“I don’t care if you take the whole year off! You’re fired!” Dina hung up the phone and threw her papers off the desk. She’d had the same editor for six years and now she would have to find a new one. Dina had authored over thirty horror novels in that six year span. Three of them had turned into box office movie hits. She went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and came to the computer room. Her screen saver was on by this time. It was a silver ax with blood dripping off of it. It was the cover of her first horror novel.
Try as she might, Dina just couldn’t think to write about anything. Her life felt dull. Her mother had died two years before. Dina’s father had disappeared about the time he found out that her mother was pregnant. There were no siblings and Dina had no family. She got up and walked out of her apartment and down to the park. “I’ll just watch the ducks in the pond for a while.”
Just as she was sitting down, she noticed a man sitting on the other end of the park bench. Funny, she hadn’t seen anyone as she decided to sit here. ‘Oh well,” she thought, ‘I won’t bite if he won’t.’ She began throwing crackers to the birds. She had scooped up a few and had them in her pocket as she walked out her front door.
“Casting your bread upon the waters?” The man on the bench was speaking to her. Dina turned her head and got a better look at him. Thin, about thirty five and wearing jeans and a red and white striped long sleeve shirt. He was wearing a red ball cap. Thick glasses hid his eyes from her. If she didn’t know better she would have thought she’d found ‘Waldo’ of ‘Where’s Waldo?’
“Oh, hi!” she answered. “I like to feed the ducks sometimes.” The man nodded and sat back. He looked very relaxed as he watched Dina.
“You look like your upset. Want to talk? My name is Nathan.” The man didn’t offer his hand but remained leaning back on the bench.
Something about him made Dina feel the urge to explain herself. “I’m not a psycho or anything. I’m an author and I just fired my editor. He keeps making little mistakes that finally cost me some money. I just came here to clear my mind. I mean, sometimes I feel like I’m dead!”
The man went into a violent attack of sneezing. “Are you all right?” Dina asked.
“I’m fine, but don’t let anyone or anything make you feel dead. You are quite alive and best enjoy that gift!” Another sneeze or two and he was silent. He leaned over and touched Dina’s arm.
“Ouch! You gave me a shock!” Dina jumped.
“See, you are very much alive. No more talk about death ok?”
Dina was surprised to see that she felt very much like a living person. The sky was bluer and the greens were greener all of a sudden.
“How did you do that?” She asked.
“First, would you mind telling me how you started writing?” Nathan asked.
“Oh, well I used to write fantasy stuff in high school and entered one of my stories to a magazine. It was followed up with a few more. Then a friend suggested I write something with some bite in it. I started writing horror stories and ghost stories. It’s brought me enough money to buy the apartment I’m in and my own car. I go on a few trips too. It just seems so boring now though. Must be writer’s block or something.”
Nathan took a breath before answering. “I think you should change your entire line of writing. Have you ever written about the Father?”
“Who’s father?” Dina suddenly remembered the two words she used when describing her own father. ‘Silent and absent.’
“The Heavenly Father is neither silent or absent Dina.” Nathan looked deep into Dina’s brown eyes. Dina was twenty six years old. She’d never married because she had spent most of her time writing or taking care of her mother.
“Oh, you are a religious man aren’t you?” Nathan shook his head.
“I suppose I’ll have to tell you the truth from the start. You’ll be in shock, accuse me of lying and all sorts of things but it’s better to get it over with I guess. I am an angel sent from the heavenly Father. The creator of all has given me ‘you’ as an assignment.”
“Oh, sure!” said Dina. “I suppose now you are going to tell me that if I pass the test, you’ll get your wings right?”
“Wings? Oh, you mean like on that old movie ‘It’s a wonderful life? Every time you hear a bell ring sort of thing? No, Dina I won’t ever be getting wings. I’m not that kind of angel. I’m just a simple every day servant.”
Dina began to laugh. “So, what powers do you have? Can you glow like those angels in the TV program “Touched by and Angel?”
Nathan began to sneeze again. “You are idolizing the angels. I’m not here to put on a show.” He reached into his jeans and pulled out his pocket computer. After punching in a few keys he turned and told her all about her life as a child.
