89 comments

May 05, 2021

Inspirational Christian Drama

Before—everything mattered. Now? Nothing does. 


“It seems excessive—” the new angel says, eyes brimming with tears. “Grief descends on them so quickly.” He looks down again, keenly feeling each pang of despair, pooling in black waves around them like a treacherous sea.  

“It does,” the old archangel agrees. “But in their particular realm, grief is usually conflated with fear. The ‘not knowing’ is the hardest part for them.” 

“My heart hurts,” the new angel laments, folding his hands together over his chest. 

“I understand your concern, but our job is to serve humanity, not wallow with them,” the old archangel reminds him. 

“How?”

“I’ll show you.” The old archangel hurries them along, lest the new angel will start peppering him with endless questions—questions even old archangels have no answer for. For some questions, perhaps only the cherubim and seraphim do.

“That poor child—!” The new angel points into the expanse, eyes wide with horror. 

“That child will need strength from this experience to carry him through future trials,” the old archangel explains matter-of-factly. “It would be worse if he did not progress.”  

The old archangel does not mean to be dismissive, but there is so much to learn in becoming a guardian angel. If the new angel weeps over every momentarily lost soul, he will never finish his training. If that occurs, the old archangel will never advance to principality, perhaps never entering the second triad of angels.

“O, I can hear their intercessory prayers,” the new angel calls out, throwing himself on a cloud, sobbing. “They are calling out for me!”

“They are not calling out for you,” the old archangel chides. “They are calling out for light.”  

He lets the new angel cry. 

The old archangel sighs, remembering when he first was called to minister. Has he grown so callous over time? Easy to forget grief’s shadow when surrounded by perpetual light. These mortals did not seem to know what to do when heartache saps every shred of faith—faith that all things might happen for a reason.  

No wonder half the earth sits in darkness.

The new angel stands up. “Why did you say they want light? There is the sun. There is the moon and stars and lights in the firmament. They are bathed in light!”

“Those lights are reassuring and good, but more than anything, our grief-stricken friends want purpose and meaning to their suffering,” he explains. “That is what brings them from the brink: the things that truly matter.”

“What truly matters?”

“It depends,” says the old archangel. “It depends on what their hearts are set on.” 

“I need to guard them against grief,” declares the new angel, balling up his fists.

“You will most likely need to guard them against the desires of their heart.” 

The new angel looks puzzled. “What do they want?”

“Usually what they cannot have,” replies the old archangel. “Or what they should not want in the first place.” 

“Let me see so I can serve them better.”

“You are not entirely ready to be a guardian,” the old archangel says. “However, there is someone you should see.”

Since the past, present, and future do not flow like a river but are ever present, the old archangel takes him to see a little girl in the 1950’s. Dressed in a yellow gingham skirt and white top, she openly weeps on the floor of her somber bedroom, arms wrapped tightly around a fuzzy brown bear. 

“WHO MADE HER CRY,” demands the new angel. 

“Her friends. She did not get a part in the school play,” the old archangel recounts. “Her friends have been assigned choice roles, and they teased her. She feels utterly abandoned.”

The new angel looks murderous. “Let me SMITE them. I will smite them all.” 

“No,” the old archangel replies. “Just go sit by her side. Allow her to remember how much she likes performing on stage. Give her glimpses of future possibilities.”

“But listen to her! HER HEART IS CLEFT IN TWAIN!”

“She is going to learn compassion once the clouds clear. She will need it when she runs her own theater company one day.”

“There must be an easier way,” the new angel objects. 

“There is not,” the old archangel sighs. “So much of this realm is paradoxical. We help by not helping. Go and sit by her. Guard her heart against bitterness.” 

As the new angel carefully finds his way to the little girl’s side, he sits with his legs crisscrossed under his white robe next to her on the floor. 

Hours pass. 

Tears dry. She gets up and blows her nose. While she is up, she pulls out a scrapbook from a shelf, flipping through memories of past plays and performances. A smile of memory dissipates the gloom. 

“You did well,” the old archangel decides. 

