The Helping Hands Project

 

Nothing Is As It Seems

 

 

 

Two Angels     Nothing is as it seems

It happened a long time ago, when the world was new and man began to multiply upon the face of the earth.  The ground was barren and crude and the rain was sparse.  And man toiled day and night in the hot scorching sun.  The sweat of his brow mixing with the dry scorched dirt.  And man began to hate one another, steal from one another and kill each other because of the strain and tension brought about by the long arid drought.

The Host and Congregation of Heaven looked down and saw that men were cruel and callous to one another and hated one another and killed one another and they decided that they needed to help.  And they had a righteous anger among themselves for waiting so long.

They gathered together and decided to send two Angels down to teach man how to live with each other and how to love one another.  They knew that this was going to take a special Angel that had training in this type of counseling and had prior interaction with mankind. They searched all of Heaven and found Joseph who had, in times past, interacted with man and had enjoyed visiting with them.  They also thought it would be a good idea for Joseph to take a new Angel that had never seen a man and teach him how to intermingle with them.

Joseph was more than pleased to have John tag along.  First, he liked John a great deal and second, he would love the company.  Although he thought John was a little impetuous, reckless and unthinking, Joseph still welcomed his company.

 

The two Heavenly beings arrived on earth in the middle of nowhere.  Although this was planned, Joseph had forgotten how barren and lonely earth could be and since the Creator did not want man to know that these two beings were Angels, they were put in a deserted area.

They found the main road and went from town to town  and all about helping any and all who needed aid.   John was having the time of his life and was consistently asking Joseph one question after another.  And of course Joseph was glad to answer them all.  Even though some of the questions seemed a bit tripe, Joseph did not hesitate to keep John informed.   After all, John was here to learn. 

Day after day, week after week, and finally this trip had turned into months.  The two heavenly beings never once complained or griped about any situation that they found themselves in.  Always with a smile on their faces and joy in their hearts.  They continued on helping and serving those who needed them.

Then one day it happened.  There arose a storm brewing across the horizon and heading this way.  The clouds were black and the wind began to blow and it looked as though this was going to be a bad one.  Joseph and John began to look for shelter.  And high upon a hill, they saw it.  A beautiful mansion with fine manicured lawns and very well kept grounds.

"Look," said John, pointing his finger toward the home, "surely these people will give us shelter, seeing that God has blessed them so much".  "In all of their abundance they surely love the Lord.".

John and Joseph started walking in the direction of the superior looking residence.  No sooner had they stepped on the porch when the rain came pouring down.  A gully washer, and Joseph patted himself on the back for analyzing this correctly. 

"I can't remember ever seeing a storm this bad," he said to John.  "It doesn't look as though it's going to end anytime soon".

John walked up to the door and knocked.  No one answered.  He knocked again, this time a little louder.  Again, no one answered.  "Well, if there is no one here, I'm sure they won't mind if we just sit here for a while until the rain subsides", he says while sitting down up against the front wall of the house.

John began to whistle a little tune and Joseph stepped up to the door.  "Let me try", he said and began knocking.  "I do have a feeling that someone is here". 

Joseph knocked again and then he stepped back to sit down with John.  When suddenly the door opened a little, creaking as it was being moved.

“What do you want”, came the voice from inside the house.  “I don’t like visitors”.  “So, state your business and leave or I’ll call the authorities”.

By this time, John had gotten up and he and Joseph were standing side by side looking at the small crack in the door made by the man inside.  It was dark in the house and they had a hard time trying to make out the figure behind the door.

Joseph spoke first, “We are but weary travelers and need shelter for the night because of the bad storm”.  “Would it be alright if we stayed here until the rain stops?”  “We would be no trouble at all and would leave as soon as the storm subsides”.

“No! No! No!” said the voice inside the door.  “Go away, and stay away, I don’t like visitors and I don’t want any company at all”.  “Now be gone with you!”.  And the man inside started closing the door.

