Thursday, February 14th
Evie had never experienced her own Valentine’s Day before. She came home to find a Valentine’s Day cards addressed to her from Carlo, which intrigued her. She had not been able to see much of him the last month; they both were rather busy organizing the end of a series of classes. This was an unexpected surprise. She quickly opened the card and started reading. The cover of the card was a cute puppy looking at her with big, brown, expressive eyes. The words said,
Some things just can’t be avoided
She opened up the card, and the message continued:
I would follow you anywhere!
The sentiment tugged at her heart. “Aw-w-w-w!” She read the rest of Carlos’ card, written in his handwriting:
I know we care a lot about each other, but that still doesn’t change the fact that I consider you a good friend (and love you as such). <smile> I value knowing you, and hope that we can find more happiness as our friendship grows.
Evie felt burning behind her eyes, as the emotion rose. Carlo had yet again proved to be a true friend, and it touched her. “Oh Carlo. I don’t deserve you.” Their relationship was something special in a different way than she had ever felt before. She could talk to Carlo about practically everything. She was going to make a point of telling him tomorrow.
Friday, February 15th
Evie made a beeline for his office. Oh good. He’s there. “Hi. I was hoping I would catch you. It was sweet of you to send me the card. It was lovely and I really appreciate it.”
“You’re very welcome, Evie. I meant what I said on the card. I’m glad for our relationship, and I hope we will continue to make each other happier as the days go by.”
Evie’s eyes were misting now. Carlo really cared about her, and the friendship they shared was genuine. It didn’t matter if she was pretty or plain, smart or dull, rich or poor. Well...he had said she was pretty. She blushed at the thought. He just genuinely cared about her for herself.
She and Carlo always allowed each other just to be themselves. Her thoughts turned to that night when Carlo walked her home and made her admit that she really liked him. She had very much enjoyed that kiss. His kiss felt as comfortable as the Lamb holding her in his strong arms. He gave it freely, expecting nothing in return.
“I’m really going to miss you,” he said,
“I’m going to miss you too…terribly. But I leave this afternoon from Union Station to catch a flight to Texas. As tears pooled in her eyes, she manage to choke out, “Please hold me Carlo,” and cried softly.
Resting on her bed that night, Evie was about to put the Bible down, and think more about what Salvation meant, when a bright being emerged from her, and sat down at the desk. “Ever Vigilant!” she exclaimed. “Why are you out of me, and what’s on your mind?”
The angel from inside the woman smiled, and glowed softly as she sat there, her robe brightly decorated with her officer’s markings and insignia. “Evie, this Evie thinks it would be wise to take your place while you’re learning to be a human warrior. I know that things like this take time, and I know you’ll miss everyone here in D.C. I can at least run interference for you, and take your place, if you will. Since you and I are one and the same, it will be like the woman is still here.”
“You’d do that? How will you feel interacting with other humans when you’re an angel?”
“Oh, I’ll do fine.” Smiling she added, “You see, I’ve indwelt a human for a few months and grown accustomed to how you act and react…especially to Carlo.” E.V blushed, and said, I don’t know how I’ll act in those situations, but the Father will guide me.”
A gentle smile broke out of Evie’s otherwise calm demeanor. “I hope you’ll kiss him passionately for me. I’m in love with him, you know…”
Blushing even more, E.V. said, “You must know that I’m not familiar with having affection for a human Son of Adam…”
’Oh, I think you’ll do just fine,” she said, a twinkle in her eye. “And thank you for helping me out. At least my other half will keep up with everyone here.”
“I’ll do my best, Evie. I’m obliged to help you out, since it’s for both of our benefits.” After thinking, E.V. said, “And I’ll talk to Gracie about our plan.”
“Great! Now get back in me so I can get some rest.”
“Well…” E.V. said slowly, “I’ll do that, but tomorrow, when you leave, I”ll explore your world a little. You know, visit the Institute myself, stop by the Café near the DuPont Circle for lunch, take the Metro home, see the sights; in human form of course.”
“Okay, my angel half. I think you’ll enjoy being directly part of my world.”
Saturday, February 16th
Evie sat in her room in the barracks, quietly sipping on a cup of hot herbal tea. The shadow caused by the mid morning sun had grown shorter as the sun had risen higher in the sky. Gracie, not being in the same house as she was different, she had to admit. But for once, she actually enjoyed the solitude; she needed the time to think. She picked up a picture of her and Gracie that Sue Chen had taken shortly after she arrived on earth. She smiled as she sat, looking at the picture from different angles. “Oh, Gracie. I love having you as my sister.
The picture returned to the bedside table, replaced by her teacup. The warmth of the teacup felt good on her hands this cold February night. Another sip warmed its way down into her cold body, as thoughts raced through her mind. Staring back at the picture, and then looking in the direction of the picture of her and Gracie, a long, slow happy sigh left her. Then she looked towards New Jerusalem, and implored audience with her Father in a conversation.
