As usual with Angel's appearance, a sharp crack rattles my sleep. Yet, this time, instead of her normal whiny, grating and phlegmy voice, I am blasted awake by a thunderous female roar of "What In The Hell Do You Think You Are Doing? You ******** Idiot!" (well, she did not actually say asterisk, asterisk, asterisk, etc, but you get that point.
As usual, I snap awake realizing that I am standing in the back yard, in the privet, next to the creek bank which is high and raging because, well, because the rain is pouring down and the thunderous roar of Angel is only matched by the thunder and lightning show in the sky. And, as usual, I am clad only in my "Bad Christian" t-shirt and boxers. And I'm drenched. And angry. And, slightly scared of HER.
"Don't Ignore Me, You Weasel. I Asked You A Question!" she roars again as my head began to pound. "What In The Hell Do You Think You Are Doing??!!" And, it slowly begins to dawn on me what she means. Yet, I try to play it off like the Artful Dodger, Fun Guy that I am.
She is perched on a tree trunk that almost spanks the racing creek, her bent and tarnished halo glistening in the rain. Her spotted and stained, torn robe has been hitched up a little with some honeysuckle vine so that she isn't exposing any of herself. Her one good wing and her one broken and raggedy wing are both shining with water and when the sky lights up with lightning, they both look almost new. In fact, the water is causing some type of freakish glow around her that is giving her a type of beautiful, heavenly, (almost) angelic appearance. Her wet cigarette hanging from her fingers gives a little edge back to her, but I can forget about that.
Like I said, I know why she is here and, as usual, try to launch into measly excuses and reasons and diversions to how Micheal is behaving these days.
I try starting, "Hi Angel, good to see you again...." "STOP IT AND SHUT UP," comes out of the darkness and I'm not sure for a moment whether it is her or, gulp, the Father.
"You see, Angel, I've been going through a really, really bad time lately and am struggling every day," I start. "I 'm not sure what..."
"Oh, Whine, Whine, Whine! Just cry me a bucket full you ungrateful toad. Oh, I've lost one of my best friends. WHINE! Oh, I'm having a bad day. WHINE! Oh, I'm so depressed. WHINE!"
"But, Angel, my doctor has diagnosed me with PTSD, and..."
"Don't You Think The Father and I Know That?" She continues to screech. "What I Am Here for is to Find Out Why You Were Lying In Bed Thinking about How Many Pills You have in your Cabinet and How Many "It" Might Take to end....to End YOU! Have You Lost Your Freaking Mind?!"
I stand there with no excuse, because it was the truth. I stand there in the pouring rain in my back yard, standing (almost literally) naked before God and my Guardian Angel. And I had no answer.
Her voice softened a little. "Look over your shoulder, you selfish foolish critter. Look at the windows in your home. There is a family in there that loves you more than anything. Look around your neighborhood. You have neighbors who also love you and your family."
"I know, Angel, I know..."
"Shut up and let me finish. It's rare that I get this kind of assignment, especially for you, because you are usually
so well grounded. Now, you're just thinking stupid. Think about all the people on Facebook who write you and send you notes of love and encouragement EVERY DAY and pray for you EVERY DAY! And you are all crazy because one freaking person in Father's Universe decides he doesn't like you. Sheesh, You Are So Stupid." There is silence for a minute, then, in a quieter voice I hear, "but you're stupid in kind of a cute way.
"Listen, jerk. With all the crap that Micheal Elliott puts me and those Tybee people through, I don't have the strength to say this more than once. He wears me out. But, put this in your head and remember it... Forever....'cause I don't want to have to come back here again. The Father Loves You! He Loves You! As messed up and crazy as you think you are, and as messed up and crazy as I know you are.....God Loves You.
"He created the doctors and the doctors who can help you through this....trust them on His behalf. Don't be afraid, Father and I are with you. He created friends who have battled the same demon illnesses that you are battling.....trust them and don't be afraid to call them."
By this point, I could not tell whether it was the rain or the tears running down my face, but I knew I felt loved and safe for the first time in weeks and months. I couldn't bring myself to look up at my Guardian Angel, because I couldn't bear to see the Love of God coming from her. And then, she whispered....
"Now, boy. I have one word of advice for you. Get your eyes back on Father where they belong. Simple. Don't look for problems. Just keep your eyes above. I'm here watching out for you along with Father, Son and the Spirit. You are Never Alone."
I could tell she was ready to leave and was expecting some sweet closing when she swooped toward me and swatted the back of my head in true Leroy Jethro Gibbs fashion. "So, there! You've been Touched By An Angel!!" And if you weren't pumped full of anti-psychotic medication, I'd treat you to a beer up on the Square. But, we'll do that later!" And she was gone.
I stood there in the rain and hollered to the darkness, "Gee Whiz, Angel! Couldn't you at least pop me back in bed and outa this rain?" CRACK! I was back in my bed, and quickly noticed I was still wearing the wet Bad Christian t-shirt and boxers.....except now, the word BAD had been torn off.
And for today my friends, this has been another story of Jimmy and his Guardian Angel.