Chapter One

Then I (Wisdom) was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men. Proverbs 8:30-31 NKJV

“Oh, Lord, it’s lovely.”

“Yes, it is.”

His heavy hands rested lightly on her shoulders. She leaned into His touch.

“Each design is flawless,” she continued.

“And perfectly executed by my master craftsman.”

A thrill coursed through Wisdom at her Maker’s praise. She removed her scrutiny from the brightly colored orb spinning at her feet and turned to meet His eyes. Their warm depths drew her in and set her heart ablaze.

“Oh!” Wisdom spun back around. “I’ve checked and rechecked, and each planet is seamlessly in orbit to support life on Terra. There is a perfect balance of water and atmospheric pressure. Oh, yes! The dry land seems to be holding the waters in their place quiet nicely. Also—”

“Wisdom.”

She stopped her calculations and glanced over her shoulder.

“Yes?”

He was laughing at her; his always smiling eyes smiling even further.

“I know. I designed it. You can rest easy now, love. It is good.”

She nodded. A quick glance to the earth told her He was right. She just wanted to be certain. He had, after all, given her the task to carry out His most fun project to date. Movement on the globe snagged her attention. She did not realize a lengthy silence had passed until her Master chuckled.

“What do you think of the man and woman I put in my Paradise?”

“They are delightful, my Lord. I can’t get over how much they look like You!”

She sighed and rested her elbows on the glass blueprints spread out before her, floating mid-air. The map supported her, not shifting under her slight weight.

“Look at how much fun they are having!” she laughed.

Her eyes easily picked out the two newest creatures frolicking in the Creator’s garden, far below her.

“Sheer delight,” she murmured, unable to take her eyes from them.

Wisdom laughed as the woman splashed water on Adam from a pool when he wasn’t looking. Adam caught her around the waist and tickled her, bending his head for a passionate kiss.

“Guard it well, for its loveliness cannot last forever.”

Wisdom glanced quickly at her Lord. Seriousness had overtaken His lighthearted attitude of seconds before.

“Yes, my Love.”

She bowed her head, but a slight frown creased her forehead as her mind raced. What did He mean its loveliness would not last forever? It was perfect. What could have changed His demeanor so?

“Do you think I should…?” she began.

“Oh gracious and mighty majesty!”

Whispers traveled the room as Lucifer strutted into the King’s antechamber. A smile turned up the corners of Wisdom’s lips. Excellent. A visit from Lucifer would brighten the King’s countenance. Other angels may tease her of being the Lord’s favorite, but, if He had a favorite, she was certain it would be Lucifer.

Genuine pleasure lit the King’s face.

“Ah, Lucifer, my beloved, have you seen Earth?”

“I have, my lord.”

She watched Lucifer preen and bow deeply as the angels in the room followed his every movement, their eyes riveted on him. His forehead very nearly touching the crystal floor, Lucifer held the bow for an inordinate amount of time, his iridescent wings splayed far on either side of him.

Wisdom’s hungry eyes drank in—and were always satisfied by—the beauty her Lord created. Lucifer’s exquisiteness rivaled any of the Maker’s creations, including His new earth and the creatures in it.

Wisdom’s gaze drifted the length of the shimmering robe pooled far behind the kneeling cherub.

Colors wafted and curled through the glass floor at random, but they could not compete with the glistening cloak. Vibrant threads wove in and out of the fabric, holding tight to precious stones of every variety.

Wisdom grinned in satisfaction as she thought of a few of those very stones being tucked deep within Terra’s crust. Love’s creatures would be exhilarated when they found them!

Lucifer lifted his head, letting his gaze trail across the angels in the room. He seemed to immensely enjoy their watching him. Wisdom smiled when his gaze halted on her. He straightened and speared her with an unreadable glance before turning his attention to the King. And his back to Wisdom.

It’s as it should be. All focus on the Master, Wisdom thought to herself when his actions unsettled her. She tried to focus on Love’s voice.

“And what do you think of my latest creation, Day Star?”

Lucifer made his way regally to the edge of the open palace, pausing at the side of the Creator.

“Well, it’s great, don’t get me wrong, but there are a few things I would change about it.”

Audible gasps sucked the air out of the room, and Wisdom stared at Lucifer, aghast. No one had questioned the Almighty’s handiwork before; it had always been perfect. It was perfect. What could Lucifer mean? Wisdom spun to look at her Creator.

Infinite sorrow rested in His eyes.

“And what would that be, beloved cherub?” He gently asked.

As Lucifer paced, he flung his hand in the direction of the new planet, its vibrant blues and greens reflecting off of his pristine face.

“Take water, for instance. It doesn’t make sense. Those weak creatures you put there can’t even live in it. Sure, it is pretty in its own way, but too much of the earth’s surface is covered with it. If you loved those things so much, why would you make such a great deal of the earth uninhabitable for them?”

Wisdom stepped forward.

“Oh, but you see, water is necessary for life. The moisture in the air, a place for the animals of the sea to live—it has been perfectly calculated…”

“And that’s another thing,” Lucifer cut her off with a scathing look.

Pink tinged Wisdom’s cheeks as she stumbled back. She had never seen such a look on an angel’s face before. Gooseflesh trailed her arms, and she rubbed at it, trying to still the clenching in her gut. What had she done wrong?

“Why did you make those fabulous creatures of yours so weak? I would have placed giant beasts as masters of my world, not made so many things larger than, and capable of trampling, my so-called rulers.”

Lucifer clasped his hands behind his back and faced the sphere, pride shining off of his entire being. Wisdom watched him hesitantly turn in the King’s direction when He did not speak. Squirming, Lucifer bowed when their eyes met.

