Picture, if you will, an outdoor café on a quiet street in the early morning. Three friends sit around a small table enjoying coffee, croissants, and conversation. Mozart symphonies play and sparrows hop around, collecting fallen crumbs. It is in such an atmosphere where we, The Ancient One, Michael, and I, find ourselves. Of course, where we are, there are no cafes and the music of angels replaces Mozart’s.
Like movements in a sonata, our conversation moves to serious tones.
“You know she’s going to comply with her young mother’s words, believing that only submission will achieve longed-for connection.” Michael’s voice falls flat.
The Ancient One nods, “Yes, I know.” His voice drifts through the air like the deep notes of a cello. The loss weighs heavy.
Michael’s voice rises in frustration. “An infant in need of attachment, who speaks the language of touch. A young mother, unaware of consequences, desiring to raise her daughter well-disciplined, acts from fears that holding the infant will spoil her. So the infant is left wanting.” His words resonate with sadness. “And the infant will trade her voice for the approval of her mother. “
The Ancient One stands and begins pacing. “A master manipulator.” His voice crescendos, “The deceiver weaves a web of confusion, using people’s needs and desires against them.” He stops and looks at Michael. “And the words,” he pauses. “If humanity only understood the power unleashed in what seem like benign words.” He begins pacing again. “The deceiver will use the mother’s words, distort the message to the infant, and the tender-hearted child will believe that silence and compliance are the only way to love and belonging.” He sits with a thump.
I look back and forth at them as they discuss the young mother’s directive, the agreement the infant would make, and the impact of those on her life.
“What if,” I pause collecting my thoughts as both look at me, “we followed the young mother’s instruction with a promise?”
“Oh?” The Ancient One says. A spark of interest in His eyes, He sits up.
“What are you thinking?” Michael invites.
“I could go to her,” I answer, “and seal her lips in silence,” I pause, “for a time. Then speak a promise that her silence will be broken.” The lilt in my voice, like a flute, raises hope.
“Yes,” Michael straightens up in his chair. “And not only give voice to future words, but also gift her to give voice to words long-buried in the past.”
Nodding, the Ancient One chimes in, “Those long-buried words, wounds from the stones thrown at her by the deceiver’s assault, will turn into gems.” His face glows. “Beauty for ashes.”
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,” Michael smiles.
“And a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair,” My soft words conclude the old text. And we sit silent a moment. We hear angel choirs sing in the distance.
Michael then nods to me. “See to it,” a note of authority in his voice.
Getting up to leave, the Ancient One holds me back with a hand on my shoulder. Tears pool in his bright eyes. “Love on her while you’re there.” Somber chords of compassion harmonize with the richness of his voice. “The dream-like memory of it will hold her when the dark clouds of loneliness block any rays of joy.” A single tear rolls down his cheek.
“I will,” I whisper through my constricted throat.
He releases his grip; I head off into my mission.