“You never knew your father and your mother was ill when you were in high school. You don’t have many friends. Your mother passed away two years ago. You’ve been burying yourself [excuse the pun] in horror stories. You feel empty now and lonely. Your favorite foods are hot dogs and pizza. You don’t own any pets. Your middle name is Andrea and your last name is Drake. Do you realize your initials spell D.A.D.? That was a little humor from your Heavenly Father.”
Nathan closed his computer and put it back into his pocket. “I could go on and on and remind you of times when you stood and watched other kids with fathers when you were in girl scouts but do you believe me now?”
Dina was too surprised to speak. As a final way to make her see he was an angel, he stood up and glowed like a fluorescent light bulb. “You people think this is so fantastic. It’s the glory from the Father coming through us. Your eyes sense it in a different reflective way than we angels do. We see the love in a person glowing much the same way as you see this glow on me.” He sat back down. “Now back to business,”
“Just my luck! I get to see an angel and he turns out to be a computer geek dressed like ‘Where’s Waldo’. How come you’re not wearing white robes?”
Nathan sneezed again. “There is no such thing as luck. But, that’s a whole other conversation I don’t want to go in to right now. In answer to the white robes, I’m not that kind of angel! What’s wrong with my clothes anyway? You people have to turn your eyes off and see with your heart more.” Just then Nathan’s computer beeped. Actually an entire symphonic sound came out. It sounded like the first stanza of “How Great Thou Art”.
Nathan read his message and clicked off. “What was that all about?” Dina asked. “Are you in trouble?”
“No, if I was in trouble I would be zapped out of here in a millisecond like Lucifer was. I was there that day by the way. Now you see him, now you don’t! Now there was an angel who glowed and glittered. God had made him so beautiful and then pride overtook him. He actually thought he was better than his creator. He refused to worship God. Reminded me of that old country song when old Lucifer worshipped himself as an idol rather than God.”
“What old country song?” Dina couldn’t believe she was sitting there talking to an angel about the day Satan was thrown from heaven.
“He found another and zzzzzzz he was gone!” Nathan began to laugh and his colors changed from fleshly pink to yellow and sparkles. “So, anyways I’m not in trouble or zzzzzz I’d be gone!”
“You laugh!” It was more a statement than a question.
Nathan smiled. “Now don’t get me wrong, I am not downplaying what happened on that day. But, I always thought that song was sort of funny and Satan really did disappear in an instant. Some of his followers went with him. We are not robotic angels that just go because God created us. We love our creator for many reasons. I live to serve him in whatever capacity He chooses. Yes, though in answer to your unspoken question. We angels laugh, we get angry [righteous anger], and we are sad to see the suffering and are amazed at the creator’s great love for human kind when they clearly turn away from Him constantly.”
Just then the hot dog vender came by. “Do you want a hot dog? Oh, you probably don’t eat earth food do you?”
Nathan laughed. “I don’t need to eat. I can though if I want. First I want to see what’s inside those hotdogs.” He pulled out his computer and clicked. Dina watched his eyes squint and his mouth screwed up. “Err, no thanks!”
“What did that little machine tell you?” Dina wanted to laugh but was afraid the angel would get upset. No sense upsetting an angel when she wasn’t sure what he’d do.
“The ingredients are salt, water, herbs, pork, chicken, turkey, beef, processed wheat, egg white, and it’s squeezed through animal intestines. I’ll stick to manna.”
“Well, don’t think about the ingredients. Just cover it with mustard and ketchup and chow down!” Dina began to laugh.
“I can get you one for free if you want one. I snitch them when he’s looking the other way.”
Nathan’s eyes grew large and he began to sneeze violently. “No, don’t steal and then try to give the contraband to an angel! What are you trying to do to me?”
Dina thought for a moment and then burst out laughing. She went to the hotdog vender and bought her lunch. She was still laughing as she sat back down with Nathan. She looked over at Nathan and he suddenly disappeared.
“Coward!” she yelled out. All of a sudden the wind picked up and her hot dog’s onions and mustard flew into her blouse! “Hey! Quit that!”
A boy walking his dog watched as Dina shouted into the air at no one. “You ok lady?”
Dina walked slowly to her apartment and sat down at her computer. Immediately she noticed that the screen saver had changed. Instead of showing the ax with the blood dripping off of the tip, it now showed a lamb sitting under a tree. ‘Oh for Heaven’s sake!’ she yelled. Then, she realized that wasn’t what she was trying to say. She tried to use the curse words that she usually verbalized but nothing would come out of her mouth.
