When the time was right

When the time was right, God gathered together all the heavenly host, angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, all God’s servants, down to the very least.

“Watch” said God, and they all watched.

And God said “Let there be light” and there was light. Unimaginably bright spreading and rippling in every direction.
“Oooh” said the angels, “Aaah” said the Cherubim, “Cor” said the least of God’s servants
And as the light spread, it began to take shape and form.
It gathered into stars, hotter and brighter than any stars since. And the stars exploded almost as fast as they formed.
“Oooh” said the Seraphim, “Aaah” said the archangels, “Cor” said the least of God’s servants

And gradually the stars settled down and new things began to form, smaller, darker and colder, spinning and circling around the stars.
And God saw that it was good, but some of the smaller angels thinking the show was over began to tug their parents’ wings and ask if it was time to go home.

“Patience” said God, and a look of expectation came to his face.

The heavenly host looked and slowly they began to see on the cool bodies, something new, something strange. Pieces of matter joining together in ways so intricate and beautiful that it left them silent.

“Watch” said God and they all watched.

The life grew, sprouted, spread in a riot of different shapes, sizes, colours and sounds
“Oooh” said the Cherubim, “Aaah” said the angels, “Cor” said the least of God’s servants
So God saw every living creature with which the waters teem, and every winged bird of every kind and the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind, and God saw that it was good.

“Yes” said God, quietly.

The heavenly host burst into applause, clapping their hands, and their feet and their wings and calling out in loud voices.
“Hooray” called the least of God’s servants.
But God raised his arms for silence.

“Watch” said God, and they all watched.

And see, one of the creatures – not the biggest, or the smallest, or the fastest or the slowest, not one that could fly in the airy heights or swim in the ocean depths – turned its face towards the heavens and spoke: “God?” it said.

“YES!” cried God and leapt from the throne and danced around the gathering between the angels and archangels, the Cherubim and Seraphim and all his creatures down to the very least. And the heavenly host rejoiced with him, but as God sat down again on the throne, they saw on his face a look of apprehension.

“Watch” said God, and they all watched.

“Almighty” said one of the Cherubim, in a worried voice “It is a dangerous world – see how your creatures are burned by fire and swept away by water”
“I know” said God “but only in such a world could they have come into being”

“Almighty” said an angel, even more worried “Even those who do not perish from the dangers of the world, still very quickly fade and die”
“I know” said God “but without death as well as birth there can be no possibility of change”

Then a shock ran through the heavenly host.
“Almighty” whispered one of the Seraphs, pale and trembling “they are hurting … each other”
“I know” said God in a low voice, and the heavenly host saw tears in his eyes “but without the freedom to do this they would have been less than I intend them to be”

There was a long silence.

Then the least of God’s servants spoke.
“Almighty, these are the creatures you hoped for and they are all you intended them to be, but they are over there and we are here and there is no way for them to cross.”
“I know” said God “that’s why I myself am going to cross and bring them back.”

And when the time was right, to Cross he went.

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