(and now, a bit of melancholy in the form of prose poetry.)
But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
-Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)
I remember when my love called me Angel. (it seems long ago, but it was not.) As now, I was no radiant being then. My best guess, and hope, is that in my arms was some security. Safety. That I was less a threat than a guardian. Perhaps that is why she called me Angel. Whatever the reason, I loved the name as I loved her.
Since, the word has floated past me, sometimes toward me, perhaps a few times. Angel. Each time, I remember holding my love as though I sought to keep her. She has not called me that in these few years. Angel. If that is what I am now, I have one wing at best. Perhaps I always have. Certainly, I have always borne wounds from the same demons I seek to protect my loves against.
It seems that, even in my most radiant days, I have always been a man with paper wings. So often, I want to be more. What can a man do? Angels fly. Angels strike with divine swords. Angels appear when they are needed, alight with strength. Angels deliver judgement. A man sees an angel and trembles.
What can a man do?
If I were to ask she who was my love, she would tell me, as she has before. There is much a man can do. I have heard the proof whispered thank you, or I love you. I draw in these words as I draw in breath or water. I feel them as I feel the warmth of light. Without them, I begin to panic.
Angels depend on the Lord alone. Men should, but do not. My idols are her smile for me, her head on my shoulder, and her hand in mine. The Lord has made these things good, but He has not made them God. The angels remember this well. Too often, I forget.
I want to learn. To love and not possess. To serve expecting no payment. To desire, and not receive. Humbly. Peacefully. Until I can do these things, I will remain a dim sort of angel. A man in a costume. No less an emissary of God, but less obvious. Less consistent.
I hope that someday my wings will not longer be paper, but cloth.