Imagine if angelic beings went to school to learn to become guardian angels. They would probably have a lot of questions about the strange things that humans do on earth. They would need to study humans closely and learn the best ways to lead them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. In this Angel Academy short story, the angels learn the meaning of love in marriage and how to protect their humans from breaking the sixth and ninth commandments.
In our lesson on the sixth and ninth commandments, our teacher, the Archangel Barachiel, brought into class a set of magnets. As angels, the idea of physical objects being attracted to one another was a new concept for us. He came in and handed each one of us a magnet.
“Now class, if you would please find a partner and hold your magnets up close to each other,” he said.
We did so and found that our hands, which were holding the magnets, were immediately pulled closer by an unseen force.
“Wow!” I exclaimed. “What was that?”
“That was a magnetic force. The two magnets will always be pulled towards one another because of that unseen force,” he said. “Now, pull your magnets apart and move your magnet close to another angel’s magnet.”
We did so and once again the magnets were pulled towards each other until they were connected. At this point we were beginning to wonder what lesson our teacher had in mind.
“The magnets are a metaphor, of course. What are all angels and all humans drawn towards like a magnetic force?” he asked.
That question was easy. Every angel in the class had a hand raised.
“Altogether now, what is the answer?” said the teacher.
“God!” we shouted in unison.
“Yes, that’s right. That is something the humans share with us. We are more aware of this, of course, but know that every human is also drawn towards God like a magnetic force,” he said.
We mostly shrugged at this idea because we were already well aware of it, but then our teacher went on. “God, however, gave the humans a gift that differentiates them from the angels. He instilled in them a magnetic force towards one another, too. Humans are pulled towards a unison with each other as well as God.”
From his desk in the front of the room, Barachiel pulled rolls of tape. He passed them out to us and said, “Please tape your magnets together.”
We did so and he soon explained, “This tape that unites two magnets together is like marriage. God joins a man and woman together in holy matrimony to be united as one for the rest of their lives. The tape represents the unity that further strengthens the bond between them.”
“That’s beautiful,” said the angel Taffy clasping her hands together with a smile.
“Yes, it truly is,” said the teacher. “But I am sorry to tell you that there is something you must be aware of as the guardian angels to the humans. Their attraction, like the magnetic force of the magnets, doesn’t go away. Just as the magnets could be drawn towards other magnets, so too are humans sometimes attracted to men and women who are not their spouses.”
“This is a lesson on the sixth and ninth commandments, isn’t it?” said a studious angel in the front row.
“Yes, can anyone tell me what they are?” said the teacher.
I raised my hand and answered, “you shall not commit adultery and you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.”
“That’s right,” he affirmed. “As a reminder, ‘covet’ is a human desire for something that is not their own. Adultery is an act of breaking away from one’s spouse and uniting with another like the magnets breaking their union and uniting with another magnet.”
“That horrible!” gasped Taffy.
“So what will you do about it class? When your human is tempted to covet another man or woman, what will you do?” asked the teacher.
There was a pause. We clearly didn’t know.
“Let me ask you this then. What can we call that force that draws us together in union with God?”
That was another easy question, of course.
“All together now,” said the teacher.
“Love,” we said in unison.
“Yes, love. Sometimes humans say they lose themselves in love. There’s a lot of truth to that. Love takes away any selfish desire. Instead, love seeks unity with others. For the humans and us as their guardians, it means helping other humans when they are hurt. It means serving them and giving of oneself.”
“Can we make the magnetic force go away?” asked a student. “I mean, can we remove the attraction humans have for one another?”
“No and it would do you no good,” said the teacher. “Humans are attracted to one another for many reasons. To take that attraction away would risk a human turning in on himself and thinking only of himself and no one else, not even God.”
I raised my hand. “It’s the tape, isn’t it?”
“Explain,” said our teacher.
“The tape is the further unity between the two magnets. It keeps them together. Even if a magnet is pulled towards another by that magnetic force, the tape will keep them united as long as it isn’t broken. The tape is love, too.”
“That’s right,” said the teacher. “Now explain this in human terms.”
I thought for a moment. “Well, they fall in love with one another because they are attracted like a magnetic force towards each other. Then in marriage a new level of love is added by the tape. The tape is that unselfish love that people have. It’s they love that makes them sacrifice their personal wants and desire for the good of the other.”
“Very good, Ganan,” the teacher said. “In fact, in marriage the couple makes vows to stay true to each other even when things get hard and even when they are attracted to other humans.”
Thankfully a classmate of mine added a new layer to the analogy. “The union was made by God, right? So we could help them turn towards God when they are pulled or pushed apart, right?”
“Very good,” said Barachiel. “God is love. What better source for unity and faithfulness can humans find that him? Any other ideas?”
Taffy jumped in. “They could remember why they were attracted to one another in the first place before the tape and union in marriage even.”
“Good,” said Barachiel. “Memories are going to be a great tool for you to use in fighting against temptation. Thanks Taffy.”
I nodded to her and smiled. She was right. I was realizing more and more how challenging this will be for us to guard humans against temptation. The end result, though, is going to be great. They will get to have a great unity with God in heaven just like we do.
I looked down at the magnets taped together on my desk. I was getting very excited to witness and strengthen the love that the human I guard will experience in life.
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