“I didn’t do anything,” the new angel replies. 

“You did enough,” the old archangel says. “Now come with me. She will need you in twenty years.” 

In the 1970’s, the little girl is a lovely young woman, in her peak of beauty and elegance. Again, she is splayed out on her bedroom floor, rivulets of mascara dripping down her cheeks. Torn love letters and mementos are scattered across the orange shag carpet. 

“WHO MADE HER CRY,” the new angel demands again, this time through clenched teeth. 

“She made herself cry,” says the old archangel.

“How did she do that?” the new angel inquires, looking skeptically. 

“She loved someone she should not have. Someone who had made vows to another.”

The new angel looks down at his sandals. “I don’t know how to help her.”

“You help her by not helping her.” 

“Do I just sit by her?”

“You just sit by her.”

“Do I guard her heart?” 

“Yes, guard her heart,” the old archangel advises. “Guard it against bitterness. She will be very sad for a long time, but she will learn what love and commitment really mean. In time, she will heal and find someone she should love.”

“But she is in such pain,” the new angel cries. “This wound is far deeper than missing out on a school play . . .”

“One day she will fondly remember her lover, but with far less anger and far more gratitude. She will remember how much she learned from him.”

“So, memory enlightens them?” the new angel asks.

“Memory is light,” the old archangel replies, putting a hand on his shoulder. “And your friend will sorely need you again soon. Bring as much light as you can conjure up.”

In the 2020’s, the lovely young woman is old and tired and gray. Once again, she is in her bedroom, collapsed by her bedside, past the point of feeling, stunned into a bottomless despair. 

The angels stand by in silence. 

Finally, two large tears slowly roll out of the corners of the old woman’s eyes. 

“Who made her cry,” the new angel asks quietly. The scene is too tender to speak above a whisper.

“God,” the old archangel replies. 

“Why would God—”

“Shh. Go sit with her. Guard her heart against bitterness.” 

The new angel sees in the old woman’s mind’s eye all the hopes and dreams for a beloved grandson, cruelly shattered, as the baby is stillborn. 

The new angel cries with her. When he looks up, he sees the old archangel is weeping, too.

“What possible lesson can this teach her?!” the new angel fiercely asks.

“This lesson is not for her, but for her own daughter. A parent feels triple the loss, once for themselves and double for their child." 

“It’s almost unbearable,” the new angel murmurs, looking up from the old woman’s side.

“True,” the old archangel agrees. “Parents would gladly take on their children’s suffering. Imagine how God feels.” 

The angels sit by her side for an even longer time. Eventually, the swirling darkness fades from black to blue to purple to pale green to yellow. 

“What is happening now?” asks the new angel.

“She is remembering her own children, and those memories bring both light—and hope.” 

“Then, let there be light,” the new angel says, looking out the old woman's bedroom window, watching the golden flickers of a sunrise peak over the horizon, neatly dispelling the darkness. 


Before—everything mattered. Now? Everything might.



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89 comments

Kelly Kaloo
16:37 May 05, 2021

Oh, wow. This was profound and intensely emotional. What a lovely and inspiring concept for life and grief and love and ultimately hope... Beautifully done :)

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Deidra Lovegren
18:13 May 05, 2021

"Why bad things happen to good people" is always puzzling. We like when bad things happen to bad people (schadenfreude). We can stomach good things happening to bad people. And we LOVE when good things happen to good people. But when innocents get whacked by the vagaries of life? Oof. Tough sell.

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Kelly Kaloo
18:28 May 05, 2021

Too true...

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Helen Ross
08:30 May 07, 2021

this one really got me! I feel like we all have moments of being that new angel when our friends are hurting, that we want to smite down their boyfriend/parents/other friends etc., I could really feel that anger but the fact that the solution was such peace was really beautiful! lovely story, but yours always are, it's not a surprise!

