When I arrived home, emotionally exhausted by my confrontation with my brother and fellow archangel, I found myself much restored when a lovely bundle of energy and love flung herself at me as soon as I passed through the high arches of my front doorway.

            “Daaaaaddddy!”  Mara cooed happily, “You’re home!”

            “Hello, sweetheart.  How was your day?”

            “Oh, we had so much fun!  Jeremiah took me outside the gates today, and showed me a panterama of Earth, with peeples and aminals and trees and birds….” She began talking excitedly, listing the many things she had seen. 

            Jeremiah entered the white marbled atrium and smiled his hello. 

            “She means a ‘panorama.’  I showed her how to open the doorway between the celestial and earthly planes so that she could watch Mankind and Earth’s creatures.”  He turned to my daughter, “It’s ‘animals’ and ‘people,’ Mara.  You’re too big for such baby talk, you know better. ”

            “Jeremiah says that when I’m older I’ll be able to go there,” my energetic daughter continued, ignoring her tutor’s admonition and interruption, “And I’ll watch the peeples, er, people, just like you did, Daddy.  I’ll learn about them, and talk to them, and meet children…”

            “Children, hmmm?  Mara, are you lonely here?”  I said, wondering if she had noticed the attitude of Raguel and others like him.

            “Lonely, Papa?  Why would I be lonely?  I have you, and Jeremiah, and God and the Son love me.  They told me so, and remind me whenever I’m in the Garden.  I like the Garden.  I brought flowers home and made a crown.  I’ll go get it and show you.”

            She rushed off, turning cartwheels in the air in her excitement.  She always flew with enthusiasm, as if it were a way of dancing, rather than just a way to get from place to place quickly.  She swerved past tall columns erratically, and flew up the curving staircase towards her room on the next floor, not deigning to walk, but rather tracing a path above the golden banister while touching it with one finger.

            “Jeremiah, my friend, may I ask you something?” I said, smiling at my daughter’s delightful ballet in the air.

            “Surely, sir.  I will answer anything you ask, and gladly.” He answered eagerly.

            “Are you happy in your work?”

            Jeremiah grinned broadly.  “Oh, yes sir!  This is the best assignment I’ve ever had.  I find that your daughter’s love of life is most infectious, and the days always pass easily.  We have a lot of fun together.”

            “Just the two of you?”  I prodded.

            “Uh, yes sir.  We were touring some of the offices, but I was given the distinct impression that some felt that we were disrupting the usual order of things, getting in the way.  That’s understandable, I suppose, seeing that Mara is a very lively and curious child, and busy angels might not be able to spare the time to answer her many questions…”

            “I understand, Jeremiah.  Raguel spoke to me today, ‘suggesting’ that you and Mara stay away from the offices of the Host.   Do you often feel that Mara’s presence is unwelcome?”

            He hesitated, and I saw that this was an issue he had given a great deal of thought to, and had struggled with how it made him feel.  He finally spoke, and I could tell by the strained tone of his voice that it hurt him to admit what he and Mara had experienced.

            “Our brethren, well, they do not accept your daughter, sir.  I know her well and love her like she was a sister, but they do not share my feelings, because they don’t know her as I do.  To them she is half-human, which means she is not an angel.”

            “Man is God’s child, just as angels are, Jeremiah.”

            “I know this, sir, but you know how angels see humans…  most of us are quietly contemptuous.  Your daughter has taught me that there is much in Mankind that is good, and I’m certain that your time on Earth taught you that as well, but not everyone shares those experiences or feelings.”

            “I thank you, my friend, for your honesty and for your loyalty to my daughter.”  I said.  “I ask you this, though:  do you feel that you can continue as my Mara’s mentor and protector, or do you wish to return to your brethren in the ranks?”

            “I would ask that I could stay, sir, and serve you and your daughter with all of my abilities.”  He said earnestly, his loyalties clear.

            “Then I thank you again, my brother.”

            He smiled at my words, for very rarely does an archangel acknowledge his brotherhood with a lowly seraphim.  I decided then and there that it was a bad policy that I would have to strive to correct.

            As we waited for Mara to return, a knock sounded on my door.  I gestured, so that the mighty marble slabs gilded with a design of golden ivy swung open of their own accord.  In the twenty-one foot high archway of my doorway stood a man, a human, dwarfed by the immensity of the doors so that he appeared quite small.  He had a white beard, as bright as snow on a sunny day, and he dressed in very simple brown robes.

            “Hello,” He said, smiling warmly, “I hope I am not interrupting anything important, or intruding where I am unwelcome, good sirs, but I had heard that this was the home of Raphael, the archangel?”

            “Yes it is.  Do you have business with him?”  I said, shocked to see a human being standing on my doorstep, here in Heaven of all places. 

            “Yes.  If he is busy, or not here, I could come back later…” The man seemed very timid for some reason, as if he feared a rebuke or even rejection.  “I just wanted to speak with him, it that would be at all possible…”

            “Oh, of course it is!” I realized that he was very nervous, and stepped forward, extending my hand to him in fellowship.  Extended downwards, really, because I was a good three feet taller than he was.  “Come in, come in!  I am Raphael, and this is my brother Jeremiah.”

            He shook hands with me earnestly, his human hand hidden inside my angel-sized one.  “Oh, I am so glad to meet you, sir, glad indeed!  I have read much of you in the Great Library!”  He grinned at me broadly.

            “You have been to the Great Library?  Excuse me if I sound rude, but who are you and how did you get here?”  I asked, shocked yet again.  An ephemeral, here in Heaven, who had been here long enough to read scrolls in the Great Library, was most surprising.  There were no humans in Heaven, ever, to my knowledge. 

