My name is Gabriel although I like to go by Gabe. I, and my best friend, Lucifer, exist in the interwoven continuum of space and time. I can tell that you are bewildered and shocked by these statements, so I’ll explain myself.
First, when I refer to the interwoven continuum of space and time I refer to the status of the universe, an entity more complex than any humanoid definition or attempt at an explanation. It is a continuum in which the vastness of space and time interweave to become an instantaneous comprehensible whirling circle. In the middle of that circle, without beginning or end, is the Life Power, or God, whom I adore.
Second my best friend Lucifer is no longer my best friend; in fact he is now in opposition to everything which I, and God, hold sacred. Even though I abhor what Lucifer now espouses I still love him and long for the time when we will reunite in brotherhood and dissolve into the vastness of eternity so that our differences are nullified.
I write this epistle to explain how I almost slipped into derision to align myself with Lucifer. It began when God instructed me to find an innocent virgin on earth to act as a receptor for a temporary union of man and God. The child was to bring the earth a message of the oneness of God, of grace and redemption, and to teach humans how to live together in brotherly love. Given human nature this, in itself, was an ambitious objective.
Once I had my mission I reviewed human history and decided that the Roman Empire which lasted almost one-and-a-half thousand years encompassing the lands around the Mediterranean Sea provided the right environment for God’s plan. I knew that, when delivered, the Roman Empire had the capacity to spread the man/God’s message to entire length, breadth and timespan of the empire and beyond into the Roman legacy. The Romans worshiped a troupe of man-made idols whom they called ‘Gods’ so I looked for a virgin belonging to the Jewish people as their concept of eternity and their monotheism most closely matches the entity of God. I found my virgin, a sweet fifteen-year-old who possessed the right combination of innocence and genuine goodness coupled with a strong belief in her God. We are not permitted to show ourselves to humans except under very special circumstances and this seemed the right occasion so I did just that. She was terrified when I appeared but when I gently explained my mission she accepted the difficult task which I laid upon her. My job was not completed for then I had to appear in dreams to her betrothed to make him understand that her pregnancy was not due to illicit sex but, rather, the will of God.
Imagine my distress that in the ninth month of her pregnancy, at the decree of Caesar Augustus, Rome’s first Emperor, she and her betrothed were called to travel to Bethlehem to be registered and taxed. The journey, on foot, was arduous and when her water broke along the road they could do nothing but press on into town. Here they found no relief and, relegated to a stable, delivered the child in a cow stall. Not unexpectedly both mother and child died. Looking back I suspect the hand of Lucifer and absence of divine interference in deference to man’s free will.
For the next three hundred years, a nano second in the space time continuum, I sought, without luck, for another virgin comparable to the first. During this time Lucifer was constantly mocking me, and invited me to drop my search to join him. My mounting frustration made his offer tempting but I resisted, thank God.
By the time that Constantine arrived a full three hundred years had passed since the first virgin and her child had died and I was going nowhere. I decided that I needed to expand my candidate field by inducing the Romans to drop their gods and adopt monotheism. Constantine was a good man and a good general so before the pivotal battle of Milvian Bridge I made my move. Constantine’s army faced Maxentius’ army who were double in size. As before all battles everyone on both sides prayed for victory. Obviously, I couldn’t intervene on either side’s behalf except I chose to suggest a symbol of a universal single God. I created a distinctive image of a circle, something without beginning or end, in the clouds. Both Constantine and Maxentius saw the apparition but Constantine was receptive to its message. This was probably due to his earlier exposure to the concept of one G when he lived, with his uncle Diocletian in Nicomedia in the eastern part of the empire.
Consantine ordered his troops to paint circles on their shields and to fight under the banner of ‘The one living God.’ That day they had a decisive victory. It was probably because the men were motivated by the concept of a universal God so superior to their host of quarrelsome man-made Gods. My plan worked and Constantine embraced his new God whom the Romans named Alpha-Omega or “I Am”. They gave him the characteristics of the Jewish Jehovah. The religion, thanks to Constantine’s adoption of monotheism, flourished throughout the Roman world, and later beyond its boundaries. Now I now had a much larger population of monotheists in which to find my innocent virgin.
Time passed and although time is a meaningless dimension to me I had to face it as I evaluated a multitude of young women. It was during this period that I continued to hear my friend Lucifer urging me to abandon my quest. I’m glad that I resisted his arguments and remained faithful to God. Almost two-thousand earth years passed and mankind developed a new instantaneous communication medium which they dubbed the ‘Internet’. I instantly knew that this medium would provide the perfect tool for the man/God to disseminate his message. I also determined that, while Mandarin is spoken by over 14% of the world’s population, the combination of Spanish and English at over 11% made good sense as many of these people still believed in the one and only God. I intensified my search for a sweet virgin who spoke both Spanish and English. The young woman had to resemble the first, be smart, gentle, full of grace, a staunch believer in God, and able to accept the difficult task which I would lay upon her.