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Deidra Lovegren
08:37 May 07, 2021

This is really kind of a tribute piece. I feel I’ve put my own guardian angels through hell these past fifty years. I’m sure they are sick of teaching me the same lessons over and over again 🙃

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Helen Ross
08:45 May 07, 2021

what fun would life be if we actually listened to the advice we give and receive? ;)

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Deidra Lovegren
08:51 May 07, 2021

Exactly. Advice is so pointless. It’s much more fun to smack into the wall and fall into the same hole 🕳 eighty bazillion times. Wheee! Splat.

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Ramie Creates
10:44 May 07, 2021

Excellent 👏👏 "We're helping by not helping" It's very true. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen and make us remember about the good memories and things we have and had in life.

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Deidra Lovegren
01:05 Jul 07, 2021

Excellent point. Thanks for commenting :)

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Aaina Aleszezyk
08:14 May 07, 2021

Beautifully written. You are such an inspiring and versatile writer. I've always wanted to write like you. It's a privilege to be able to connect with you via your story and the comment section. When I was a newbie here, I read your story and instantly fell in love with the way you write. -An addlepated teen who looks up to you.

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Deidra Lovegren
08:46 May 07, 2021

Your graciousness heartens me. You know how lonely it is to write, to put down the reddest part of your heart and offer it up to the void. That said I think it’s more important that you write like you. Your perspective is as valid and good as mine. I need to read yours and see what I’m missing. We old people have no corner on the market of truth and beauty. Your expression is just as important—if not more so—since you understand what’s really going on in this world more than we do, Some people remain stuck in the past and today is so vastly...

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Aaina Aleszezyk
13:44 May 07, 2021

Well said. You are among the best writers on Reedsy for a reason. You also are among the most loved because of your down to earth nature. Thank you for teaching me an important lesson. We teenagers sometimes are inspired by people because we think they're cool, or we pretend to look up to someone because of peer pressure. But you are my inspiration not because of peer pressure but because of your talent, humbleness and perseverance.

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Rayney Day
15:29 May 11, 2021

I am in the same boat. So many writers on here are just so amazing and they really inspired me to write my first story. I have been a part of Reedsy for at least a few years but I never got up the nerve to write a story, for fear it wouldn't be as good as everyone else's. You, Deidra among other people have written so beautifully that it inspired me to write as well. Thank you so much.

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Aloe Plant
04:46 May 07, 2021

Wow, Deidra, yet again you've managed to weave a story as beautiful as this. I love that this story is both religious and at the same time not, as it mostly about loss, and less about God. Please, keep up the amazing work!

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18:32 May 05, 2021

'let me smite them. i will smite them all.' *chef's kiss* great story, deidra! the prose hovered on the edge of poetry, the way he was angry at first, sort-of-kind-of angry in the second, and then resigned at the third really resonated with me. the way that they both learned from each other (the older angel and the younger one) was amazing. and how you just brushed on the idea of triads and angel rankings made us feel like there was a lot we had left to touch on. *wiggly eyebrows* part two, maybe?

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Deidra Lovegren
18:41 May 05, 2021

Angels Part Two will probably involve tequila and gunplay. (You know the old archangel is going to crack if he doesn't get a promotion...)

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20:09 May 05, 2021

*not me falling out of my chair laughing at this-*

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Aisa M
05:08 May 07, 2021

This is beautiful.

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Deidra Lovegren
09:19 May 07, 2021

Cathartic to write ✍️ Thanks 🙏🏻

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Rachel Loughran
11:14 May 06, 2021

Another beautiful, heartfelt story. A really tricky subject but you handle it so well. Thanks for posting this!

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Deidra Lovegren
11:47 May 06, 2021

Thanks, Rachel. One day it will be nice to have all the answers to our existential questions. Until then? We'll tell each other stories. :)

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Phoenix Hawkins
02:13 May 06, 2021

I can hardly express how lovely this story is. Everything is so beautifully expressed, particularly the new angel's emotions and struggles. They're so raw, and I felt them as strongly as he did. It seems like the old and new angel complemented each other very well. I will say that while I know there's some sort of higher power watching over us all, I'm not sure if it's God or someone/something else altogether. But whatever the case may be, I'm sure that these are their/its feelings about us humans. Thank you so much for offering this perspec...

