"David, God sees your pain," she said gently. "He sees how deeply you're grieving and how guilty you're feeling. He has forgiven you for your treatment of Deborah, and now He wants you to forgive yourself. He wants you to give it all to Him, so He can heal you." She paused, gazing skyward, then looked into David's eyes. "Deborah wants you to know she forgives you, too. She just asked the Father to give you that message."

She embraced him for a long moment, comforting him. The smell of stink reached her nostrils. He had clearly not bathed since leaving Rome that morning.

At last, David stepped back, taking a deep breath. He bit his lower lip. "Sometimes I wonder, Monica—what's the point?" Jerking his handkerchief out of his pants pocket, he blew his nose.

Monica nodded. "I know. And yet, there is a point, a purpose. God has you here for a reason." She paused, gazing into his eyes. "David, have you ever wondered how your family managed to escape from Communism so many years ago?"

David nodded. "I know only that Jehovah protected us."

"Yes. He did." Monica clasped her hands in front of her waist. "He sent an angel to get you to safety."

David gazed at her. "He did?"

Monica nodded. "You've said you remember a light in front of the fence."

David gaped at her, then nodded. "Yes, I do." He glanced at the wisps of clouds drifting overhead.

Monica touched his arm; he turned his gaze back to her. "God wants you to remember the rest now." She smoothed her hair back.

As David watched her, he froze. Images exploded in his head...

The unearthly light that rose in front of the barbed-wire fence loomed lighter and brighter now. Little David gaped up at it. At that moment, a slender woman with long, dark-brown hair stepped out of the light. Beams of unearthly light radiated from her body. An angel!

"Be not afraid," she said gently. She looked from person to person, smiling tenderly at the little boy. "My name is Monica, and God has sent me here to see that you leave this country safely. God is with you all, and He will see you safely to Israel."

She turned toward the fence, and a gate David had not noticed before creaked open. Silently, the grown-ups crept toward it, carrying their children and their baggage, David's mother raising a finger to her lips to warn him to be quiet. The little boy clutched his father's neck, taking quick, deep breaths. A moment later, the gate clicked shut behind them. Overhead, stars dotted the velvet sky. The cool night breeze caressed the little boy's cheeks.

"Come with me." Monica extended her hand. "You're not out of danger yet—there are guards in the distance, waiting to shoot anyone who tries to escape. Stay with me until you are out of their range." David's mother took the angel's hand, and the others surrounded the two. David's father kept his arms wrapped around his son.

Noiselessly, the two families followed the angel through the tall grass that covered the field. Minutes passed as David wrapped his arms around his father's neck; in return, the elder Mr. Weizmann clutched him against his chest. The familiar smell of men's cologne wafted toward the boy's nose. No one spoke. Silence lay all over the field.

At last, Monica turned to the assembled group. "I must go now." She smiled at them, compassion radiating in her eyes. "The guards cannot shoot you now—you are safely out of their range. God will see you safely to Israel." She disappeared at that moment...

Daniel gaped at the angel. "You—you're the angel who helped us get past that gate and those guards!" His voice shook. "That bright light was you!"

Monica nodded. "Yes, I am, and yes, it was." She smiled. "I was in Search and Rescue, then. In those days, God sent me to help people who were in danger. As you and your family were."

David sighed. "You're trying to tell me something, Monica, and I'm missing it." He stuck his hands into his pockets, slumping his shoulders. He glanced at the crushed building behind her.

Monica chuckled. "What I'm trying to tell you, David, is that God had a purpose for you and for Benjamin." She patted his arm. "He saved you from the Communists then, so you could have a role in saving your fellow Jews now."

David bit his lower lip, then nodded. "From Puccini." Monica nodded.

Sadness welled up in the angel's eyes. "He's going to break his treaty of protection with your people very soon now, and when he does, you and your people will have to flee Israel. God foresaw this day, and saw that you would be needed. But you have to accept the role, the ministry He's given you. It will help heal your grieving heart. The Dalys and the Whittakers will be on hand to help you. And God will send warrior angels and Search-and-Rescue angels to see your people safely to Petra."

She paused, then laid a hand on David's arm. "Let yourself grieve your sister's death—you will get through it more successfully if you do. Don't try to suppress your grief or pretend that it isn't there. But let God comfort you, and be prepared to accept His call when it comes. It will come soon."

David sighed, rubbing his forehead. "All right. I accept." Monica beamed.

The two rejoined the others. "I've decided to do it," David told them.

Benjamin nodded. "And so have I."

Richard, Ryan, and Christina exchanged glances. "Whatever God has in mind for us, we'll do." Richard smiled. "I can help pilot the Jews to Petra."

"And so can I," Ryan added. Christina and Rachel nodded their own acquiescence of the assignment.

Tess smiled. She looked at Monica, glanced skyward, then turned her gaze back to the others. "That is good. We must go now, as God has another assignment for us, but we will soon be back to help you prepare. That day is fast approaching, so you don't have much time."

"No." Richard pursed his lips. "When the Mark of the Beast is required, we'll all be fugitives." He frowned. "By the way, Tess, who is this friend you told me about? And where does he live?"

"He lives in West Jerusalem." Tess paused. "Go to his home in the morning-you will find a written copy of his name and address in your hotel. He will sell you some of his gold. David had better buy some from him, too."

The angels strolled down the street, then vanished. "Come on." Richard gestured ahead. "The sun will be setting soon, so let's go back to the hotel. We have to pray and to make some decisions as to what to do."

Christina nodded. "First, though, we need to take baths and eat." She hugged Rachel to her side and smiled at her.

As her husband picked his way down the ruined street, the others followed. Overhead, a dove cooed as it flew toward the sunset.


©2004 by KathyG.