Of course it'll work. It always works.

2003-09-13 21:14

For eternal beings, they are strangely impatient. “Will it work? Will it happen?” “Of course it’ll work. It always works.”

The archangel Gabriel steps back from his handiwork, in which he is well pleased. It has, of course, been done perfectly; every detail is just so. The preparations are complete; when the one they are waiting for arrives, things will be as he expects them.

The angels stand back, waiting.

A man walks into the room. Overwhelmed by the assembled beauty before him, he doesn’t look down.

John Ritter trips over the ottoman, one last time.

The angels bow in reverence. They have seen something which was made, but which was made by mortal man. They have been privileged to experience something which was created, but not by the Creator. It amazes them, every time, as it always has and always will. They don’t understand how it is possible, but they don’t need to understand.

My spouse wrote an article, ending with “O God, I see now why you commanded the angels to bow down.” When I read this essay, it occurred to me that even the most trivial and banal creations of humanity must seem wondrous to the angels. We are doubtless as strange to them as they are to us. Where we wonder, and doubt, and have faith and hope, they have only certainty. They cannot wonder whether we are real; they simply know things. The things they don’t know aren’t mysteries, though; they simply don’t know them. No mystery.

In all the mythology where we speak of humans as “superior” to angels, we are missing one central point. “Superior” is the wrong word. We are good people; they are good angels. Cats are good cats. Each thing is good at being what it is. There is nothing wrong with being mortal, uncertain, and ephemeral, as long as you’re good at it. Trying to explain why we’re so special holds the risk that we’ll start assuming we’re better than all the other things, which we tend to assume aren’t special. I think they’re all special – in thousands of different ways, each also important.

Anyway, just some idle thoughts. Jesse’s article is way cooler than mine, and you should read it.

Peter Seebach