“Abba...what am I going to do? Feeling her throat tighten, she bit her lip, forcing back the heaviness and sadness she felt. After that last round with her sister, she didn’t want to talk to her sister again about salvation – at least any time soon. The thought of fighting with her sister brought back vivid images of Gracie’s anger.
“I’m at a loss, Father. I give myself to you. Please help me do what’s right, because I certainly don’t seem to be doing very well on my own. It obviously won’t work. Something is holding me back from seeing the truth.” The room stayed conspicuously devoid of any paternal voice from her heavenly home. A magazine lay on the side table, so she perused the cover, and took it back to her seat on the couch.
At first, she startled. “Father? Was that you?”
Be still and know that I am God, and I am at work in your life and your situation. Even in your heart.
“My heart, daddy? What do you mean?”
Your pride is blinding you to the fact that you need to humble yourself for redemption to be yours.
She didn’t answer. The last remark had gone deep into her conscience, and stung. The sadness she now felt she knew to be because of her pride. It hung heavy over her, like a pall. He had made it clear that she had deviated from the right path, and she had to eat crow, and admit that her Father knew better than she did. It wasn’t that she really doubted it; she had just never admitted that she was wrong -- and she was.
Carlo sat alone in the lunchroom, munching on his sandwich, and thinking of Evie. His whole world had fallen off its trajectory, making him feel like a visitor in a foreign land. Evie’s absence had left a big hole in his heart: he really missed that crazy girl with whom he could have the most wonderful conversations.
“You seem deep in thought. Do you miss her?”
He looked up, and thought he was seeing things: a woman stood in front of him, looking straight at him, like Evie had done when he first met her. As he took a closer look, he realized that she looked just like Evie, only she was dressed in a white robe, with gold bands sewn into it in the form of insignias. She looked as though she was an high-ranking officer of some sort.
“Hi, Carlo. I’m Ever Vigilant. I’m the angel that Evie told you about. I’m the one she was before she decided to find redemption. I’ve come here to talk with you about her, since she is in Flight Training School.”
“You…you’re really an angel?” he asked. “This is almost too fantastic to believe.” After he realized that she was real and truly an angel, and stood there before him, and hadn’t left, he said, “If she was you, how is it that you aren’t Evie? Although I must say, you remind me a lot of her, Ever Vigilant.
“She and I are the same person: she’s just the human body her spirit and I indwell. Carlo, I came to you because I’m worried about Evie. I admire her becoming a warrior, because that’s what I am. What I’m worried about is that she, being flesh, is very proud, and thinks that she is still like me. The worse part is that she and I are now subject to the same consequences. If she should die without giving her heart to The Lamb, and making Him her Lord, we both will end up in the second death.”
“That’s unbelievable: you, an angel, are subject to Hell if Evie doesn’t repent.” He looked at her, suddenly saddened. “I’ve been trying to get her to understand, Ever Vigilant…”
“Call me E.V. It’s easier.”
“Well, E.V., I am going through the same struggle that you are, and I just can’t believe how she refuses to see the obvious truth.”
“I know, Carlo…I know. We need to pray for her…desperately.” She smiled and took his hands. “Let’s pray,” she said. The power of the prayers moved them both for several long minutes, leaving her glowing with the power of the Holy Spirit. When they finished, he felt a tremendous lifting of his burden for Evie.
“Thanks, Carlo,” she said. “I really feel much better now. I can honestly say I feel at peace about Evie, no matter what happens. I’ll be taking Evie’s place while she is gone. It’ll be as though she never left. Only you and Gracie will know what’s going on. You’re a really great friend.” She leaned over, and kissed him on the cheek.
He stared at her and said nothing. “Did you just kiss me? Do angels do that?”
“Yes; but only when they indwell someone who is attracted to you.” She blushed a little, and turned her eyes away from him.
Liking how she blushed, Carlo returned the favor, and saw her looking into his eyes, a troubled expression on her face. “I shouldn’t have kissed you like that,” she said. “You are attracted to Evie, not the angel that indwells her.
“Do you not like me kissing you?” he said playfully. He smiled at her, enjoying embarrassing her with his comfortable charm. She didn’t say anything for a while. Then she looked at him and said, “I can’t believe you’re flirting with an angel. It doesn’t seem right. And yes I do! That’s the problem.”
“Well. I can’t help you there. I happen to like it.” He grinned mischievously at her. “So deal with it. I may even try it again.”
She punched his arm good-naturedly. “You are incorrigible. Now I’m leaving, before I’m tempted to take you up on your offer.”
She left, but not after he gave her a very friendly look. She turned quickly away, and flew away. “Gracious. I need to think through this one: the woman and I are truly one” After reflecting on it, she realized that she was truly part of Evie. She acted just like her, with the exception that she knew what Salvation entailed, whereas Evie still struggled with it.