“But, of course, all you do is perfect.”

“Of course.”

Lucifer straightened and hurried from the room.

Tears filled Wisdom’s eyes when she saw the pain filling her Master’s face. She opened her mouth to speak.

“Leave me, please, everyone.”

All in the room bowed and hastened to obey.

Yearning to comfort Him, Wisdom cast one last glance back at her Love before the doors swung soundlessly shut.

~~~

Prudence lounged on the gold-threaded settee, barely stifling a yawn. Káel, handsome though he was, was droning on and on and on about the beauty and the majesty and the glory of the lord.

Awesome as that was and all, sometimes Prudence just wanted to talk about something else.

Angels have other interests, you know, she scolded Káel silently as she tried to look interested.

The door burst open and Prudence lazily looked its way, wondering what glorious thing the lord had done now. Likely some angel was in an uproar over the littlest thing.

She jumped to her feet.

Lucifer stood at the door, both hands braced against the doorframe. He breathed heavily and stared at the floor, his shoulders bowed under a heavy, unseen burden.

Prudence started toward him.

“Wait, Pru! Don’t you want to hear what happened next?”

“Not now, Káel! Can’t you see Lucifer is distressed?”

She shook off Káel’s restraining hand and hurried toward Lucifer. She reached out to touch him then jerked her hand back. He had said never to touch him without invitation. But, oh, how she wanted to run her hand over the porcelain skin of his hand. Or just briefly nudge one precious gem. Just once.

“Lucifer? Are you…? Is everything…is everything ok?”

Lucifer glanced up at her. She met his gaze boldly before dropping her head in respect.

“Prudence. Valor. Aurik. With me. Now.”

Prudence hesitated, surprised, but Lucifer was already moving away. She rushed to catch up, desperate to be at his side.

Lucifer stopped in other rooms, calling only a few angels from each task.

Prudence’s chest swelled as she realized she was the first angel he called. She made sure she stayed close to him as others joined them. She admired the way he strode with purpose, his mantle sweeping far behind him. Her heart hammered when he swiftly led them to his very own abode.

She stared in awe at the mansion she had never before been inside. She had dreamed of this day. Reverently stepping over the threshold, Prudence hurried after Lucifer to a chamber deep within the house. He made a great show of pulling the doors tightly closed.

Dropping his face into one hand, he braced his other hand against the wall and froze.

Prudence smirked. If he was trying to get their attention, he had succeeded.

“You know He can still see and hear us behind closed doors,” joked one of the angels.

Lucifer ignored the comment and the room slid into a strained silence.

“Brothers, Sisters—I have news.”

His rich voice poured from behind his hand, and Prudence shivered with delight. He was such a pleasure to listen to.

“The master, the creator, he—he no longer listens to me.”

He swept his hand down his face and gazed at the ceiling.

“I fear—I fear I have outgrown my usefulness.”

Prudence sucked in her breath.

Never, she vowed.

Cries and objections fluctuated in volume.

He blinked hard, but his eyes remained dry. Lucifer held up his hands.

“Yes, yes, I am afraid it is true. He no longer cares for me, or for some of you, if what you have told me in the past is true. He is not doing what is in my—I mean, our—best interests.”

A cacophony of voices exploded in disbelief and worry and fear.

Prudence’s brow furrowed. Why didn’t this feel right?

“That is not true.”

Aurik’s voice rose boldly above the rest.

Prudence bristled. What Lucifer had to say was uncomfortable, but he would never say something that wasn’t true.

The room quieted. Lucifer’s cold gaze met Aurik’s fiery one.

“What did you say?”

“I said; it’s not the truth. Everything the Lord does is kind, and good, and true, and just. He cares for us.”

“Oh, he cares, does he?” Lucifer called and swept his arms and wings wide. “What of the new creatures he made? The new planet, the galaxy, the universe? He is giving our reign to those…those things. They are not just his latest toys; they are our replacements! He is exchanging us for them. He is done with each and every one of you, just wait and see if I’m right. Now, if I were in charge, I would set these weak beings aside and make sure none of you ever feared replacement.”

“I’m not going to listen to these…blasted…untruths.”

Aurik pushed his way from the room, jerking the doors next to Lucifer open. Lucifer inclined his head and waited for Aurik to leave.

“Anyone else?” His cold voice held none of the passion from moments before.

Two more angels left the room, but far less boldly. One glanced behind her as Lucifer closed and fastened the door.

Prudence made sure that angel saw her scorn before turning her full attention back to Lucifer.

“Now, where were we? Ah, yes. The king is done with us, I’m afraid.”

“But, Lucifer, mighty one, what are we going to do?” cried Abundance.

“Worry not, dear friends. I have a plan. Prudence, my dear, come here. I want you by my side.”

Prudence walked forward; afraid she would burst. Facing the room of angels, she lived her dearest wish. At Lucifer’s side, above them all.

 

Wisdom and Folly: Sisters by Michele Israel Harper, Chapter One © 2014

Painting by “Unidentified Artist”

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.  Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

4 Thoughts on “Chapter One

  1. Marie Pinkham on September 8, 2014 at 8:54 am said:

    Wow, Michele, I’m floored by your gift of writing. It’s poetic. I’m shivering and covered in goosebumps after reading that. The vision you show in your version of this story is incredible. I just can’t say enough that this is an incredible piece of writing! I would seriously be praying and considering showing this to someone in the publishing industry if you haven’t already. Just wow! I can’t wait to read more. Marie @ Aspiring Christian Authors

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