance.  He would never digress.  He’s always straight to the point, serious as anything.  You can’t really blame Him, though, because of all the responsibilities on His shoulders.  He leads Heaven’s armies and has to be on constant guard against evil and Satan’s minions.  The Adversary never rests, so neither can Michael.

            Me, I’m more light-hearted.  That’s kind of rare in angels.  We’re all nice people, don’t get me wrong.  However, being the closest thing to perfect in the universe this side of the Father and the Son can make you take yourself a little too seriously, if you know what I mean.  You know the type on Earth, I’m sure, people who can be self-righteous and almost snobby because they do everything right.  Angels virtually can’t make mistakes, since we’re God’s servants and everything.  Some of us act like perfection is a sacred institution that must be upheld like it was a law or something.  I’m a little more relaxed about it.  Don’t ask me why.  Take it up with God if you really want to know.  He made me.  Why are you the way you are?

            Part of my different attitude is probably because of my exposure to humans.  I was the first angel to speak with them, you know, in the Garden.  I warned Adam about Satan, (Once again, Paradise Lost, for those who wonder) and ever since I’ve had an interest in the ephemerals.

            My interest is kind of what inadvertently got this story started. 

            After the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, humanity grew and began spreading across the Earth.  We angels were set the task of watching them, and some of the Watchers got a little too interested in Mankind’s affairs.  It’s right there in the Book:

            When mankind had spread all over the world, and girls were being born, some of the sons of God saw that these girls were beautiful, so they took the ones they liked.  Then the Lord saidI will not allow people to live forever, they are mortal.  From now on they will live no longer than 120 years.”  In those days, and even later, there were giants on the earth who were descendants of human women and the supernatural beings.  They were the great heroes and famous men of long ago. (Genesis, 6:1-4)

            Some of the Watchers, also called the “Grigori” if I remember my history, became known as the Fallen, for they took Mankind’s daughters in lust, which is a sin for Man and angels alike.  They were cast out of Heaven for their sin, much like Satan and His minions were cast out at an earlier time for the sin of pride, a desire to rule.

            There were angels that actually fell in love, however, which is different.  Love, real love, is a bonding of spirits.  Parents and children love each other because the child’s spirit was created by the mingling of the parents’, they all spring from a mutual source.  That familial wellspring of spiritual connection also bonds you to your grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles.  Exploring that feeling, and an exercise in logic, could lead someone to love the whole human race, because you are all connected.

            True love is even more powerful.  God created souls in pairs, perfect matches that are each other’s destinies.  When two souls like that come together, they complete each other, their love binding them and making them stronger.  If such a love bears children, the souls born of that union are stronger, too, because of the pure love that birthed them.  I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

            This story opens with true love, and ends with it, too, for that matter.  What else really counts in all Creation?  John’s first epistle, chapter four, reminds us that God is love.  Maybe there is nothing else that matters.

            So, here’s where the story opens.  Finally.

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