“Bless God!” She jerked her head around in shock. “Son of a Blessing!” “I don’t give a flying Favor!” “Oh Shelter!” “Bless it!” “Kiss my prayers!” All of a sudden she heard Nathan laughing!
“Nathan, I thought God gave us free will?”
“He did. But, I’m not God and I won’t stop sneezing if you keep cursing so I changed the words to suit me! I got permission first. Keep trying to curse, this is great fun!”
Dina turned back to her computer. She was furious with Nathan. “Just forget about me writing anything but what I know. I have a terrific horror story started and I’m writing it. Just go away so you won’t get sick! Who ever heard of a sneezing angel anyways?”
Nathan disappeared and Dina thought she was rid of him for the night. She began writing her story and worked for almost an hour. When she looked up though, the monitor was a blank page. “Oh, great! My computer is going against my will too.” She tried to find her lost work when an idea came to her. She turned the computer off and went to her bedroom. Under a pile of old clothes in her closet lay an old type writer. It had been her mother’s present to her when she turned twelve.
She put the type writer on the table and grabbed some paper. Soon, she was typing away. A quick glance at the paper gave her another shock. She had read part of what she’d typed and then the ink disappeared. “Nathan!”
Suddenly, Nathan appeared seated at the table next to her. “Hi” He sat back with a pleased look on his face. “I can’t believe you keep antiques in this small apartment. That type writer must be very old. How’s the creativity going?”
“That’s just it you, you ‘Angel’ you! You won’t let me create!” Dina thought she just wanted this dream to be over and wake up to write another story of horror and gloom.
“You tried to call me a donkey didn’t you?” Nathan laughed for almost a whole minute in a half. Little sparkles were sent everywhere as he laughed. Dina was amazed that laughter could look so beautiful. When Nathan stopped laughing he took a good look at Dina. “You look tired. Maybe you should go to bed and tomorrow will look differently.” Nathan smiled and began to glow.
“Why are you glowing now? You just look so all fired happy with yourself! You are the most annoying angel! Go away!”
Nathan smiled and said. “I take my orders from a higher power!”
Dina still wanted to find a way to get rid of him. “Why aren’t you out finding me another editor since you are supposed to be my angel?”
Nathan picked up the scraps of paper that were strewn on the table. “Well, I’m not your personal angel Dina. I’m just on loan to edit your next story. You are going to write about Jesus Christ. It’s going to be a great book and many will be enlightened. But, for now I think you should just relax.” Nathan disappeared as Dina began to pick up her type writer and put it where she’d found it.
She came back to the computer and looked at the blank screen. Suddenly she felt alone and lonely. All of a sudden a scripture popped up. ‘Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
“Well, Nathan I really liked that idea.” Dina was surprised that Nathan didn’t appear. She decided that it was time to go to bed.
That night she had a busy dream. She was back in time. She was in Sunday school and listening as her teacher told the story of Jesus. “Jesus is the only son of God. He came to earth to die on the cross as atonement for our sin. You see, God is totally righteous, perfect and heaven is nothing but perfection. We can only communicate to God in spirit and in truth. When sin entered the world it severed the connection with our spirit. But, when Jesus died he made a way for us to reconnect to God through Him! It was never God’s intention for us to lose contact with him.”
All of a sudden Dina was dreaming of sitting with Jesus. “Do you believe I am the son of God Dina? Have you changed your will to allow me in again? You hardened yourself against me for so long. Come back to me Dina. I’ll never leave you.” In her dream Jesus looked so serious and it shook her to hear the love in his voice.
The next day Dina went into her closet and found her old bible. “Writing about Jesus might prove to be a challenge.” Dina sat down and read through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It was one p.m. when she put the bible down. She was shocked to see the time. She hadn’t eaten breakfast. She’d only meant to read a little and then eat.
She phoned for a pizza to be delivered. As she was paying the delivery man for the pizza she realized that Nathan was there. “That smells really good. What is it?”
“Well, hello Nathan. This is a pizza.” Nathan took out his pocket computer and scanned the pizza.