At last I found Maria in Nazareth, located in the Texas panhandle. I pondered on the best way to approach her, in a dream, through the internet or in person. In person seemed the right avenue for my task but at what time and where? She had to be alone and my Maria was seldom alone. I decided on evening in her bedroom where she did her homework. It was a small room and so I appeared in a smaller form than I would have liked, even then I knew that I filled the room. I kept my wings furled for they would have touched the pink walls. When she saw me as I gradually materialized she gasped in terror. I spoke,
“Greetings O favored one, the Lord is with you.” A good beginning I thought, but she was not reassured, so adopting my most soothing voice, I went on, “Do not be afraid, Maria, for you have found favor with God.” I continued with an explanation of God’s intentions. When I paused she said,
“How will this be since I am a virgin?” She still hadn’t got it but I went on to explain how it would be. It took all my skill to persuade her to accept the task, but accept she did accompanying her acceptance with the sweetest of prayers; it made me feel good and reassured that I had touched the right girl.
Early on in her pregnancy Maria told her mother what had happened and, surprisingly, her mother reacted in a supportive role. They ran a confirmative drug-store bought pregnancy test. Later Maria’s mother took Maria to an OG GYN. The doctor was a friend of the family and privately told Maria’s mother that his pelvic exam seemed to confirm Maria’s unequivocal affirmation that she was still a virgin. He also told Maria’s mother that he wished that he could write up his findings in ‘The Green Journal’ but he feared that his exam had already destroyed the astonishing proof. He tentatively reviewed options with Maria and her mother. Fortunately Maria’s mother was a staunch Right to Life advocate; she rejected any consideration of abortion and supported Maria in her commitment to keeping her baby. Other forces were also at play, Maria’s school counselor, Miss Wright, saw Maria as an all A student, who was now ruining her prospects of University, by having a child. I’m sure that she was egged on by Lucifer as she urged and pressed Maria to consider terminating her pregnancy. As Maria’s condition became more difficult to disguise others took up Miss Wright’s relentless suggestions. They made Maria so miserable that her parents decided to temporarily take her out of school. Although they had little money they decided that they should take her on a vacation away from the derisive forces at school.
Yes, you got it they took an Eastern Mediterranean tour which included several days in Israel. Their Israeli tour guide was a young man named Joseph who, although privately questioning Maria’s pregnancy, instantly became smitten by her, and she him. I helped things along by appearing to Joseph in a dream and explained the source of Maria’s condition. I even went on to boldly suggest that he should marry her and become a surrogate father to the child. In due course this would come to pass.
But Bethlehem is my nemesis for when they arrived in Bethlehem Maria went into early labor. Joseph instantly reacted with calm and escorted her and her family to the Holy Family Hospital. I couldn’t have been more pleased for it is located 800 meters from the very spot that the first Mary gave birth. We were on track.
This was so absorbing I read it twice! There is so much to assimilate, just accepting the ‘failure’ of the first immaculate conception and its consequences – how different would history prove to be without the crusades, without the inquisition, without the power and acquisitiveness of the Holy See? What roads could monotheism take? Much to ponder and a thousand plots to write. Thank you! I’m writing notes; lots and lots of notes…
Funny how some of these discussions (Lucifer and redemption) come up. I was just having this one with someone last night. Nice storytelling.
Thank you for your visit. It’s my guess that redemption is always on people’s minds as we all know that sooner or later we will die.
You got a little bit of everything into this one Jane. Are you starting a new religion by any chance? The idea of Gabriel and Lucifer being buddies would be a long shot as I take a peep at today’s world, and to think of Lucifer merging with the infinite spirit (You have a little bit of Hinduism in that thought) makes me want to run for cover. Who would want to share paradise with that fellow!! I don’t like his reputation. 🙂
No new religion just a naughty speculation of what it might have been like if Christ had come during our epoch. Then I got bogged down by having to introduce monotheism to the modern western society. As for Lucifer , no desire to offend just a question, if we can all attain redemption why not also a fallen angel, if he repents? I’m no theologian so I think that I’ll go back to talking chairs!
Wow! You combined much and drew from numerous sources to craft this story. I wonder at your intent. Surely, it’s meant to be more than a good read – which it is, Jane.
The Second Coming? Hmmm, it certainly shadows traditional dogma.
Whatever we believe in, is right for us, I reckon. Interestingly, in one aspect, this post mirrors my most recent post.
I enjoyed the visit – well rewarded 🙂
You’ve got it, just an attempt at a good read and my lurking curiosity about how it might have been if Christ had come in a different epoch. One could go on but I think that I’d get into too deep water!
In fiction, all things are possible. A most interesting revision, Jane.
Yes fiction permits much speculation, even talking chairs. I will now drop my risqué excursion into remote reaches of theology and go back to my chairs!