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Deidra Lovegren
11:19 May 06, 2021

That is the most heartfelt comment I've ever received and I thank you for it from the depths of my own heart. After raising three children and being a schoolteacher for decades, I've come to understand that the only true power in the universe is love. It's the only thing that creates, nurtures, grows, heals, unites. Almost anything else is destructive or detrimental or neutral. Whatever else God may be, he or she most certainly is the embodiment of love, someone who will sit with you through the long nights.

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Phoenix Hawkins
14:55 May 06, 2021

That is so true. Love conquers all, they say. Maybe that is the power I see at work most days. I think it certainly has gotten my family through some tough moments, that's for sure.

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Charlie Murphy
21:03 May 05, 2021

I LOVE THIS STORY! GREAT JOB!

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Deidra Lovegren
21:16 May 05, 2021

THANK YOU CHARLIE MURPHY WHY ARE WE YELLING WHEEEEEEEEE

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Charlie Murphy
23:19 May 05, 2021

=D Thank you for liking mine. What did you like about it? If you answer, please write it on mine.

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Valerie June
03:15 May 12, 2021

Sometimes, the best way to comfort someone is to just be there. Pain will continue to grow stronger but so does hope and love!

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Deidra Lovegren
15:24 May 12, 2021

Well, said, Jose. I agree with you infinity times infinity. :)

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Janet Lee
21:53 May 10, 2021

Oh my gosh Deidra, what a beautiful story, I felt every emotion which the new angel went through, especially the wish to make everything right for people who are suffering. I love that in the end the best way for the angel to help them, was to just sit with them as they went through the emotions necessary for them to come out back into the light. I've never really understood what a guardian angel is or how they 'guard' us, but now I feel that I might actually have one. My life has been a never ending roller coaster of personal hardships, des...

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Deidra Lovegren
22:40 May 10, 2021

What a great compliment—I am so touched by your thoughtful comments. I’m sorry for your trials and troubles. You must be fully bulletproof by now though (haha) 🙂Earthly life seems so inherently unfair, but I think our eternal life will be far more generous. I’m grateful for angels who sit by us in the dark. They choose how well they guard us, and mine have been on double duty for awhile. Life is bittersweet, but also very good. I wish you much peace and continued faith as we move forward. Lots of ❤️

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Janet Lee
23:59 May 10, 2021

Thanks for your well wishes Deidra. This is the first story I have ever put up for other people to read and I'm very happy for the few likes I have so far. I'm feeling as though my life has purpose and probably always has, I just didn't know it. Happiness and peacefulness to you also. :)

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Isabelle K
14:58 May 10, 2021

This is amazing! The flow of the story, the character's dialogue, the emotions in the scenes with the woman...all of it was so beautiful and so well done. I love the concept of the how exactly the angels can help us and made them more human-like in how they feel (especially the younger one) about the sad parts of the human experience. Most of all, the timing of this story is just *chef's kiss*. I really enjoyed reading this! Great job!

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Deidra Lovegren
15:57 May 10, 2021

Thanks, Isabelle. The *chef's kisses* are my favorite.

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Richard Hawkins
16:28 May 08, 2021

Well done I have often tried to picture the workings of angel you have done your research. Your POV is outstanding

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S. Closson
03:46 May 08, 2021

This was a very touching story, I liked the uplifting take on such a heavy topic. I could almost see this being in a Christopher Moore novel. Great work!

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16:17 May 05, 2021

Wow. WOW. wow. WOW This was just ethereal and light, hopeful, and inspirational. The idea was golden and your execution was once again, adequate. The mood and the flow of the events throughout the women's life and the way you portrayed her sorrow seemed dreamlike and effortless. The Angel's emotions were perfectly portrayed you showed the restraint so well.😍 I am speechless and confounded:0 In recapitulation, This is too beautiful to express in words. My favorite sentence is: “But listen to her! HER HEART IS CLEFT IN TWAIN!” The words yo...

