The Guardian reached out and took the boy’s hand. “Come, child, you are free!” A rush of air filled his ears as he lifted the boy out of his broken shell.
The Guardian fixed his eyes on the boy. "How do you feel?"
"I feel..." The boy hesitated. "I feel strong."
A strange and wonderful sensation surged through the boy. “I don’t just feel strong, my thoughts are…bigger, too. I…I know words I didn’t know before. I… " He fell silent as he tried to familiarize himself with this new awareness.
The big man nodded. “You will find that you have left behind many limitations now that you have been delivered out of the Deathlands. Not only is your mind clearer and sharper, your whole being is larger than before, and growing. You are becoming all that the Lord created you to be.”
The boy studied this giant man. Strong and chiseled, his body looked like that of a fierce warrior. His face appeared both confident and good. His eyes pierced through to his soul, yet, his smile was warm and kind. He could trust this man. “Are you my Guardian Angel?”
“Yes, little one.” The Guardian stared at him now, intently. “Soon you will experience many wonderful things—things Deathlanders only glimpse in passing, but can never quite see. Look down, my young charge.”
The boy’s eyes shifted down, and he noticed that the two of them hovered several feet directly over the bed. He gasped, and involuntarily squeezed the Guardian’s hand. “I’m flying!”
“Not yet,” said the Guardian, still smiling.
But the boy’s excitement vanished almost immediately as his eyes rested on the scene below. His mom cradled his now lifeless body in her arms as if she could coax the life back into it. An ache welled up in his heart. His face warmed and a tear traced its way down his cheek. She looked beautiful.
“The day is coming when the Lord himself will wipe away all your tears with His own hand,” said the Guardian. “It is written in His great Book.”
“I remember. My mom read that to me.” He continued to watch. “She can’t see me, can she?”
“No, child, it is permitted only rarely. The shell of flesh naturally prevents it.”
He released the Guardian’s hand and pivoted in the air taking in his surroundings. Looking ready to collapse, his dad stood beside his mom, and his younger brother slouched in the chair at the far end of the room. He did not see the other two boys. His heart grieved for his family. “They can’t see that I’m alive. If only they could see. They would not be so sad.”
“Now, they weep, but their weeping will turn to laughter. They will follow you—each at their appointed time. Then, they will see you again. It is time for us to go now. The enemy gathers but will not be allowed to hinder us today. Your passage has been secured by the King himself.”
Emboldened by the Guardian’s assurance, the boy took one last look at the room. His parents slumped over the bed where they had repositioned his body, his brother still unmoving in the chair. He would see them again. They would come to him. He would wait for them at the 9th gate just like they had planned.
The Guardian extended his hand to the boy once more. “Now, are you ready to fly like the wind, child?”
He had always wanted to fly. It sounded like a great adventure. The boy smiled and took the angel’s hand. His skin tingled as the air immediately surrounding them shimmered and grew into a glorious brightness. The rest of the room darkened and started to fade. Then, everything burst in an explosion of colourful sensation and the room vanished.