Given the circumstances the question begged an answer. I was okay with the occasional visit from departed loved ones. Having a pretty much ongoing conversation with God didn’t particularly throw me, either. Billions of people around the world prayed. The minority was more likely made up of the ones who didn’t. Lots of people reported encounters with angels.
Individually my experiences were not that noteworthy. Taken collectively though, one had to wonder. Perhaps someone predisposed by genetics and family history was more likely to have such encounters than someone else who had a predisposition to music or athletics or genius. It seemed a reasonable explanation, but still I wasn’t sold on the whole angel thing.
So I decided to do some research. The Internet wasn’t much help. Even if the answers I was looking for were out in cyberspace somewhere, there are so many paid ads at the front end of any search results, unless one was willing to spend days sifting through them, the Internet was all but useless for this sort of thing. I went to the book store instead. I wasn’t seeking cutting edge research. The answers I sought were more likely to be found in old books and sacred texts than online.
I was surprised by the lack of information on angels. There were the usual stories about personal encounters, but very little about angels in general. There was even less about the Archangel Michael. A few lines in the Bible and other sacred texts. Which shot down one of my favorite theories to account for the mysterious passage at the end of a chapter in my novel. I assumed I must have read something somewhere along similar lines and forgotten about it. Then for some as of yet unknown reason I dredged it up from my subconscious and recorded it on paper. That theory was seeming more unlikely as there didn’t appear to be anything available for me to have read in my past.
The one reference that kept coming up was Paradise Lost, the epic poem written in 1667 by John Milton. Though considered one of the greatest literary works of all time, I never read it. I was so curious why it kept coming up in my searches about angels I purchased a copy that day and read it in a single sitting. Actually it was fascinating and definitely along similar lines of my own experience. The poem tells about the fall of Adam and Even from the Garden of Eden, and about Satan’s temptation of man. Fascinating, but not much help.
The only other thing I could remember reading about angels, and coincidentally, Satan’s temptation of mankind, was by Taylor Caldwell, who wrote a bestselling book published in 1967 about a series of letters between the Archangel Michael and his fallen brother, Lucifer. The author claimed she didn’t write the letters, she was merely the recorder of them. An interesting admission, particularly for one of the best-selling authors of her time.
But back to my own dilemma. After all my efforts, I was still left with the mystery of why the Archangel Michael decided to pay me a visit, brief though it was. And there was only one person, (I use the term loosely of course), who could provide the answer…besides the source himself.
So I headed to early Mass one Saturday morning armed with my research and my questions and my doubts to confront the Almighty. I waited until Mass was over and the church grew silent. I was glad I didn’t have to rush off to work. I figured this was going to take a while.
It was a Dutch standoff of sorts as to who was going to blink first. God does that sometimes. I think my opinions amuse Him for the most part, though He’s usually polite about it. I was the one who blinked first…big surprise. I told Him about the mysterious passage in my novel, that it seemed to be written from Michael’s perspective…or at least from one of his angel brothers’, since he referred to Lucifer as his brother, and then about my conclusion I must have somehow dreamed up the passage myself and just forgot I wrote it down.
God let me babble on and on about how this couldn’t possibly be real, how I didn’t even really believe in angels, and even if there were such things as angels, why would one pay me a visit and leave this cryptic little note behind? Eventually I grew frustrated by the silence on the other end and finally wound down. “Well? Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“I was waiting for you to take a breath so I could get a word in.”
Oh. That happens a lot too. I’m so busy telling God how things are, when if I just stopped talking long enough and gave Him a chance to respond our conversations would be easier on both of us.
“I just want to know if Michael, or one of his angel brothers, was responsible for that passage, or if I’m going crazy.”
“The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.”
“Why do you always twist yourself up in such knots trying to come up with a ridiculously complicated denial of what you already know to be the simple truth?”
“The truth isn’t always simple.”
“Yes it is. The truth is always simple…not always easy, but always simple.”
“Okay, I don’t want to get into some kind of philosophical discussion with You here. Was it Michael or not?”
“What did he want?”
“Did you ask him?”
“No. I didn’t have a chance.”
“Then perhaps you should wait until you do.”
“He’s coming back?”
“Is that a problem?
“I don’t know. Is it?”
He laughed. “Go home. We’ll speak again tomorrow.”
“And tomorrow You’ll tell me what’s going on?”
“Why are You always so mysterious about everything?”
“Am I? I might ask you why you always have to know everything before it happens. Why not just let life play out in due course?”
I had to admit He had me there. I was always pestering Him about what was going to happen next. Still it was easy for Him to be so blasé about the future. He already knew everything that was going to happen…