The Day I Met Angel Gabriel

3 Apr

by Mani G. Iyer

It was in a taxicab, reeking of
him, my overactive nose informing me.
He was the driver, and of course
the taxicab did not fly.
He introduced himself as just plain Gabriel
and when I confirmed, like the angel
he could not believe I knew, Gabriel was one
and to parade my skimpy knowledge, I added
that, Gabriel blew the horn.
Sensing a foreign accent
I inquired about his origins
and he said, heaven of course.
 
He then went on to expound
weaving through the morning flock of cars
about Jesus his shepherd, the love of his life
and how he sought the shepherd’s
direction and light
at every step of his fight,
and on and on, making me uneasy
about some Christian doctrine being poured
on me in a smelly taxicab, and I forced myself to say
I did not believe in religion, for all through history
it did a lot of bad
to which he emphasized the original intent of religion
as showing the path to god and heaven
and I laughingly told him, a bad me wasn’t going to heaven either,
and he consoled me, it is the intrinsic nature of man
to be bad, and that is why we needed Jesus every step of the way.
 
The conversation came to a halt
he opened my door, gently walked me towards the building
and while walking he confided in a genuine voice
he was very happy to have met me, and this was when
I had a flicker of feeling, if he could indeed be the angel.
At the entrance I hugged him, and bowing my head
asked to be blessed, upon which
he gladly placed his palm
and recited an unabashedly loud, fervent psalm.
I wept at the therapist’s office at how
a total stranger
from one of the poorest parts of heaven — Haiti,
could see through my suffering
and offer me with love, his brand of healing.
 

Mani G. Iyer was born and raised in Bombay, India and has lived in the United States since 1985.  He is deaf-blind due to Usher Syndrome.  He became deaf by the age of 4, night-blind by the age of 12, and now has very little usable vision.

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