In Search of Wisdom: Part II – Chapter 10
THE GREAT PROCESSION
Even as she spoke a great burst of music came to our ears and Janet said quickly:
“How lovely-but how I shall miss the lesser brethren!”
“Some of them are here also,” smiled the angel, as though she knew quite well how much they meant to us.
“Will you have to return?” I asked Elizabeth.
“No, I have trained my children and they have just set forth on a round of visits in charge of an angel.”
“Then we will all go and sing together,” Janet said eagerly. “I believe I can hear psalms!”
“You will hear many, many psalms,” our guide assured us.
As we walked through the wood we all looked at her with interest. She was much shorter than the angels we had seen before and inclined to plumpness. (“Can she be a baby angel but newly grown up?” I wondered.) Her crisp golden hair curled to her shoulders and she had something bright in it-suspiciously like a bow, I thought! Her lips curved into a tender smile even when she was deep in a reverie and her eyes held dancing lights. As we gazed and wondered she suddenly turned to us.
“It is the singing,” she explained. “It fills our hearts with so much gladness!”
“No wonder,” Janet said.
All the way through the wood the lovely music had been reaching us, first rolling forth majestically, then fading away in a most tantalising manner. When we asked the angel the cause of this, she explained that many of them were holding a procession and that it was a rehearsal for the coming visit of the King, Their movements away from us at times accounted for the fading.
Elizabeth asked about the instruments. She felt sure that she had heard some – including a few that were quite unknown to her. The angel said that all the instruments were there, so that the talented musicians of earth found a heaven in itself in this Circle alone.
“As for the unknown instruments,” she smiled, anticipating our surprise, “these are the voices of the lesser brethren.”
We were certainly surprised. “Do you mean to say that they sing?” I asked.
“Well, you would not call it singing, perhaps,” explained our guide, “but every one of the lesser brethren is trained to give voice to his praise of the Father in his own natural tone. Ah, you smile!” she exclaimed, smiling with us in sympathy, “but the result is not nearly so strange as you think. Remember that I said they were trained, they give tongue at the exact moment the conductor wills, and the effect is very good. Listen to an orchestra from earth and you will discover that animals can imitate a number of the sounds.” She turned to Elizabeth. “Did you not mistake these for instruments?”
“I must confess I did “Elizabeth and Janet exchanged a delighted glance. “Well, we certainly have an experience awaiting us here!”
Very soon we came out on the other side of the wood. As we walked the angel had been stooping here and there, to pluck a flower and now she tucked the colourful blossoms into her girdle. They made a delightful contrast to her flowing cream robe. She looked more beautiful and more happy than ever.
As soon as we reached the open Janet and Elizabeth cried out in delight. It was a lovely scene. From our feet a narrow path began, winding its way across a green and up a hillside. It lay like a golden ribbon against the purple heather, disappearing at last into a semicircle of trees on the hilltop.
Up this path, walking slowly, moved a great procession, and the exquisite mingling of their colourful robes almost took away our breath.
First of all went some tall angels in deeply golden robes. They were walking two by two and the gowns of the first couple were like the sun at noonday. I knew (because the angel had told us) that the colour of gold spoke of the Father’s Love. The next two wore slightly paler robes, the next paler still, and so it continued through all the yellow shades to cream, and from cream to ivory, and from ivory to purest white. Reaching out for the information I knew that all these “sisters” of the colour of gold expressed the Father’s Love. I recalled the angel in white who came to us at the first altar in the Haven of Prayer, whispering his secret, “God is Love”. Again I brought to my memory the angel in a gown of ivory who came to the second altar. “God is Spirit.” Then had come the angel in deepest cream. “God is thy refuge.”
Of course, all these secrets were revelations of His Love. At last I began to understand the colours of Heaven’s realm. They all spoke the Heavenly language of Love, speaking to us of our Father that we might know Him …. Swiftly I linked my mind to Janet’s and to Elizabeth’s and found they were thinking:
“Surely I have always known?”
The last angels in white were followed by two in robes of palest pink, and these by others in rose-pink and peach. These colours, I knew, spoke of the Father as the Strong Protector of His children. The next group were robed in every shade of strawberry, and these spoke of the Father’s mercy.
Gradually the tones deepened until they glowed like rubies, and these spoke of the Father’s faithfulness to men.
The long procession wound on. This time the colours became brighter, with lights in them, like red-currants with dew upon them, and then deepened to crimson. All these told us that the Father is able. (“With God, nothing is impossible.”)
Again the colours changed until I had noted every shade of blue, and these all spoke of the might and power of the Father, and of the salvation that alone comes from the King.
Then the colours almost imperceptibly merged into green, fading from the deepest tones to the palest. As I looked upon these, my heart thrilled within me. I remembered again the glorious Secrets of the angels:
“God is a consuming fire… God is with thee… God is in thee.”
Once more the colours toned down, finally merging again to white. These last white-robed ones delighted me, for they were obviously some of the baby-angels grown a little! They looked very important, I noticed, extending my sight, and I guessed that this was the first time they had taken part in a great procession.
Behind all these angels came the men, women and children. In this group the colours were not graded at all, but mingled in a bewildering array. They reminded me of the darting fires at the gates in the Hall of Reception, and of the colourful mist of the angels’ wings in the Hall of Audience.
At last the long line came to an end and the chanting (which had been going on all the time) faded away. We watched the last of the people climb the hill, finally disappearing within the semi-circle of trees.