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Deidra Lovegren
18:11 May 05, 2021

I wasn't sure how this was going to go...but always fun to speculate about heavenly beings and their concern for us. I hope they are there and watching over us. Life would be far too terrifying otherwise... Thanks for the enthusiastic support. :)

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22:18 May 06, 2021

Your welcome. You deserve support and I know I'm not the first to say it. I enjoy reading and learning from your brilliant writing. Like Valarie Luna, I wholeheartedly agree with the possibility of getting all your short stories published into one book. It would definitely be on my shelf within the first few days of it coming out. I have a question I have been pondering over these past few days. Why did you follow me? It's not my intention to sound ungrateful. By all means, I am nothing but grateful. I was just wondering--that's all. I am...

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Deidra Lovegren
08:31 May 07, 2021

Why would I not follow you? I enjoy reading other’s stories and find many kindred souls on Reedsy. We all help each other progress in writing better—whether it’s comma usage or moral support. That’s why I love this forum ❤️

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22:59 May 07, 2021

I agree, it's people like you that motivate me to continue writing. Thanks, Deidra:)

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18:19 May 05, 2021

Your very welcome:) On second thought, do you mind checking out my latest story, if your schedule permits?

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Deidra Lovegren
18:19 May 05, 2021

Just read it. Ah, high school romance...(usually ends in a trainwreck)

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18:23 May 05, 2021

High school romance?

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Deidra Lovegren
18:26 May 05, 2021

OMG. That was another story. I am so sorry. I'll zip over and read your latest :)

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Tarannum Hussain
05:24 Jul 13, 2021

This is amazing. May I make a comic of it? (Credit will be given)

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Deidra Lovegren
08:57 Jul 13, 2021

Yes! May I have a copy when it’s done?

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Tarannum Hussain
10:44 Jul 14, 2021

Ofc! You're the author after all. May I have your e-mail to send it? Or should I just send you a link through the comments?

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Deidra Lovegren
10:59 Jul 14, 2021

I’m excited to see what you do with the story! You can reach me here: https://sites.google.com/view/deidralovegren/home Or Lovegren.deidra@gmail.com

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Tarannum Hussain
12:27 Jul 14, 2021

Ok! And can you please describe more of the character appearance? Hair/eye/skin color etc.

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Deidra Lovegren
13:51 Jul 14, 2021

You have total latitude to decide. However you imagine the characters is how they should be.

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Doubra Akika
14:49 May 29, 2021

I loved this so much D&D. Bad things happening to good people absolutely sucks. You're honestly such an inspiration. 'helping by not helping', absolutely right. Sometimes, we just need someone to sit with and reminisce over past times, not someone to fix our problems or take advice from. The new angel bit was so lovely. I loved how the solution to the different problems was peace. Sometimes, it really is all we need. This was intensely emotional but so worth it. I'm honestly not surprised but feel so pleased that I read this. Your work ...

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Deidra Lovegren
14:58 May 29, 2021

D&D for life : ) Going to catch up on your page. How did I miss TWO ???

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14:34 May 26, 2021

i was reading this and i discovered a critique that i have! yay! this is like my first time ever criticizing one of your stories... so i'm going to be framing this comment and hanging it up in my house, just to warn you. so, when it says, "the new angel cries with her. when he looks up, he sees that the old archangel is crying too," i think- and feel free to totally discard my opinion- that it might be better if it was something like, "the new angel cries with her. when he looks up, he sees that tears are dripping out of the old archangel's ...

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Deidra Lovegren
14:43 May 26, 2021

You make a very good point. I should have "showed" and not "told." Always better to describe and have the reader make the connection that just flatly stating what's going on (so boring). "Show, not tell" is absolutely better. You nailed it :)

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Chloe B
02:53 May 14, 2021

I really loved this story! It was very emotional, but also very heartwarming. I especially loved the new angel's personality :)

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Deidra Lovegren
08:41 May 14, 2021

The new angel is a sweetheart—but he needs to chill or he’ll burn out. Eternity is a marathon, not a race haha.

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