512 Words

Heaven, the Main Office; Monday Morning

Jean Goldstrom

It was Monday morning in Heaven, the Main Office, and the angel Gabriel could not find what he sought.

He had come to work early, just to start looking. The prayer in-baskets were filled to overflowing. Scanning handfuls of dry petitions in a nanosecond, Gabriel tossed them back on the pile. Same old stuff. If they weren't stamped automatically with the sender's identification, you couldn't tell one from another. Essentially, they said, "God, give me..." except in many more words.

And these weren't even the most annoying, Gabriel knew. That distinction was reserved for those prayers that he tossed straight into the Vain Repetition hoppers, where they were automatically logged by the name of the sender, contents summary (one word usually sufficed) date, etc. Then the prayer went straight to Heaven's power plant, where at least it provided heat, light and air conditioning.

Gabriel flipped through the overflowing in-boxes, uttering, as he often, did a silent breath of thanks that he didn't have to read them closely. A certain group of souls would soon analyze them, and log in all requests and responses, however dull, meaningless and repetitive.

Those souls, hypocrites who, if Gabriel had his druthers, would not have even attained heaven, for they had generated far more than their share of such empty prayers during life.

Now, it was their task to read the uninspired drivel aimed Heavenward by others of their kind.

Gabriel quickly riffled through the remaining prayers, heaving an angelic sigh. Taking the words "I," "me," and "my" away from some of these prayers would reduce their size by 50%---a Good Thing, in the angel's opinion.

Sometimes Gabriel felt sorry for The Boss, having to accept these communications forever. Then, Gabriel would realize, that's how The Boss planned it, so it was okay. After all, the angel reflected, The Boss has endless patience and a good sense of humor.

Something caught Gabriel's eye, gleaming at the bottom of one of the in-baskets. Could it be...?

Yes! The angel fished it out, sparkling and shining. It was a petition, written in a childish hand, and labeled,"The Prayer Tree." The carefully pasted-together set of papers contained prayers from a group of children.

The children asked for peace, and prayed for good health for Great Grandfather, requested blessings for their four best friends, thanked The Boss for pets and pals and schools and teachers and fun and laughter... a lump arose in Gabriel's angelic throat.

Now Gabriel spied just a few other sparkling and shining prayers here and there in the in-baskets. But what a precious few.

Gathering then into a small, beautiful pile that radiated and scintillated, Gabriel carried them lovingly to the Boss' desk. They would greet Him upon His arrival at Heaven, The Main Office. Gabriel knew what would happen.

"Hold my calls, Gabriel," the Boss would mutter, "while I give this My undivided attention."

"Yes, Sir," Gabriel would respond, enthusiastically, knowing that now it would now be a good day in Heaven, The Main Office---as it always was.

Copyright ©1998 Jean Goldstrom. All Rights Reserved.

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December, 1998
Issue #32

512 Words