Author, Teacher, Storyteller
The air held a quiet expectation. Angels bustled around everywhere, in the air, filling the golden walkways, and streaming down the steps. The Leira and Sapphira stood at the top level observing the controlled chaos. The noise should have been overwhelming, instead it held a lyrical rhythm. Leira located the Archangels as they filled in most of the bottom quarter of the red, slate blue, bright yellow, and forest green seats. Sitting at attention, with their wings tucked tightly behind them, they radiated a certain fierceness.
Leira scanned the big group.
Michael's head popped up, and their eyes met. He lifted a hand in greeting.
She waved and his smiled sent warmth streaming through her.
The Cherubim quickly filled most of the empty seats. Leira greeted each one who soared past her.
Melody began the descent, with Sapphira following close behind.
Leira bounced from step to step, pausing to speak to everyone she passed.
Sapphira motioned for her to hurry up.
She skipped a few more steps before pausing to speak to the Watchers.
"Hello Liam...Oliver... How are you, Kyro?"
Each of them nodded a greeting.
She giggled. "Talkative as ever, Theodore." While they never uttered a word, she still loved speaking to them. She continued making her way to the seat Sapphira held for her.
She finally made it to the fourth row from the bottom and settled into her chair. She leaned forward. "Are those the twenty-four Living Creatures?" she whispered to Melody.
"Yes. The Elect angels are next to them."
"All we are missing are the Seraphim," Leira pointed out. She turned and glanced around the full stadium. Angels filled every available space. She smiled at Gideon. "Have either of you ever asked God how many angels there are?"
Sapphira smiled at her. "No, but that sounds like a Leira question."
Leira grinned. "When the meeting is over, I'll ask ..."
"The Seraphim will arrive when God does. You know that they only hang out with Him." Mel’s brusque comment cut Leira off.
Leira raised her eyebrows and stared at Melody.
Mel bristled and settled back in her seat. "Well, it is true." She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Leira.
A hush fell over the crowd as Daystar stepped to the center of the stage. He raised his arms and called out, "Welcome, everyone." His voice silky and warm.
Melody leaned forward in anticipation.
Leira whispered to Sapphira, "Where is Yeshua?"
"He doesn't need to be here to know what is being presented.”
"Shhhhh!" Mel demanded. "I want to hear Daystar’s not the two of you."
"We are gathered here today so that I may share the truth with you. Since our creation, we have been told that only God deserves praise and honor. I am happy to tell you what He refuses to say." He paused making eye contact with many of the angels.
"We have been misled into believing that there is only one true God, when in fact this is inaccurate. We too can be gods. Within each of us is the ability to become His equal.”
Whispers spread across the group like ripples on a pond. "What did he say?
Tell us more. How did he learn this truth?" He held up his hand to quiet them.
"We, the mighty angelic host of Heaven, are entitled to adoration.”
“We are powerful." He paused taking in the different beings in attendance.
"Wise." Daystar paused. Then, with a deep voice, he commanded, "We are mighty warriors." The sound of his sword being pulled out of its scabbard echoed around the amphitheater.
"We are immortal." His voice grew louder, bolder as he continued.
"Our strength knows no bounds."
"We are glorious and holy." He hovered above the stage sword raised high, his large turquoise blue wings glistening in the white light as his words thundered in the silence.
"Only Yeshua deserves our praise."
"Are you serious?"
Applause mixed with the shouted questions.
Daystar raised his hand. "Hear me out. Discern with your heart. Allow your emotions to guide you to the truth."
A silent expectation fell over the group.
"For eons we have served the Almighty. Doing His bidding. But now it is time for us to take our rightful place as His equal. We deserve acclaim. We are the most talented beings in creation."
"That's not true!" Leira jumped from her seat and shouted.
Melody pulled her back down and whispered, "Let him finish. What he is trying to explain makes sense. You just have to listen with your feelings."
Leira glowered at Melody. Shocked, she choked out, "Do you agree with him?" She wasn't sure she wanted to hear Mel's response, but she must know.
