Battle Worn Angel
By James E. Toebes
I had a dream that I died and went to heaven.

As I approached the pearly gates, I began to sense the wonder and joy awaiting
inside. The beautiful shining city awaited just on the other side. The streets
of gold and crystal buildings produced an enlighten glow beckoning me to come
inside. The soft, beautiful sound of the Angelic choir rolled around the
countryside letting me know this was the most holy place. Everything around me
proclaimed that this was the home of the Most High who had created everything.

Saint Peter approached, stepped through the gate, then produced the book of
life. As he thumbed through the book, he kept finding my name, but then it was
crossed out. Page after page he turned and kept finding the same. He reached
the last page then closed the book. Without saying a word, he turned, entered
the gate then stepped back in. As he began closing the gate,I began to
protest. Before I could utter the first sound, the Lord himself appeared and
handed him a note. Peter read the note then spoke as he opened the gate again.
"Seems to be a last minute addition here, Welcome."

I began to enter in. A commotion broke out behind me with a shout to please
move aside. It was a bit disturbing in such a serene place that I turned to
see the cause. Two angels were carrying a third to heaven on a stretcher. The
poor angel looked like it had been in a war. I saw the broken arm, bandaged
halo, and leg cast. I wondered what could have happened that would do such a
thing to an angel.

I stood there staring as the group passed me by. The one on the stretcher gave
a strained cry to stop. In the strongest voice he could muster, I heard 'Is it
him?' I stepped aside so the Lord could approach. He picked up the angel in
his arms and turned to face me. With a smile on his face, he responded simply
"Yes" and the angel rested in his arms.

After taking in the sight for a few minutes, I mustered up the courage to ask
"What could have done this?".

The reply stunned me to silence "You".

After pondering this a few minutes, I meekly asked "How?"

The angel having regained strength from the Lord answered. "I was your
guardian angel in life. I thought many times that my mission had succeeded.
Your name was added to the book of life with much rejoicing. But each time,
you turned and headed in a new direction. With much sorrow, I had to mark out
your name.

"The time you prayed in Sunday school, we rejoiced. Then you fell in with the
wrong crowd in high school..."

"The time you returned to the church fellowship, we celebrated for a week.
Then you learned how to 'play church' and we cried"

"The time you realized that God had plans for you, we cheered. Then you
decided your plans were more important...."

"Many more times ensued all with the same theme. All with similar endings.
Finally with your time running out, God sent me and said don't hold back. I
didn't and neither did the enemy. We fought for days with every effort spent.
I thought all was lost when the demons caused your demise. As I was laying
there wondering how I had failed. These other two angels arrived. The demons
were getting ready to bring you back as a prize when the angels spoke. They
said 'We have a message, In the name of Jesus, be gone.' The demons hissed 'He
is ours, you have been defeated'. The angels replied, 'Watch'.

I said I remember. I laid in the hospital for a few days. I realized that all
my efforts had been in vain, being focused on me. The doctors were warning my
family that I would not make it. I recovered enough that I whispered a few
last words "Love Ya., Love God". Then I was here.

I suddenly realized the price paid to be here. The angel, fully recovered said
"Now, let me show you around."