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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: Sticks and Stones
By Kate Oliver Webb


Gloriana used a quick jerking motion to readjust her halo, which had begun to slide over her left eyebrow. The archangel Zerachiel, responsible for the band of angels whose primary duty was guarding mortals, had summoned her. Gloriana knew what was coming: Zera would pull his austere self up to his full 5’6”, attempt to look down on Gloriana (standing 5’10” unless she slumped) and in his booming voice inform her that her presence would be required--again!--in Remedial Guarding A1.

Gloriana had been given charge over Helen Swan, recently married to Richard Swan, and living with him in the Governor’s Mansion. The challenge for Gloriana was two-fold: first, as a “newbie” Guardian Angel, she was quite green; and two, Helen was a timid, somewhat naïve and socially clumsy farm girl.

Basic training for the newbie Guardian Angel had been primarily physical guardianship, in which she excelled. It was the human psyche which Gloriana had trouble wrapping herself around. Shielding Helen from the emotional pain inflicted by the self-absorbed, powerful political figure who was her new husband was beyond Gloriana’s present skills.

“All right,” Zerachiel rumbled to his only pupil in RG-A1, “let’s give it another try, shall we?” After several hours of role-play designed to toughen up Gloriana so she could, in turn, pass that along to her charge, Zerachiel judged the Guardian ready to return to duty.

Gloriana found Helen and Richard at dinner. Poor Helen leaned back in her chair, submitting meekly to the berating of her new husband.

“This will never do, Helen,” Richard shouted. “If you can’t see to it that dinner is on time, I’ll have to hire a housekeeper. You’ve run a household before. I simply can’t believe you could be this stupid!”

[Ow, Gloriana cringed.] There was no outward reaction from Helen.

“Aren’t you going to say something?” Richard bellowed.

Helen’s reply was meek and quiet: “What would you like me to say?”

“What are you going to do about taking care of this house? Can you do it, or are you just totally incapable?” [Gloriana winced: Ow!]

“Be patient, Richard, please?” Helen pleaded. “I’m working with your friend Jill, the event planner. She has some ideas to get me and the house organized and running better. Okay?”

Richard stared at the timid face of his wife. “I’ll speak with Jill myself; perhaps she can get your brain” [another Ow! from Gloriana] “to recognize the critical importance of my position.” He stood abruptly and strode out of the room.

Helen remained seated at the table, hot tears spilling over her cheeks. Gloriana wrung her hands, feeling helpless in the presence of such psychic pain.

Suddenly there came a soft rustling sound, and Gloriana was astonished to see Agapena lean toward Helen and whisper in her ear, while folding his soft wings around her.

“Hey,” Gloriana objected. “She’s my charge, Agi! What did you say to her?”

“You know the drill, Glory,” Agapena replied. “I just spoke words of comfort and strength into her spirit. Zerachiel covered that with you, didn’t he--the role-playing and all that?”

“Well, yeah,” Glory answered, rather embarrassed. “But I just don’t get it. I can keep her from stumbling down the stairs--by the way, she’s stubbed her toe twice that I know of--but how do I keep that nasty man from throwing those painful barbs into her psyche?”

“Short of whacking him, which you know isn’t allowed, that’s out of our hands. But spiritual strength can and must be infused into her spirit, in order to protect her from what inevitably comes her way. That, too, is a provision of Heavenly Father.”

“You mean we can’t do anything to stop the evil words that man throws at her?”

“No--but perhaps she can. The more we instill love and strength into her spirit, the more able she will be to withstand his attacks. We’ve often found that the wounded one becomes strong enough to insist the abuse be stopped. Then we know our guardianship has been effective.”

“I’ll take it next time,” Gloriana promised. “I think I really get it, now. Instead of thinking ‘Ow!’ when I hear the abuse, I’ll think ‘Wow!’ and know I’m able to bear her up and give her Heavenly Father’s strength to be her own advocate!”

Zerachiel, listening in, made a mental note to use that phrase on the newbies in his next training class.

He nodded at the sound of the heavenly bell, signifying Gloriana’s new wings.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Karlene Jacobsen01/17/10
Such a lovely telling of how the Lord sets angels watch over us. Great job!
Jim McWhinnie 01/19/10
I found this to be so filled with charm - even angelic grace.
Rachel Rudd 01/19/10
Interesting take on the topic.... I liked the progression of the story.