In a remote corner of Heaven, far from the eyes of all, a solitary seed grew. No neat row in a carefully-tilled garden for this young one. By some accident, it had fallen unnoticed from a seed pouch carried by the angel responsible for sowing the next crop of youngsters.
The angel was on his way to a special spot in Heaven, called the Life Gardens, where guardian angels were created. Sown in perfect, regimental rows, the harvest from these seeds was destined to be raised and educated to protect human lives.
The seeds themselves are not the angels, for angels are not plants. Rather, the seeds become the plants that are the home and womb for new guardians. Gardening angels keep watch on the growth, making sure that each one receives a lot of attention. Their days, such as they are in human measuring, are spent fertilizing the new sprouts; not with garden-variety plant food, but with love and affection.
Thus, in due course, the sprouts become leafy, lettuce-like growths. After awhile, a large bud forms in the center of each one. The new angels can soon be seen in the folds of the leaves, and it is a great day indeed when the baby angels finally burst out, fully-formed, from their plant-wombs.
Oh, the celebration! It goes on and on. Everyone is so happy to see these new little ones arrive! And little they are, no bigger than a small child. They look very much like little children, too, with the innocence and trust inherent in human babies.
From the time they first make their appearance, they know that guiding and protecting mortals will be their goal and reason for existence. There isn’t much that they know beyond this basic instinct. It is up to the older angels, especially the Returned, to instruct them in the ways of the Guardian Angels. These little ones will spend much time being schooled before they are paired up with their new humans.
And so it was that the newest crowd of guardian-angel trainees was ushered off to Angel School shortly after their arrival in the garden. All but one; in that secluded corner, away from the festivities and anyone’s knowledge, other new eyes watched from the cover of a low-spreading tree. For the seed lost there so long ago had, on its own, without help or care, grown up as quickly and as vigorously as the others. About the same time as the garden plants, this one had also produced a little angel. Yet there were no celebrations surrounding him, and no one to tell him where to go or what to do. He was completely on his own.
Or was he? It seemed to him that he was, since no one had paid him any attention. But, unknown to him, there was One Who knows what is going on in Heaven at all times, even if His angels get a little careless.
But at the time, the little angel had no idea of any matters greater than himself. He sat idly on a stone, not feeling much of anything. No dejection, no interest, just…existing. He couldn’t feel happy either, because no one was there to show him what happiness was. That was the real beauty of all those new angels coming out in neatly-arranged rows; they could tell right away that they were wanted, and since happiness was the first emotion that met them, it was the center of their existence.
Once the happy crowd had passed his hiding place, the angel crept out from under the tree and looked around him. He could see the last of the crowd turning a corner far down the road, and wondered if he should follow. What it was that stayed him, he could not remember when asked about it later. Perhaps it was the turning of a leaf in the soft breeze, or perhaps he was just too interested in his surroundings.
For there was beauty everywhere he looked, or he would think so if he knew what beauty was. All he knew was that he liked what he saw, and wanted to see more.
He stretched, noting that he could grow to whatever size he wanted. He didn’t have a finite body, just as all other angels, so he could assume whatever shape he wanted just by thinking about it. However, his ability at this age to accomplish it well was not too refined. He would learn later that it was one of the most important subjects taught in Angel School.
Of course, right now he didn’t know anything about that. Even though imperfect at it, he was having a great time changing shape. He attempted to look like the low stone wall by which his plant had sprouted, but ended up looking like a purple, moss-covered chair. There was a bench nearby, and he tried to shift into that shape. This time he morphed into a small dog in dire need of a combing.
After awhile, he tired of the game, and considered what he would do next. The road stretched out beyond him, to his right and left. It curved between fields and around groves of trees, winding i
nto low hills on one side and through a cluster of buildings not too far the other way. He saw no one about, at least not as far as he could tell. It was very quiet, except for the occasional chirping of a bird in the trees.
In the quiet of his surroundings and the quiet of his heart, the little newcomer could feel a Presence, which seemed to illuminate and give warmth to everything around him. If felt good, that warmth, and he would have been only too happy to do nothing but bask in it as long as it remained.
And the Presence watched His lost little angel, and smiled.