He stood looking at his computer a moment and then spoke out loud. “Let’s see cheese is a milk based food product. Milk is a white fluid produced by the mammary glands in humans and animals. This is cow’s milk. Cheese is created by the coagulation of the milk protein casein. Then, there are the tomatoes and spices. The bottom is flour, water and yeast and its called dough. It is a bread crust. There are mushrooms, and green peppers. Sounds interesting. I’ll have a few slices to be sure.”
Dina began to laugh! Let me get this right…you like cocoa and pizza but not hot dogs?”
“Well, so far that is correct. I like bread too. It reminds me a little of manna. I also like fruit and vegetables. Oh, I don’t like cabbage and spinach. Cabbage smells like rotten sewage and spinach looks like it’s been eaten all ready when it’s cooked.”
“So, you’re not a perfect angel?” Dina was teasing Nathan and he knew it.
“ I have my own will. I choose what I like.” Nathan began to smell the pizza. “I definitely am going to like pizza!”
After he ate six pieces of pizza, Dina was glad she’d ordered a large pizza. Nathan decided against the soda after he scanned it. “That’s just carbonated sugar water with artificial colors and flavors. It really isn’t good for you!”
Dina laughed and drank her soda. When they were through eating Dina told Nathan of her dream. “He just seemed so precious. In my dream I knew he was all powerful but he was gentle with me. I can’t explain it.”
Nathan smiled. “Just remember when you have seen him, you have seen the father. Our heavenly father is all powerful and also loving. He wants relationship with his children. For too long people have thought of him as a far away king who wanted to hurt them. Did you ever read in the bible where it says “Come boldly to the throne of grace?” That’s a heavenly father who wants you to come closer! It’s not a trap to hurt you.”
“That’s what I need to write huh?” Nathan nodded and relaxed in a chair. Dina sat and thought of her earthly father. “My own father never stuck around to ever see me, you know. I’ve seen some of my friend’s dads. Some were nice, some weren’t. I used to imagine having a father.”
Nathan knew something good was happening. “What did you imagine?”
Dina was a little embarrassed. “Well, for some reason I had this vision of him taking me camping. He’d make fried potatoes over an open fire. He’d fry bacon and eggs and we’d have this huge breakfast. Then, we’d go fishing. It’s funny, I hate fishing! But, I kept seeing him with a fishing pole.”
“What else?” Nathan was taking notes on his computer when it buzzed. “OK, I have to go for now.” He suddenly vanished.
Dina sat there with her thoughts of what her imaginary father would be like.
Dina sat in front of the blank screen and began to punch the keys. “Let me introduce you to my Heavenly Father.” She wrote. “I have just recently met him myself. However, it’s imperative for you to know that He is quite real. He made us after His own image. Many of us know about ‘The Father, the son, and holy spirit’ or also known as the ‘trinity’. I have discovered that we humans have a trilogy as well. The most important aspect of us is our ‘spirit’ then there is the ‘body’ that holds the spirit, and then there is the soul which is another word for the mind, will and emotions. The soul is an unruly part of our trilogy. It wants to go and do its own thing.
According to the word of God, we worship God in spirit. Yet, when sin entered the world the spirit was the first to disconnect from God. At the beginning of creation God breathed life into human man and he came to life. Only God was able to bring life to man through his spirit.
God is absolute perfection. No one can get near him in our imperfection except through his son Jesus Christ. If we were to enter His presence we would die without the help of Jesus Christ. There was a gap formed when sin entered the world. We are born with a sinful nature. No one has to teach a baby to sin. He is totally helpless, and totally self absorbed. His needs are all he thinks of.
We have to decide of our own free will to believe in faith that Jesus is the son of God. John chapter 12 says “Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day…”
Dina sat back and reread the words she had typed. So often she had heard the words…”Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” She felt a soft breeze and looked up to see Nathan smiling at her. “I want to stop you for a moment Dina.” He said.
So often people get bogged down with the idea that all they have to do is believe. Yet, even the demons believe and they don’t go to heaven. When we totally believe in Jesus we naturally will want to obey him as well. Dina nodded.
“I remember that old lady at church who used to sing the phrases ‘Trust and Obey”.
Nathan nodded. “The next step is realizing that humans are lost in sin and need a Savior. They walk, function and live but are unable to understand or grasp the Father unless they become alive in the spirit.”
