In Heaven, hierarchies of angels went about their business. Cherubim painted the skies purple and gold and blue, depending upon what time of day it was, while seraphim sang their eternal praises to God. Angels with six wings delivered messages to the people below, while the highest order of Celestial beings (below God, that is), the Guardian Angels, silently and invisibly lead their charges to make the right decisions and to avoid what could be dangerous, whether it be physical or spiritual.
The work of Guardian Angels was particularly revered among all the Heavenly Host, for if not for them, many a soul would have been lost prematurely. It was the work of the Guardian Angels that prevented people from unknowingly walking into a room full of carbon monoxide, or that saved the lives of teenagers, who walked away from car accidents without a scratch while their automobiles were crushed like aluminum foil.
Of course, the other angelic beings recognized that their jobs were important. The ordinary non-Guardian angels delivered messages of joy to shepherds and kings two thousand years before, although their talents were little used of late. The Seraphim filled the heavens with beautiful chords and harmonies, although their song would never be heard by humans until said people died. The cherubim made the world a beautiful place, and if not for them, many might lose their intuitive faith in God, but too many discredited their art as natural phenomenon for them to feel truly appreciated.
Nevertheless, each accepted his role in the celestial kingdom, and although some might wish his work received its due, none resented his role or desired any position other than that which he held.
None, that is, but one particular Seraph.
His name is the sort which, when it fell upon mortal ears, would evoke feelings of enormous devotion and piety, but also the sort which could never be spelled by mere human language, or which could never be spoken by any being that was not pure spirit or free of fallenness.
This seraph's song echoed through the Heavenly temple, and yet he felt as though his efforts were for naught. If all the seraphim of creation all sang together, a single voice was easily drowned out, and the celestial singer considered himself a simple, single voice. He longed for the independence and the importance of the work of Guardian Angels.
Dwelling in Heaven, the seraph's prayers were much more easily heard by God (although this is not to imply that earthly prayers are any more difficult to hear or take any longer to answer), and his desires were granted. The seraph was granted temporary powers akin to those of a Guardian Angel, and such promotions were unheard of in Heaven.
While the spirits flew and swirled in amazement and awe, the seraph who had become a Guardian Angel learned that for the first time in his life, if existence in Heaven can be compared to something as paltry as life, he could stop singing his song, and could instead watch over a charge, protecting her and saving her from what trials and tribulations stood in her way. He learned to differentiate between those troubles which would make his charge stronger, and those which would inhibit her.
Then, the angel learned his charge's name. Below, on earth, Carly Winefield awaited his guidance.
Eager to prove himself, the angel spiraled down toward earth, sweeping through the cherubim's clouds and collecting star dust as he descended. Finally, when he reached the earth's atmosphere, he received an unwelcome shock.
Although the angel was somewhat like a Guardian Angel, he still had many factors like a seraph, one of which was that he could not leave Heaven without experiencing a great deal of confusion. Now, he fell rather than flew, with no control over where he landed.
Although the seraph who was now a Guardian Angel hadn't anticipated this particular difficulty, he knew that God hadn't made a mistake. He didn't understand what good was done by his loss of self, but as he toppled toward the ground one thought filled his mind- "His plan is always good, may His will be done."
Below, an elderly man named Max Rodriguez jogged alone through a lonely city park. He believed in the importance of physical fitness, and jogged a few miles every morning, although his wife didn't always accompany him.
When Max had awakened that morning, he'd felt a strange tingling sensation in his left arm, but because he'd never experienced a heart attack before, he'd ignored the feeling. Now, while he ran, the tingling became more pronounced, so that it was almost painful.
Suddenly, he stopped running and clutched his chest. He panted from the workout and because of the pain as he staggered forward. Orange leaves fell from trees in the chilly October morning as Max fell to his knees and died.
At the exact moment that Max's soul departed his body, however, the falling angel toppled into it. Never before had a Guardian Angel assumed flesh- usually, they worked invisibly and silently, so that only those with faith recognized miracles for what they were.
However, the angel's mind filled Max's well-used brain. He watched decades-old memories and tasted aspects of Max's personality that had burnt themselves into the old neurons. In a strange, inexplicable way, the angel somewhat became Max.
While he continued to pant, Max looked about him with new human eyes. He'd never seen color or shape before in the same way that mortals saw it, and he had never imagined that the world through a mortal's eyes could look so beautiful.
Rising to his feet, he continued his jog in a state of awe.