            “Oh, excuse me for not introducing myself.  My name is Enoch.  And, yes, I have been to the Library.  It is my home.  It has been for, well, let me think…” He took a long moment to calculate and then continued, “…some nine hundred years, I should think.”

            “Forgive me, sir, but I have been to the Library many times, and know it well, yet I have never seen you there.”  Jeremiah said, voicing our incredulity.

            “Oh, I am not surprised that you do not know of me.  I rarely appear in public.  I have been most content to stay in my little room in the lower levels of the Library, and read the scrolls.  It is a delicious font of most enlightening information.”  Enoch looked at me with some awe, “As I understand it, you appeared to Adam and Eve in the Garden, sir, and your battle with the demon Azazel is legendary!”

            “Why is it that you do not appear in public, Enoch?  Nine hundred years seems to me to be an exceedingly long time to be all by yourself.  Does it not get lonely?” I asked, humbly ignoring his praise of my grandiose accomplishments.

            “Oh, I rather enjoy the scrolls, yes I do.  And I am often allowed out into the Garden, where I spend time with our Lord.  He and I have some wondrous conversations.”

            “But what do you mean, ‘allowed’?  You need permission to leave the Library?”  Jeremiah asked, concerned by the man’s words. 

            “Well, of course.  I was assigned to it by Raguel, and have to submit forms so that I can make excursions.  I must admit, actually, that I had to submit one to visit the Garden today, and I went, and spoke with God, and then I snuck away to come here.  It was quite exhilarating.  I’m glad your home borders the Garden, though, or it might have been quite the feat if I would have had to make my way across the city.  They would surely have caught me then.”  He laughed sheepishly, as if amused.  “They never said I had to stay in the Garden.”

            “You describe yourself as if you were a prisoner.”  Jeremiah said, obviously shocked, “And it sounds as if Raguel has been mistreating you.  Do you not tell the Lord of this when you speak with Him?  Does He actually let this mistreatment of you continue?”

            “Well, in truth, I never thought to bring it up.  When the Lord brought me here…”

            I interrupted, “I’m sorry, did you say the Lord brought you to Heaven?  That would explain how you came to be here, but why did God do that, and then hand you over to Raguel, of all angels?”

            “I lived a righteous life on Earth.  God decided to bring me here, instead of letting me die.  It was a great honour.  I spend a great deal of time with Him, actually, for He often speaks with me even when I am alone.  I go to the Garden only so that I can see Him, as well as hear His voice.

            “As to Raguel, you would have to ask the Lord why I am in his care.  In truth, that is why I am here, good sir.  I have read that you, Raphael, have spoken with men, and thought perhaps that you would be inclined to help me, more so than the rest of your brethren.”  I now saw why he had come to my home, but was surprised at what he said next:  “When I heard of your daughter, and actually saw her in the Library, my hopes were raised even more, and I decided to come and see you and ask for your help.”

            “You have met my daughter?”  I said, surprised that she had not told me. 

            “Yes, sir, she is a lovely girl.  It is a pleasure to speak with her.”

            “When was this?”  Jeremiah asked. 

            “Oh, many times.  She surprised me once, when she was a baby, and ever since she has endeavoured to find time every once in awhile to chat.  She said that God led her to me.”

            I thought for a moment on the many times Mara had gone off on her own as a baby while I was too busy to notice, and smiled at the curiosity and energy of my irrepressible daughter.  An idea occurred to me.

            “Jeremiah, does Mara manage to sneak away from you?”

            “Well, sometimes…” He admitted, “She can be quite difficult to keep track of.  Turn your back for a moment…”

            “…And she’s gone, yes.  I guess we now know where she goes, at least some of the time.  Now, Enoch, you said something about needing my help?”

            “Well, sir, I had an idea…  I understand that Jeremiah is Mara’s angelic tutor, but I was wondering if you had need of, well, a human tutor as well, a connection to her roots on Earth.”  He said, and it was clear that his request was important to him, as he was evidently very nervous.

            “Of course I do!  That would be wonderful!”  Mara propelled herself into the room at full speed and grabbed Enoch in an embrace around his waist.  She spun the poor man in circles before settling down, eliciting laughter from both of them.

“Oh, Father, can Enoch stay with us and teach me?  Please?  He and Jeremiah together could teach me so much, seeing as how one’s an angel like you, and one’s a human like my mother, and they both know oh so much, and they both are experts on the Library and it’s contents…” She spoke quickly, pleading her case and giving me no time to argue, if I was so inclined.

            “Oh, and here’s the crown I made you, Daddy.”  She said in an off-handed way, her wild train of thought finally coming back to the reason she had left the room in the first place.  “Come here and I’ll put it on your head.” 

            I obediently knelt at her feet and lowered my head, which made us about the same height, as she floated a foot off the floor.  She placed the flowered crown on my brow and kissed me on the forehead, anointing me king of her palace.  I stood and smiled at my creative daughter.

            “So, can Enoch stay with us or not?”  She demanded, her tiny hands on her hips, looking up at me, craning her neck way back to do so.  She got tired of that and decided to float up to look me in the eye.

            “I don’t see why not.  The Lord said that you have to learn the ways of the angels and of men, so it makes sense to have a human tutor alongside the angelic one.  If that is your wish, Mara, then I grant it, and gladly.”

            “Oh, Daddy, thank you!  Thanks so very, very much!”  She flung her tiny arms around my neck and gave me a tight hug to show her appreciation, knocking the crown a little askew in her enthusiasm.  Then, she flew down to grab Enoch’s hand.

            “Come on, Enoch, we have to find you a room!”  She led him up the stairs, floating just above his head.  Jeremiah and I laughed at the very sight of it, and that was how a human being became a part of my household.

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