Michael, the commander of heaven’s army, and the Ancient One have sent me on a mission. My task is to speak a promise over a helpless infant. I arrive at the townhall just as a small boy and his grandmother walk hand-in-hand up the steps to the bright red door. Warmth spreads across my chest as I witness these two, happy in each other’s company. I follow them in and wait.
The program is about to start. The young mother collects the infant from where her cousin plays with her. The deceiver slithers in and follows them to the crib off in the far, front corner of the room. As the young mother gathers a blue blanket to give to the infant, the deceiver leans in and whispers in the mother’s ear. She speaks. He then encourages the infant, lifting her hand. An evil smile spreads across his face as the infant plugs her mouth with her thumb.
The wind outside picks up and a gray cloud moves through the sky, darkening the sun. I shiver, not because I’m cold, but because I know the sinister power in this moment. The deceiver and I are the only two in the room who understand its impact.
He looks up and notices me. Until now, he was so intent on his malicious plan, he was unaware of my presence. My confident gaze challenges him and the malevolent glee on his face falls. He slinks away, his face pinched in annoyance.
The infant is soon asleep and so I wait, enjoying the purest praise of children’s voices. When the infant awakes, I reveal my presence only to her and take on the appearance of a woman. Through the folds of fabric I wear, the silvery light of my essence dances like ripples of water. The infant yawns and blinks at the rafters, then turns her head and notices me. I smile. Taking my time, I glide toward her. The sun shines through the tall, narrow windows that line the walls where the pews used to be, creating long strands of light on the floor. As I walk through them, rainbows radiate in the rays.
The infant gazes through the slats of the crib. She holds the satin edge of her blue blanket, rubbing her fingers along the silver strands. She sucks her thumb and watches. Curiosity, rather than fear, lights up her eyes.
Arriving at the crib, I reach down and run the back of my finger across her chubby cheek and down her chin. “Hello, little one,” I whisper. Her thumb in her mouth, she takes two sucks then blinks, her greeting to me. I feel her cheek lean into my touch.
I hold her gaze a moment then join her in the crib. I cocoon her close to my chest. I know she feels my heart beat, she closes her eyes and relaxes more fully. My essence envelopes her. I count piggies and kiss the bottoms of her feet. She smells of baby powder and innocence. I pour all the affection she can handle into her tiny heart.
Taking her thumb out of her mouth, she grabs my hand with her chubby fingers. After one last caress around the back of her head, our hands move together. I place a finger over her lips.
Leaning in, I whisper, “you will not always be silent.”
A breeze blows leaves across the windows and the room seems suddenly brighter. Everyone looks up alert to the glare. The grandmother, small boy, and young cousin gaze longer. While everyone else in the room resumes their activity, the grandmother’s eyes move from the window to the crib, her brow furrowed in question.
I kiss the infant on her forehead to seal the promise. She sighs again, settling into my words. She puts her thumb back in her mouth. My physical presence leaves her, however, I continue to watch over her.
The infant lies quietly in her crib, holding the blue satin edge against her cheek and sucking her thumb. She hears the children sing their final good-bye song and prays the closing prayer with her eyes open. She watches as the children leave. Workers straighten chairs and wipe marker and glue from the tables.
Once everything is tidy and ready for tomorrow’s songs and activities, the young mother walks over to get her child. A thumb-and-gummy grin greets her. The young mother lifts her infant from the crib. “You were such a good, quiet girl,” and kisses her cheek as if in blessing. The infant responds by taking a few extra sucks on her thumb. The young mother, carrying her child, then walks across the hall and meets the small boy and his grandmother at the door and leaves.