The Loyal Angel

 

This excerpt is from Chapter 19:

 

Chapter 19

The Accuser

 

 

    I say they were arguing, but in reality, it was Lucifer who was arguing with the Lord. He gesticulated wildly with his hands as he stomped about, pacing this way and that, all the while, railing against the injustices he saw as having been done to him. The Son stood still, evincing no discernable emotion. This appeared to frustrate Lucifer even further, and he wheeled about to face the Lord as he continued his diatribe.

    "I do not understand why You thought You needed to create all this in the first place! Was Heaven not enough for You? Were we not enough for You?"

    The Lord said nothing, seemingly willing to allow Lucifer to vent all his frustrations before responding.

    "And You did it all without even a mention to me!" he pressed, waving his hands. "I am not saying You needed my approval, but I would have thought You would at least give me the courtesy of foreknowledge. You left me out of Your plans and forced me to find out what happened as it unfolded as though I was one of the common angels!"

    I was struck by this different Lucifer. This was not the calm, confident leader of the Morning Star Legion. This was not the smooth, haughty speaker who addressed the masses of heaven from the lectern and evinced such authority. This Lucifer was a petulant child throwing the angelic version of a tantrum. It reminded me of the first time I had seen him without his public demeanor.

    I thought back to that day in front of the City gates when he confronted the cherub about wanting to leave Heaven. It seemed a long time ago, although it had only been a few days. I had seen this side of him then as well, the private side, the one the congregation of Heaven was not permitted to see. It made me wonder, which was the real Lucifer? Was the Morning Star we were all treated to in public just a façade, a carefully constructed ideal meant to reinforce his prestige? If so, he was an accomplished liar.

    Lucifer continued his rant. "I have been extraordinarily patient and understanding! I did not object when You expanded Heaven and created all the other angels. I did not complain when You stopped spending as much time with me in the Holy of Holies.

    "All that was well and good. You are God, and that is Your prerogative. But then You go and do all this!" He spread his arms and turned about to indicate the earth. "You create an entire universe of amusements for Yourself and leave me out of the planning. You did not even tell me You were going into the void! You left me to find out at the same time as everyone else, and from a cherub!"

    He infused the last word with the derision one might when referring to an unclean animal. The aura burned white hot in him, and his voice shook the ground around him in his fury. It occurred to me he had been holding onto this rage, burying it deep in anticipation of this interview with the Lord. His anger had not been allowed release for the entire week in heaven as God proceeded with His creation. Lucifer had been confined there without the opportunity to give vent to his frustrations.

    He could not discuss them with the other angels in Heaven. That would have breached the veneer he created for himself. Except for that first lapse in front of the palace at the end of the Triumphant Processional, he had purported to know everything the Lord was doing.

    That had been the first crack in the armor. His surprise and embarrassment at not having possessed foreknowledge of the Lord's departure had been evident. After that, he managed to reconstruct the image of his position, to restore the illusion that he was privy to the mind and actions of God. He could not admit his ignorance to any in the Holy City without shattering that illusion. He had held onto this anger and frustration for days, and now it was achieving release, like a dam that had been breached, unleashing a torrent of emotion.

    "And worst of all," he pressed, his fury unabated, "You go and create this mortal creature, this man, and You give him a soul! You make him mortal, yet You provide a means for him to attain eternal life. It is unnatural, an abomination!"

    Lucifer brought his hands up and peered into the palms as though an explanation to the Lord's actions might be found there. He stared at them as he concluded his argument.

    "You give this man dominion over the earth and treat him as though he possessed some sort of majesty. He is weak and frail and unworthy of Your affection. It is an affront to me and the other hosts of Heaven. It is insulting, and I will not stand for it!"

    The hands came down sharply as Lucifer finished this last statement, and he glared at the Lord intensely, the light of his aura lancing forth. With Lucifer's tirade exhausted, the Lord God spoke for the first time, and although His voice was quiet and calm, it rumbled with barely restrained power.