(In honor of all little living things who die before they have lived. A reminder to use the powerful presence of death as an alarm to awaken. Do not let the brutality go quietly into the night. I will be real with you. Realer than any person who promises a closure date for your pain. If you love, you will feel for the rest of your life. You will feel grief, loss, life and death and you will definitely feel separation. There is no closure to the unknown. There is change and remembrance. There is  imagination that is so beautiful that it can make other people’s  hell poetic. The unbearable loss you feel is the earthshattering reminder that we are all connected. When one person is gone into a place we can’t find, it feels like an abduction or a torturous game of hide and seek. Yet, it reminds me that each human being is merely one cell in the collective human body and when one is missing, something is off. By allowing each person I serve to feel their pain and use it to heal; then somehow their changed state illuminates others who are bleeding.  If life and death are one, then what is the twin? For me, it is separation. Death marks finality; Life has an end, but separation holds the promise of a search that over reaches life and death. Separation is the longest love letter we have to God; begging to find him outside the maps of life and death. The devil did not live and die. He was separated by a thread of his existence. This is his reunion, made possible by my Nour).

It is in the infinite time of the past, present and future; situated in the in-between, that we can listen to a dialogue unheard by those dressed in the heavy habits of self-righteousness. The dark Angel had fallen again, but this time in the horror of truth and not in the arrogance of lies. In his arms was Nour, the child razed by ignorance; only to survive as a Light who was raised again by a Phoenix.

 And even his fallen son cried and said, "Oh Father. I understand. I am not the devil. I am the fallen amongst fallen; called a devil by a great deceiver. I was tricked down here and enslaved to a devil I did not know existed before I.  A deceiver superior to all deceivers, for he is the best of deceivers. His brutality is beyond my power. I will surrender and the flag of my defeat? A little girl. Nour means Light and she was my Light.  Specifically, your Light in my arms. Please know I cared for her. I fed her when they weren't looking; sewed her torn skin together; and breathed sacred stories about you to her." 

He thought he would scare her when she saw his terrifying form, but it is she who scared him with her unbearable Light. Instead she asked him to tell her more stories. He cried with her and he fell apart when she looked at him and smiled. She knew what he was and he fell once again, but this time into her Light.  He stayed with her, long enough to remember the song of songs.  He sang to her the same lullabies once sung to him. And she would always beg, “Please, sing them to me again and again and again.”

Nour did what Twain wished humanity could do when he wrote, "But who prays for Satan? The one sinner that needed it most, who had not a single friend, yet had the highest and clearest right to every Christian's daily and nightly prayers, for the plain and unassailable reason that his was the first,  greatest and most beautiful sinner of all of us.”

Nour prayed for him. In the hour of her death,  he came to take her. But it is she who took him.  He gave her a moment to say good-bye to life and she looked at him and said, “This does not have to be a farewell. Dear son of all Suns, I pray you come home with me. I pray you let your Father sing you the lullabies you sang to me in my darkest hour. I pray you forgive yourself; maybe even love your light more than you love your illusion.  This place is far too brutal for you.  Go home."

And when her thirteen year old body was shed, time took him back and he found myself holding her when she embodied the form of an infant. He was infused with the Light he thought he lost.  My God, he thought, if this is a sliver of what your infinite love must feel like, every human being would humbly surrender to you.  At that moment he understood that he knew nothing of the burden and beauty of love.

 Then even time and age shed itself. Now he is at your gates and he will wait a thousand light years at its base to serve you until he is worthy of your legion again.  Yet, he will go back into hell if it means this child of Light can enter, but only without his ugly presence following her. He had sinned too much and would understand and still be honored to wait at the gates. 

Shhh, quiet. Divine silence absorbed illusion.  A dimension unzipped itself and the gates opened. The child known as Nour returned to her essence. The dark angel wept when he felt her perfected state of Love.  He decided that serving Light would be his purpose. And so the days that followed, he brought up many lights to the gate. Two of them being Miriam, Nour’s mother and Yousef, her grandfather. When he saw Nour’s family reunion he fell in love and did not ever want to stop falling into the infinite rising. He heard the gates lock and wailed in anguish. Death would have been easier, but to be awakened and then be separated from love was far worse. 

 He slept in his pain at the foot of the gate. When he opened his eyes, Nour was there singing to him just like he once sang to her. In his last breath he smiled at her and whispered, “And in the 13 years of your life, I have learned that I will live at the base of a gate, for serving the Light of a child, is serving the Light of God. You are my holy ground dear Nour and I will guard the gates that will keep you safe; even if they never let me in.  I forgive not being forgiven and I forgive myself for thinking that anybody needs a devil’s forgiveness. Heaven can wait until I am worthy. Until then, heaven will be IN the waiting, right outside of the gates."

“What gates?” Nour laughed, as she transformed to pure Love.

A lullaby was heard and the seams of the dark angel’s wings burst into threads of light sewn by the hand of love.  When he opened his eyes for the first time in his existence, he saw there were no gates. Only One God. Only One.

 And so it was said, that even the devil went home and left us in our wretchedness; as he found us to vile to live amongst. Though sometimes, for the children of Light who are still here and who have not given up on us; if you are truly awake, listen and you will hear God’s most beautiful Light roar in  laughter,   “Please, sing another lullaby to me again and again and again………"

Dedicated to Nour, my God daughter, my family , my Light. and my Love.  Carol Chehade