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 how to help humans honor their fathers and mothers.
The angel Taffiel stared out the window of the classroom at Angel Academy. She watched the clouds slowly move through the heavens.
“Taffy,” said her teacher, the Archangel Barachiel. “Are you paying attention?”
The other angels in the classroom giggled. Taffy snapped back into focus and looked up at the teacher.
“Oh yes, sir. I mean, no sir, I wasn’t paying attention,” she admitted. “I’m sorry.”
“Well, what is on your mind my dear angel?” said the teacher.
“I was just thinking,” said said trailing off.
“Yes?” said the teacher.
“I was just thinking what it would be like to have parents,” she said. “I mean like the humans do. What would it be like to have human parents?”
“Just think about how much God loves his angels and all the humans. Now, think of some small portion of that immense love and you get the love of a parent for a child,” explained the teacher.
“Well, then why is it so hard for them to honor their mother and fathers?” asked Taffy. “Why did God have to make that one of the Ten Commandments?”
The rest of her classmates were curious, too. They listened intently as the teacher thought for a moment.
“Here, let me show you this,” said Barachiel pulling down a projector screen. He pulled out a little remote control and pressed a button to bring up a slideshow of pictures. The first picture showed to young humans with tears in their eyes as they looked down upon a newborn baby.
“Wow, look at the joy on their faces!” said one of the students.
“That’s right,” said Barachiel. “This is a snapshot of two human parents looking down upon their newborn daughter for the first time. They are, indeed, crying tears of joy.”
Barachiel clicked a button to advance to the next slide. “Here is another picture of tears. This time the baby is crying and the mother is comforting her, trying to rock her to sleep.”
“She looks exhausted,” said a student.
“Ha,” said Barachiel. “She certainly is.”
He clicked the button and the next image on the screen showed both parents with watery eyes and smiling faces as they watched their toddler walk across the room.
“This is their baby’s first steps,” said Barachiel.
He clicked the button again. “And this is her first day of school.”
Again, there were tears in the eyes of the parents who watched the young girl waving back at them as she stepped on to a school bus.
Click. The next image showed the girl in a soccer uniform with her face in her hands. The parents sat beside her with arms around her shoulders.
“This is a picture of their daughter after she missed a game-winning shot for her school soccer team,” said the teacher.
Taffy’s hand went up. “Sir, do humans and their parents cry all the time?
“No, Taffy, but I wanted to show you some of the more emotional moments in the lives of this family,” he said. “You will notice how the parents share in her joys and share in her sorrows.”
“That sounds a lot like God,” Taffy said.
“That’s right, it is,” said Barachiel. “But every family isn’t perfect and kids and parents can sometimes have disagreements. Let’s fast forward into later moments in their lives.”
Barachiel clicked many times until he brought up an image of the mother crying and the father comforting her. Their child was not in the image.
“Oh no, where is the daughter?” asked an angel. “Is she in heaven?”
“No, she is still alive during this picture. She is gone, though. She had a fight with the mother. This is a picture just moments after they spoke on the phone. The girl is a grown woman now.”
“Why would they fight when they love each other so much?” asked Taffy.
“They do love each other, but the mom is upset with the choices her daughter has been making as an adult,” said the teacher.
“Does she still love her daughter?” asked Taffy.
“Yes, absolutely, but they are having a hard time talking without fighting,” said the teacher.
“So what happened?” said an angel.
“Well, let’s look at a picture of the daughter at this same moment,” said the teacher clicking the button.
On the screen the angels could see the girl, who was much older now. She was very angry. There were no tears in her eyes.
“Now, let me ask you this,” said the teacher. “If you were this young woman’s guardian angel, what would you do?”
The class was silent.
“Okay, let me ask you this first,” said the teacher. “Why is it important to help this young woman reconcile with her mother?”
The class was silent for a few more moments until Taffy finally spoke. “Well, she should honor her mother like the commandment says.”
“Yes, and?” said Barachiel.
“And . . . Her mother has always loved her and still does. She wants what she thinks is best for her daughter because she loves her,” said Taffy.
“So, what would you do as the daughter’s guardian angel, Taffy?” said Barachiel.
“I would . . . I would try to get her to remember all those moments we saw just now,” she said.
“That’s right! That is exactly what her guardian angel did,” said Barachiel clicking the button on the remote again.
“Here is a picture of the girl cleaning out her old room. She’s angry and still upset with her mother,” said Barachiel. “But if you look closely at the picture, you will see her guardian angel directing the girl’s attention to an old photo album. That photo album will contain many pictures of joyful moments shared between the girl and her parents.”
“Do they ever make up? Do they forgive each other?” said Taffy.
“Let me show you one last picture,” said Barachiel.
The next image on the screen showed the parents, who were much older now, standing over the shoulders of their daughter. She’s older than before but still young. All three of them have tears in their eyes as they look down upon a newborn baby.
“This is a picture of the parents with their daughter and newborn grandson,” said Barachiel. “And if you look closely you will see all of their guardian angels, too.”
The daughter’s guardian angel was shaking hands with the newborn baby’s new guardian. Above the shoulders of the parents (now grandparents) floated two more guardian angels shouting cheers of joy.
“Now, what have we learned about parents?” said Barachiel. “Taffy?”
The angel student thought for a moment. “What a blessing, sir. What a blessing it is for the humans to feel some small portion of the love of God through their moms and dads. Truly, what a blessing.”
“Can you explain why the commandment, ‘Honor your father and mother’ is so important?” said Barachiel.
“Because it helps them learn to love one another and love God,” said Taffy.
“Right, indeed,” said Barachiel. “Shall I continue where I left off? Are you ready to follow along, Taffy?”
The angel wiped a tear from her eye. “Yes, I’m ready.”
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