Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CLVI. Stories My Grandmother Told Me (8 of 10)

The patient angel

The story of the patient angel is about one of the worst flaws we humans exhibit: Procrastination, or postponement. The tendency to postpone what we don’t want to do today. In some cases we need to bite the bullet, put in a different way, it is something that we have to do or face sooner or later.

While told to my class by a teacher, it was at the time, in Egypt, a classic story that came in many versions. All versions were long, and as you will see from my version, it can be stretched ad infinitum. You can make it into a novel or a movie!

My own version has been shortened. Nevertheless, you may still find it somewhat long. I have also taken the liberty of modifying it to adapt it to the North American thinking.

Here, therefore, without further ado, is the story of “The Patient Angel.”

The hero of our story, a man of 72, was sitting on his balcony enjoying the warm rays of the sun. Suddenly, a visitor appeared out of nowhere.

“Who are you?” asked the startled man.

“I am the angel of death, your time has come my friend,” said the angel of death (hereafter referred to as simply the angel).

“You caught me by surprise.”

“I am sorry, but that’s the way I operate.”

“You can’t take me now.”

“Why not?”

“Next June my daughter is getting married. She is the light of my eyes. She was born after four boys; she came when I was already despairing of ever having a daughter. I want to dance at her wedding.” The man at this point had tears rolling down his cheeks.

The angel considered his options. He would get in trouble with his superiors, but it was for a good cause.

“Fine. But I will be back in a year.”

But angels are very busy beings and he forgot about that man. Five years went by before the angel came back. But once again, the man was not ready.

“My daughter is expected to give birth next week. She has been trying to conceive for three years, but without success. Then, when we least expected it, it happened. You cannot possibly take me now.”

This particular angel had no interest whatsoever in births. This was a totally different department. But he was weary of fighting with this difficult client, so he relented once more.

At his next visit, three years later, he had difficulty finding this man. He had moved. He was now the owner of a beautiful house in an upscale area of the city.

“Let me tell you what happened,” said the man, “then you will understand why you cannot take me now.”

“What happened?” asked the angel with an amused smile.

“My aunt died last year …”

“Yes, I know,” said the angel. “She was one of my clients and she was 99. I like those cases. At that age, they are glad to see me!”

“Yes, but what you don’t know is that she left me all her money. I used part of that money to buy this beautiful property. All my life, I lived in a small apartment, and besides …”

The angel interrupted him and told him in a stern voice, “I have no interest in money, inheritances, or beautiful homes. It is now May. I’ll be back next January. This will give you a chance to enjoy your home and your family for one last Christmas.”

And true to his word, the angel came in January. This time he vowed that nothing would sway him. He was too busy for this nonsense.

When the man saw the angel, he simply urged him to follow him.

Taking him to his backyard, he pointed to a mound of snow. “Do you know what this is?”

“Yes, snow.”

“No, this is a rose garden like no other; by next spring …”

Now this angel had heard the excuse of the rose garden, and the absolute necessity to live long enough to see it bloom, so often that he burst out laughing. He laughed so hard that he could not perform his solemn task with dignity. So once more, his quarry escaped him.

Seven long years went by. This time the angel stayed away not because he forgot, but because he wanted to see if this man would finally understand that he could postpone, but that ultimately death was inevitable. Besides, he was curious to hear what excuse the man would come up with after he had been given such a long reprieve.

The man had moved again. This time the angel had the worst time finding him. An angel from the department of mammon (material wealth) was finally able to direct him. The man now lived in a mansion on top of a hill. Under the circumstances, the angel did not see fit to make a sudden appearance. He knocked on the door and was greeted by a butler.

“Whom should I announce sir?” asked the butler.

“Just tell him the angel is here. He will understand.”

The butler gave him a funny look and went to fetch his master.

“Oh, my good friend,” said the man when he entered the living room, “you will never believe what happened to me since I last saw you.”

Tell me,” said the angel. “I am willing to believe almost anything.”

“Well, I discovered that I have a talent for writing. I am now a well-known writer, and as you can see I have made a lot of money, I support many charitable foundations and …”

“I suppose you want another extension?”

“Well, I hate to impose, but …”

The next time these two met there were no pretence. Without any preamble or small talk, the man embarked on his latest story.

“What I never told you last time was that my books are built around a moral theme. I am now consulted by so many people; even heads of states and captains of industry consult me on moral issues; why even the White House and the Vatican …”

“Do you want me to come back in a few years?”

Our hero was now 100 years old. He was blind and almost deaf. He was often in pain. “Where is he? Where is he?” he muttered to himself all day. Finally, a few days before his 103rd birthday, his deliverer came. But it was not the same angel.

“Where is my friend?” asked the man.

“Well, he was not very good at his job. We are very patient in our department; but eventually your friend received one poor performance review too many and …”

“You mean he was fired?”

At this the angel burst out laughing. “No, no. Angels cannot be fired! It’s a job for eternity! He has been transferred to another department.”

“Well, I don’t care who does the job. Take me. Please take me. I am so tired.”

* * *

We come into this world against our will; we leave against our will; and in between, most of what we do, we do against our will!

Comments are closed.