"As a matter of fact, I do. He and I have spoken many times about the fact that God hides important information from us. What is God afraid of? Why doesn't He tell us everything?" The sneer in her voice ripped at Leira's heart.
She turned to Sapphira. "Phira, do you believe him?" Worried coated her voice as she waited for her friend to answer.
"No, Leira, he is trying to make us believe that we are greater than our Creator. That’s nonsense."
Her confident tone helped Leira relax.
Melody leaned toward Sapphira. "You are being deceived by God!"
Shaking her head, Leira locked her eyes with Mel's. "No, my friend, you are being lied to by a master deceiver and believing every word, and it breaks my heart. God loves us. He created us. We walk daily with Him. We talk with Him."
Phira briefly made eye contact and nodded before turning back to Daystar.
Growing more passionate with each word, he continued to lay out his plan. "We, the mighty angels of Heaven, are entitled to glory."
"No longer do we need to be servants of the Most High!"
Michael jump to his feet, catching Leira’s attention. With lightning speed, he drew his sword. The silver titanium shaft glistened in the bright light.
"We are not God's equal!" His voice reverberated around the amphitheater.
"We are His creation."
Other angels jumped up, agreeing with Michael.
Jaakobah's deep voice boomed from behind her. "Let him speak."
Michael and Daystar faced off, swords ready.
God, we need You. Leira scooted closer to Sapphira.
Michael lowered his sword.
Turning back to the massive crowd, Daystar rested the tip of his sword between his feet and placed his hands over the hilt. "Yeshua owes us! We have slaved for Him since the time of our creation. Now is the time to receive our due." Controlled rage filled his words.
"Under my influence, all of you grew and flourished. My leadership shaped each of you into who you are." He rose above the crowd, peering down on them, and offered his proposition. "Now I invite you to pledge your allegiance to me and become a god worthy of acclaim and admiration."
Tromos yelled from the top row. "Why should we follow you? What makes you worthy of leading us?"
Daystar lowered back to the stage. Standing tall, he arrogantly confessed, "I am the highest-ranking angel. I have the greatest power. I am full of wisdom. And I alone walk among the stones of fire." He turned and walked a few steps to the right. "And let us not forget that I have been made perfect in beauty."
A few of the angels chuckled.
He walked back to the left. "When I was created, ruby, topaz, beryl, jasper, and lapis lazuli were brought into existence just to adorn me. Every precious stone you see today came to be for me to reveal my beauty and importance. I am the anointed Cherub. Yeshua declared me perfect and blameless." He puffed out his chest. Raising his chin, he continued, "I am worthy of your loyalty. I have been created to lead, to enlighten you with the knowledge that I have been blessed with. Follow me, and you too will become a god."
The sounds of metal being released from sheaths rang out.
Angels shot from their chairs, some stood, while others hovered in the air.
Leira stood and stared at her fellow angels. Horror covered some faces, while disbelief filled others.
Jaakobah and Kaiah stood face to face, locked in a verbal battle.
"This is the real truth." Jaakobah eyes lit with excitement.
Leira wanted to call out to him, to remind him how much God did for all of them. Of the depth of the Trinity's love for each of them. But she remained silent.
Kaiah's forlorn expression caused her great sadness. She strained to hear his words.
"Jaak, his logic is faulty. How can the creation become greater than its Creator? Think about it. He is appealing to your emotions, not your intellect. Use your mind."
Jaakobah jerked back as if Kaiah slapped him. "I knew you'd be close-minded."
"Mel, Phira, what do..."
Thunder shook the amphitheater. The ground trembled, the sound bouncing off the stone seats. Lightning bolts pierced the air. Electricity spiked up Leira's hair. In the distance, she spotted a whirlwind. Long white-hot bolts of light emitted from it in all directions. The closer it got, the louder the thunder became. Throughout the stadium, angels remained frozen. All eyes tracked the movement of the coming storm.
It stopped center stage. God stepped out of the wind and stood in front of Daystar. Everyone kneeled and bowed their head.
He stood recalcitrant and prideful.
