Hues of green, blue, and red crossed the skyline like a river of swirling light, moving and dancing from horizon to horizon. The beauty of it surrounded a lone figure who was seated on a long, wooden bench with golden armrests. This bench was just one of many thousands positioned one after another reaching as far as the eye could see.
At the moment, there was no other movement anywhere near him, except for the excitement going on in the sky above him. There was a joyous celebration underway in the stadium behind him, but it was completely lost on Harrold, who sat there, shoulders slumped, a large placard leaning against his knees, hands folded over the top edge of the sign. The look on his face was one of both devastation and regret.
His thoughts were focused on what had happened a little more than an hour ago, and they plagued him as he played it over and over again in his mind. Starting at the beginning, his assignment had been simple enough, fly to the head of the column over a troop of shepherds tending their flocks by night, then hold up the sign for all the other angels to see, and on the count of three, shout the word written on it to begin the heavenly choir in praise to God about the birth of the newborn king.
“The word was hark, not honk.” he thought to himself shaking his head. “I had one job; at the appointed time, hold up the sign, and shout the word hark, but instead I shouted honk. Who does that? I’ll never be able to live this down.”
As Harrold the angel sat there berating himself for his stupidity, an unusual calm came over him. Looking up, at once he recognized the Presence of the Holy Spirit and stood to attention. Closing his right fist and placing it across his chest, he bowed his head saying, “My liege.”
Nodding in his direction, the Holy Spirit replied with a grin and a wink, “Harrold.”
Standing there in the presence of his king, Harrold held his eyes low, waiting for the rebuke he felt was about to come. As the seconds passed, he began fidgeting in place, moving his weight from one foot to the other trying to decide if he should say anything about his performance. Unable to bear the silence any longer, he stammered out the words, “My liege, I’m sorry I let you down…”
Interrupting him before he could say another word, the Lord gently patted Harrold on the shoulder saying, “Harrold, I know how you feel son, truly. But you have not let us down, quite the contrary. Thankfully, angels are conditioned to follow the Word of God and not the words of angels or men, so while you may have said ‘Honk!’ they all read the Word and proclaimed, ‘Hark!’ Your mission was a success.”
Raising his eyes to look at the Lord, a quizzical expression crossed his face as he worked to process the information which had just been given to him. “Sire? Are you saying I completed my assignment?”
“Yes, Harrold. The world has been informed of the birth of the Messiah. You did just as you were commanded to do. Now, come and join in the celebration, after millenia of waiting, our plan has almost come to its end.”
Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead him from the bench towards the arena, a grin began to form on Harrold’s face as the door of one of the many golden arches opened and he heard millions of angels singing praises to the Lord of Heaven. As they crossed the threshold, the praises stopped all of a sudden and a chorus of loud tenor voices began to sing, “Hark, the Harrold angel sang!”
A full-bellied laugh erupted from Harrold’s mouth, then he joined in with the singing, proud of the fact that he had played a small part in moving the plan of salvation for mankind forward.