Parting Glances: Tears for fears (a fable)

Charles Alexander
By | 2018-01-16T14:40:43-05:00 September 27th, 2007|Opinions|

The occasion was unprecedented for Angel 777, Assistant to Archangel 77, Under Assistant to Deputy Seraphim 7a.
It’s was also downright unthinkable, because Heaven’s so confoundedly immaculately well-ordered. A Foursquare City of Burnished Gold. Polished to perfection. Bright beyond remembrance of earth’s most glorious sunset. Peopled (an archaic expression) with thousands upon thousands (144,000 at final count) of carbon-copy souls, all wearing Size 3:16 Long, zipper-free, garments. Velcro. Whiter than snow.
Angel 777, in fulfilling the task assigned by Archangel 77 — at the insistence of Seraphim 7a — was a tad curious. Curious because Heaven’s also so, well, even-tempered. You know: without untoward negative emotion.
The presence of tears –even just one — must be an oversight. Surely not one to be overlooked.
But oversight on whose part? St. Peter’s? The Apostles? Maybe, wondered Angel 777 in fluttering his waxen wings nervously, it was the Disciple whom Jesus loved. Maybe Pope Pius Xll. Maybe Billy Sunday. But who?
A thing so minor — one lucent human tear — if detected by any of Heaven’s non-angelic, non-apostolic, citizenry, just might disturb the City’s perfect tranquility. Just might be a boo-boo to waffle the blissful, not-a-care-in-the-universe, Holy Harmony. Or befuddle the Majestic Monotony of eon upon eon of no sinning, no dancing, no hugging, no (whatever), no bingo, no taxes, no rigor mortis (physical, that is).
Just singing! Swaying! Clapping hands! Hallelujah!
Alas, however, the said offending tear wasn’t always visible. It gleams its sad little sparkle only when the Creator in His I-Max, 3-D, Stereophonic Glory appears before the Cumulous Clouded Choirs to hear them sing their million verse doxology. Music to The Eternal’s Ears (especially when mezzos and basses sing on key, and countertenors hit operatic D# above high C).
Angel 777 knew if s/he waited s/he would spot the little prism of light, pinpointing the unhappy soul who somehow smuggled the unwanted droplet through the Pearly Gates. And so it happened.
“Come hither, Weepy,” said Angel 777 to what appeared to be a young soul (old souls have four digit ID; he had six). “Nothing to fear. What’s this about a constant tear at the corner of the windows of your soul? Heaven’s for joy not tears.”
“I know,” sighed Newcomer 143789. “But I think my tear’s for an opportunity missed.” (He had heard an old Jewish saying, “God holds man accountable for pleasures not enjoyed.”) “I’ve been chaste,” trembled the lachrymosal lambkin. “I prayed daily. Went to church Sundays. Avoided naughty thoughts. I denied myself a sin God’s ministers cast stones at. It wasn’t easy denying who I am, er, was.”
“Of course your tear,” soothed Angel 777, “though a minor thing, a venial technicality, has no place here. And obviously there’s more where that one trickled down from. I’ll cellphone Archangel 77 to iPhone Seraphim 7a for what’s to be done in this most troubling case.”
So completed, Angel 777 whizzed back in a hot New Jerusalem minute (carrying a pair of Rose-Colored Aviator Glasses). “No one knows how your tear got past Old St. Peter. But because Time is Illusion here; Fact is Storybook fiction, you may return to planet earth — for one mortal minute — to a time and place fifty odd years ago — to experience one honest, tho’ short lived, pleasure not then enjoyed . . .

So, Dearly Beloved Reader, in exchange for one prohibited (but persistent) tiny heavenly tear, Weepy 143789, wearing rose-colored Aviator Glasses, gave a too-long-coveted boyfriend a too long-avoided, joyful, down-to-earth, same-sex smootch. (Thanks be to SARAH-phim 7a!) Mazel tov!

About the Author:

Charles Alexander