Leira lifted her face just enough to see Yeshua. He looked terrifying yet beautiful. Her love for Him grew so intense that tears leaked out of her eyes.
God and Daystar stood facing each other. Star always looked so tall and fierce to her. But next to God, he’s puny. God's eyes blazed with fire. His face shone like a billion suns. His hair resembled white like wool. The brilliance of His robe made it hurt to peer at. Under the material, she caught sight of his burning brass feet. Love and justice poured off Him in equal waves.
He turned and addressed the angels. "Take a seat." His voice roared like a multitude of thunder.
The arena grew so quiet that Leira could hear the roar of the waterfall as it rushed from the Throne Room.
God, I praise You. You alone are my God. My comforter. My peace. There is no one greater than You in all Heaven or beyond Heaven.
Peace filled her as she offered up praise to the One whom she loved more than any other.
"When We created each of you, a choice presented itself. To weave into your being a love for Us that you could not deny. Or We could create you with the desire to worship but leave it up to each of you who to worship." His regal stance emphasized His authority. God the Righteous Judge stood before us. One by one, He made eye contact with each angel. "Out of Our great love, We established free will, a trait that would give every being the ability to freely make choices. Knowing the consequences, We decided to interlace free will with your DNA. Yes, We knew that some would use this against Us, while others would freely embrace Our love for them." He paused, allowing the words to sink in.
When He spoke again, no one could deny His sovereignty. "Today you have been presented with such a choice. For eons, We have loved each of you. But for some, that is not enough. You want more. You think you are greater than Us or that you do not need Us."
The birds crooned songs of praise from the trees surrounding the amphitheater. In the distance, lions roared while lambs bleated in harmony.
Leira held her breath for a few beats. Where’s He going with this? Surely other angels didn’t agree with Daystar.
God gazed at her, and she beamed at Him.
"The ability to freely choose comes with both responsibility and consequences, some which are eternal," God continued.
"You heard your fellow angel's claims. Now is the time for each of you to determine whom you will serve. Weigh your decision carefully—for once it is made, there is no going back." God's words rang with finality.
Leira caught a movement from the corner of her eye. She turned as Michael shot from his seat. He ran down the stairs and stopped before Yeshua. Kneeling, he laid his sword next to him and bowed his head. In a loud voice, he declared, "I offer You all that I am. I will serve You and You alone for all the days of my life. You and only You are worthy of all praise!" He picked up his sword and rose. He stood next to God, at the ready in case anyone thought they could cause trouble.
Leira remained seated with her two friends, observing. One by one, the multitude of angels began to make their choice. For every two that embraced Yeshua, one swore themselves to Daystar.
It crushed Leira to witness the angels turn their back on God and side with Star. When Jaakobah kneeled in front of Daystar, Leira cried out, "Nooooo."
Leira’s heart sped up as Garv and Tromos made their way down the many steps. Come on. Make the right decision, guys. She caught the hesitation on Garv's face and waited. She wanted to scream when he turned to the left and dropped before Daystar.
Tromos followed, bowing before Daystar, swearing his allegiance to him alone.
Leira’s gaze followed Kaiah as he jogged down the stone stairs, eyes locked on Yeshua.
He knelt; head bowed. "Mighty and awesome God, who bestows loving kindness and created everything out of love. Blessed are You, my God forever and ever." He stood. Turning to the left, he glared at Daystar and avowed, "May you rue the day you were created."
Nakoa and Xander stood with sword in hand, waiting for Kaiah to finish.
Nakoa stepped forward, humbly bowed, and expressed with pride, "Who is like our God? Master, Sovereign, Savior, source of blessings, life of the universe. I Praise You, and You alone." He stepped next to Kaiah.
Xander’s dropped his sword when his excitement got the better of him.
Leira covered her mouth so her laughter wouldn't slip out.
He fell to his knees and tucked his chin to his chest. "There is a time when actions speak louder than words. Also, there is a time for words and blissful inaction. Today may my actions and words bring You joy. I choose You. I adore You. May Your name always be praised. Hallelujah!”