“That happens when we believe what Jesus said and ask him to breach the gap between us and the Heavenly Father by becoming our Savior, right?”
Nathan sat back and relaxed. “Right.” He suddenly disappeared. Dina was left alone with her thoughts. She decided a walk would help her to focus on the writing she was about to do.
As she was walking she kept remembering the dream she’d had of Jesus. He was asking if she was ready to come back to Him. She stood in front of the park pond and didn’t know how she’d gotten there. The pond looked still with tiny ripples. Sunlight danced on the water. Suddenly she looked again and saw Nathan dancing on the water. He looked like he was ice skating. His clothes suddenly looked natural in red and white stripes. He was a joyful angel.
It dawned on Dina that in two short days she had laughed more than she had in a very long time. It didn’t bother her that she could see an angel. He made it seem natural and was quick to avoid her when she became too interested in his being an angel. He only wanted to point the way to God.
She realized that she believed but had not obeyed. She’d obeyed as a child but the grown up had forgotten Jesus. She had erected other gods in his place. Money, job, family and even had an erected an idol of darkness to worship. Her horror stories involved murder, blood thirsty fear and darkness. She saw Jesus on the water skating with Nathan. She couldn’t see his face but she realized that Jesus was laughing and more comical than Nathan. She watched and then went to the bench to sit down.
When she looked up, the vision was gone. All that remained was the pond. “You did better than Peter.” A voice was speaking to her from the other side of the bench.
“Oh, hi Nathan. What did you say?”
Nathan smiled. “You saw Jesus with me on the water and you didn’t go nutsy. You just watched. Usually, I have to tell people not to be afraid. In fact, most of us angels waste an awful lot of time saying “Fear Not”, even Jesus had to tell people “Fear Not”. But you were not afraid. You have much to decide Dina. I am not going to be here much longer.”
Dina smiled. “Oh, you have new orders?”
“Something like that.”
“Listen, I need to be alone for a while.” Dina looked up and Nathan had disappeared.
Dina began to pray in earnest for the first time since she was five years old. “Forgive me Lord. For whatever the reason I just blocked you out of my focus. I want back in with you. Revive me Lord.”
Dina heard the sounds of a steel drum band. The palm trees were swaying and she thought she saw sparkles on the grass in front of her. Far out in the middle of the pond she could see Nathan dancing with a lot of other people wearing odd colored clothes. They glowed and sparkled. Then she remembered that she had read in the bible, when a sinner repents the angels celebrate. Nathan was suddenly standing in front of her.
“You got it! Now, you can see my best moves!” Nathan did a backwards summersault to the beat of the music. Sparkles flew in all directions.
Dina laughed and watched like a child at her first circus. The joy inside of her bubbled out in fits of laughter. When things had quieted down, she was still sitting with Nathan on the bench.
“What will you write about the Father Dina?”
Dina sat and thought about it. Thoughts were coming to her mind quickly. It was like an entire movie flashed before her eyes.
The father was on the ground playing with his children. He was sitting there with a huge grin on his face. Presents for the children were scattered all around him. Yet, the children were more interested in climbing all over him. The children had no real ages in Dina’s mind. They were just HIS children.
He was telling them that he would always be there for them. He was instructing them in the way they should go. He was acting like a clown at times. His sense of humor was evident. His creativity in reaching his children astounded Dina. He was nothing like the father that she had envisioned. He was perfect. The son of God had peeled off the blinders in her eyes and she could see a heavenly Father that few could imagine.
He was holding a fragile child gently and encouraging him to walk. “I’ll be right here, just take a step. The child wobbled and was caught by the Father. He gathered several sad looking children and dried their tears. The love was more than Dina’s emotions could handle. She didn’t know she was crying until Nathan gave her a tissue.
He disciplined a child as well. It was a loving rebuke though and the child wasn’t crushed. Finally the Father turned smiling eyes to Dina herself. His arms were outstretched and his voice was like one of many waters. “I am holy and reverent. I have holy news for you! Come to me Dina!”
Dina ran and jumped into the Father’s arms. He swung her around in the air. “When you write about me, tell everyone I am Father. I will always be Father. Tell them I love them!”
When Dina looked to find Nathan as he was leaving. He was waving good bye. He waved with one hand and held a box of pizza in the other!