“Please said John, Please, we would be no trouble at all and it going to get cold when the night comes.”  “I promise we will not disturb you at all”.  “Please Sir”.

Then the voice behind the door said, “Ok, you may stay in the basement, but I warn you any noise at all and I will kick you out on your ear.”  “I mean any noise.  I don’t want to hear even a peep from you”.

The man stepped back and in doing so opened the door so the two strangers could step in.  Then he pointed to a door, which they assumed led to the basement and they entered the house and went to the stairway.  Silently they crept down the stairs and made their way to the back of the house and found a place to sleep for the night always being as quiet as they could be.

The night passed by quickly and John rose early to find Joseph mixing a batch of cement that he had found in the basement and was patching a large crack in the foundation.  "What are you doing," he said quietly?  "Well, I rose early to pray and when I bowed to face the wall,  I found this large crack  and I am trying to fix it as quietly as I can", said Joseph in a whisper.

"Why", said John?  "After the way he treated us and now you want to help him".  " I just don't understand". 

"All is not as it seems," Joseph whispered again.  At this, John looked at him with a puzzled look but considering where they were, he said nothing, hoping to ask what Joseph meant by that strange answer when they were free of the house.

Joseph finished the task at hand and rinsed the bucket out at the spigot and motioned for John to follow him.  They climbed the stairs as quietly as they could, every once in a while the boards beneath their feed would creak.  "Shshsh", said Joseph and John at the same time.  They both giggled.

As they opened the basement door, they looked about expecting to find their inhospitable host but only finding the house very dimly lit.  They made their way to the back door and quietly as possible left the house, closing the door behind them.

The rain storm had subsided and there was a soft breeze blowing.  The two visitors held their faces toward the breeze just to feel it on their faces.  Then John asked Joseph, "What did you mean by that answer in the basement"?  Joseph held his index finger to his lips and gently said, "I'll explain later, but right now the town is waking up and we have a job to do."

The two angelic strangers again went about town, hither, thither and yon, doing what they could to help all who needed it and trying to teach people to love one another, to help one another and to forgive one another. 

Several weeks had passed and once again the two found themselves trying to out race a storm.  They had nowhere to go and the rain was about to fall.  When John, once again spotted a house for sanctuary and this time it was a small cottage embedded in the country side.

"There," said John, "there is a place we can go", pointing to the small cottage.  They rushed toward the house and no sooner had they stepped on the porch, the torrential rains poured down.

"Whew", said John, "Just in time."

"Another gully washer", said Joseph, 'another gully washer".

They knocked on the old screen door and stepped back in anticipation of greeting the home owner.  The inner door opened and a man, a woman and a small sickly little boy answered the knock. 

"Can we help you"? the man said.

"Yes, we are but traveling pilgrims looking for shelter from the storm".  said Joseph.  "And as you can see it’s a bad one", added John.

"Please, please come in", said the father, and the man stepped back into the house to let the strangers in.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you", John replied.  "We certainly didn't get this kind of welcome at the other place that we stayed". 

Joseph cautioned him about gossip and the two made their way into the living room of the small humble cottage.

They all took a seat and the lady of the house went about cooking the supper.  "You are just in time to share a meal with us", she said and started setting the table for the two extra guests.  The young boy climbed onto his father's lap and made himself comfortable, as if he was used to sitting there.

"We certainly didn't mean to put you out" said Joseph.

"Not at all", replied the father, "We are glad to have some company".  "It's not often that we get visitors and to have them at meal time is an extra treat".

"Then we do thank you, and you are most kind", John said as he looked around the room and noticed how poor this family actually was.

John introduced themselves to their hosts for the evening.  And the poor farmer introduced himself as Steven, his wife, Sarah, and their sickly young boy is Caleb.

The lady of the house finished setting the table and motioned for Joseph to say the grace over the meal.  Joseph rose and asked the blessing like he has done so many times in the past and everyone began eating.  And as it is with every meal when there is company, everyone was mumbling this and that about how good everything tasted and passing dishes and pots around so everyone could get a little of this and a little of that. 