Finally, only Leira, Sapphira and Melody remained sitting in the stadium. Leira smiled as Sapphira, a picture of calm, walked toward God.
Her friend bowed and lifted praises. "God, You are exalted beyond all song and adoration. You are awesome beyond all praise and acclamation. You are the essence of wisdom and power, eternal Ruler, Master of Creation. With everything in me, I praise You." She stood and finished. "And I love You more than all the words in Heaven could say."
Mel stood next to Leira. "What a fool." She marched to Daystar. "I'm with you," she sang.
Leira stood taking in the massive number of angels. She spent her entire life with them. How could so many turn their backs on Yeshua? She rose into the air and glided to her God. She took a knee and dipped her head. Then raising her chin, she locked her gaze on God’s. "You are my choice. I will love You until I am no more. It is You I want to serve, love, talk to, and praise." She stepped next to Phira. A gagging sound filled the air, she turned and glared at Melody.
The disgust on Mel’s face forced Leira back a step. She mimicked the words Leira just spoke, "It is You I want to serve, love, talk to, and praise. Oh please. How sappy, Leira." Then she spun toward Daystar.
God stepped in front of Daystar and his group of followers. "Your choice is sealed. You are no longer worthy to be in Our presence. The glory that once endowed you with beauty, talent, and all that made you angelic will be removed. You are forever banished from Our presence."
With a sweep of His arm, the angels tumbled out of Heaven.
Leira stood staring at spot the angels proudly stood an instant before God hurled them out of heaven. Tears distorted the image. She refused to allow them to escape.
“Are you alright?” Sapphira asked as she placed her hand on Leira’s back.
“Just a few spoken words and your world as you knew it implodes.” She turned to look at her best friend. “I’ve always known words held power, but…” She turned back fixated on the place she last made eye contact with Melody. She wore a smug smirk that morphed into panic. Will the image ever go away, or will it remain there taunting me, always reminding me of her?
“But this is the first time you have personal experience with their power.” Sapphira’s words snapped Leira out of her thoughts.
“Yes,” Leira said. “And it hurts so much.” A wave of love wrapped itself around her. Leira sighed; I love you too God.
Together they stood silent, focused on nothing yet, Leira wished she could stop seeing her fellow angels tumbling through the riff, screaming in terror as they fell into darkness.
“Want to talk?” Phira tugged on Leira’s wing.
Shaking her head, no, remained as still as a statue.
Soft tinging bells sounded in the distance as Careen Hovers activated.
“I didn’t know how bad… how did I miss the changes in them?” Sapphira wrapped her arms around her waist.
“I just don’t get it.” Leira turned to Phira. “God gave them everything, and they threw it away for a lie.” Her gaze floated back to the last spot she glimpsed Melody before the riff God opened slammed shut blocking their view. “Did you hear the screams?” she whispered. “I’ve never heard something so terrifying.”
Shuddering, Sapphira asked, “Did you see the comet slam into Furi’s head? I hope he’s ok. The portal closed too fast for me to see if it killed him.” Sapphira asked.
Leira nodded her head. “Garv changed. He looked back toward the amphitheater and screamed something. His teeth turned jagged, and his face looked burnt. Is that what God meant when He announced that everything related to their gifts and talents would be removed?
Leira contemplated the colorful seats. “Do you hear it?”
“Hear what?” Phira frowned.
“The quiet.” Leira turned and considered Sapphira. Her long red hair hung in soft waves around her oval face, cascading down her back. “It is never this still in heaven. Even the air feels heavy, like it knows things have changed.” Leira gazed into her friend’s silver blue eyes that always sparkled with a joy that began in her soul. “It’s going to be so different now, with all of them gone. One out of every three angels, gone, permanently banished.
Leira paused and glanced around the now empty seats. “Phira, where is everyone?”
“They left after God headed back to the Throne Room.”
“Oh. Do you know where Kaiah and Michael are? I’m really worried about them.” Leira headed for the stairs.
“Leira, are you ok now?”
