This story was originally written in 2009 based on a true experience I had while working retail in Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia. They come in and see me sometimes, these Angels of God. Something about organic food draws them in, or possibly it is the Crossroads, the first and oldest heart of this town that funnels…
Michael came to me on Monday. He didn’t make it farther than two steps in and then he froze still, his eyes locked to mine as I stood behind the register counter, smiling with a benign greeting. He offered me rapid and insistent blessings from his Lord, and I acknowledged them and offered them back in return.
“Can I help you find something today, Sir?” (and perhaps allay your intensity, which I will not otherwise flinch away from?)
“Look into my eyes, and tell me if you see God within me!”
“I surely do see God in you, Sir. I see him in everyone.” (so easy not to lie, sometimes.)
He disagreed – he insisted that his God is not in everyone because the Devil has a hold on too many people. Since I didn’t agree nor care to argue further with someone so passionate about his beliefs, I smiled and shrugged in such a manner that he may find agreement therein if he chose, and thankfully, he did.
I was regaled with a story from when he was incarcerated – of the guards in jail trying to put his Holy Lights out – the selfsame intense orbs which threatened to burn me in my boots should I prove to be a demon or otherwise negative influence bent of the destruction of all that is Good in his world. He asked for my name and offered me his: Michael.
Michael said that the Lord gave him that name, right after he cleared the fog of the guards’ mace from his eyes. He says the Lord took away all of his pain, and I believe him. How could I not, knowing that the Holy and the Crazy and the sacred/scared Fool are generally the one and the same. I offered Michael my own blessings, and he left as intensely and abruptly as he came in. He didn’t need organic food, just validation from the witch at the crossroads, I suppose.
God Bless You, Michael – the blessings of whatever God you serve, for I don’t think you’d care for mine. My pity goes with whatever demons your deep and wild eyes come across, for your God sends you forth with no fear…a dangerous course for ones so fleshy as ourselves.