They all finished and retired to the small living room as Sarah cleaned up the table.  John offered to help but she politely asked him not to, because this is something she would rather do herself.  John obliged her and went to the living room with the others.

Small talk about this and that filled the air and Steven was going on about the dry ground and was glad to see it raining.  Caleb sat quietly on his lap not making a sound but always seemed to be listening to every word the strangers said.  Neither Joseph nor John said a word about the boy’s condition.  They didn’t want to offend their hosts and say something out of the way.

As darkness fell, Steven said that he had to get up early and Caleb needed to go to bed to get his rest and then that’s when the decisions had to be made as to where everyone would sleep.  Steven insisted that the two strangers take his bed and Caleb’s bed and they and the child would sleep on blankets on the floor by the wood stove.  Steven would not take no for an answer.  So, they all retired for the night.

When morning came, John woke with a start.  He looked around and did not find Joseph anywhere in the house.  He quietly got dressed and tip towing about looked around and had figured that Joseph had gone outside.  He opened the front door as quietly as he could and found Joseph in the barn.  John was shocked to see the family cow was lying dead inside the building. 

“Oh my, Oh my”, said John, “Oh my”.

bout that time Steven and Sarah had woke up and joined them at the barn.  Steven was heartbroken.  The cow was their only means of support.  She gave the milk, plowed the gardens, and pulled the heavy cart.

“What are we going to do?”, he whispered under his breath.

About that time Joseph spoke up and said that they must be going and he started to leave.  John caught him by the arm and said “We are going to just leave them like this?”.

“All is not as it seems,” said Joseph quietly to John, not wanting the family to hear.  “Not all is at is seems”.    And he continued to walk out of the barn and down the road.  John following, just shaking his head.  He had stayed behind to offer their gratitude for the hospitable service that was given them and he ran to catch up with Joseph.  “They were so friendly and generous to us and you just walked away, why didn’t you do something to help them”, John said angrily.   “Anything would have helped, but you just walked away, doing nothing”.   “All is not as it seems,” was Joseph’s reply. 

“Oh no, not this time,” John said, ‘not this time”.  “When the rude old man didn’t even want us to stay in his basement and we had to tiptoe around like thieves.  You fixed his wall.  He talked to us very disrespectfully and you helped him out”.    “But when the kind farmer and his wife did us a great service, you did nothing to help them and I want to know why.”  “All is not as it seems”, is not a good answer any more,” he said.  “ I am here to learn and how can I learn if you are keeping secrets from me?”

Joseph stopped him in the middle of the road and apologized to him for responding to him the way that he did.   “Of course you are here to learn and so I’m going to tell you”.  “But you also must learn to be patient”. 

“When we were in the great mansion sleeping in the basement, I awoke early to pray.  As I knelt against the wall, I noticed the crack in the wall.  As I looked further into the crack, I noticed that there was a large pure vein of gold.  So, I covered the crack and hid the gold,  so the wicked old man couldn’t find it.  When we were at the farmer’s cottage, I, again arose early to pray and so I went to the barn as not to disturb any one and as I was praying, the death angel came to claim the life of sickly Caleb.  I talked him into taking the cow instead.  Before leaving the barn, I prayed a silent prayer for Caleb and he will be healed, but this is for a future time.  But as you know, when the death angel comes, something has to die so I gave him the cow.”

The Bible states in the Book of Psalms, 'Will not God repay each man according to that which he has done,".   In other words, what goes around comes around.

"So, John, as you can see each man was paid according to that which he had done".

“So, there you have it my friend,” “and this I must tell you concerning this event, still all is not as it seems”. 

John just looked at him, shaking his head reminding himself of what Joseph had said, "You must learn to be patient".  And wondering each and every moment, what is going to happen around the next corner as the two continued their quest. 

 

Look for part 2.....coming soon...