“No, not really. I don’t know how to deal with this. How does one go about putting their shattered world back together when the pieces are scattered on the floor?” She gulped back tears.
“I know just the place we both need to go.” Sapphira marched up the stairs.
“Come on friend.” She called over her shoulder. Once Leira got to the top, they headed to the hovers. “What would you like to ride in today?” Sapphira inquired as she pushed the button on the welcome sign that would activate the Careen Hover. Three pitch perfect musical notes sounded, when they ended a hover craft appeared.
“How about a beautiful colored rug with fancy pillows and a vase of fresh lavender.” As soon as the words left her mouth a small pop of light flashed. When the light receded, the rug hovered in place waiting for the angels to climb aboard. The smell of the fresh lavender washed over Leira.
Before they could settle, Harmony hopped onto the rug and stared at Leira. I am sorry for your loss.”
Thank you, Harmony.
If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Harper sends his love as well. The small faerie dragon fluttered her four butterfly like wings, rising off the rug. She glided on the breeze heading back to the meadow where she and brother live. Her iridescent scales changed colors as the light caressed them from different angles. Her pink wings looked to delicate to be useful, yet they kept her in the air.
“What did she say?” Phira looked expectantly at Leira.
“She offered her condolences and offered any assistance that we need.”
“She’s always been kindhearted.” Sapphira settled on the pillow next to Leira. “Where do you want to go? Space Observatory? The library? Take a ride through the meadow with the lions and lambs? Want to go try out the new The Cloud station? The…”
“My favorite place.” Leira cut off her friend feeling a little lighter than she did moments before.
Phira laughed. “Which one?” then without another word she programed their destination.
They glided on the breeze, as it gently blew their hair back.
The hover gently touched down outside two of the most impressive wooden doors ever created. Each panel stood twenty-two feet tall and twelve feet wide. Crafted from the Tree of Life and coated with a dark brown stained that held a hint of a coffee color, they presented a powerful image. Carved pictures that represent the Trinity and their deep love for all beings emerged in the wood. Leira ran her finger over a section of a vine. “I still don’t understand how God got the carving to go completely through the wood to the other side. On Earth when they work with etching images into wood it’s basically on the surface, but with this it is different, and breath taking.” The vine that held images of the fruit that heals the nations ran through the twelve pictures revealing God’s ability to restore all that sin tried to destroy. Neither door needed a handle since they always stood wide open.
Arm in arm they stepped into the Throne Room and froze.
Every single angel in heaven filled the room, kneeling before the Trinity.
Michael stood in front singing. “There is nothing like Your presence. Your presence fills this room. All glory belongs to You…”
Michael knelt and bowed his head as he continued to sing.
In a sudden move, as if they practiced it for years the angels bowed, face to the floor, wings tucked with their tip’s pointed upward. They joined Michael and sang. “Let your presence fall on us now, let your glory be known to all. Fill us with wonder. Holy Spirit, we need You. Flood our hearts and mind with Your presence. We sing glory and honor and praise to You.” The lyrical words thundered as the billions of angels praised God with every fiber of their being.
Leira focused on God. His peace flooded her like an ocean wave soaking deep into her soul. She wanted to run to Him so she could relax at His feet and bask in His presence.
Come my child. You are always welcome.
She turned to tell Phira, only to realize that her friend found a spot on the ground and rested her mini harp on her lap.
Sapphira plucked the strings on the small harp creating the perfect harmony for Michael’s cadence.
Leira rose above the angels and soared to the front. Without a word she touched down and knelt before God. Then at His invitation she perched on the floor in front of Him and joined in the song.
Hours later Leira stood before the Trinity. “That’s powerful. The praise felt alive… and” she searched for the right word. “Pure.”
They beamed at her.
Then it clicked. “This is how it use to be right after You created us. We all offered untarnished heartfelt praise that flowed from our hearts. But then over time it began to change. Now, I understand.”
Leaving the Throne Room, she wondered where God sent the angels He tossed into the void. She paused. God, You sent them somewhere that they can’t hurt anyone right?