Chapter Two

I, Wisdom, dwell with Prudence… Proverbs 8:12 NKJV

Angels gathered in clusters, all whispering and glancing toward the throne room.

“Lucifer said what?”

Hurrying past, Wisdom grimaced as she caught a hint of conversation.

She scanned the other angels’ faces.

Their expressions were usually full of joy and laughter, and their whispers, hushed and excited.

Now creases danced across faces that had never worn them before.

And the whispers were strained and somber.

Too bad the whispers aren’t full of laughter and teasing this time, Wisdom mourned.

Reaching her slender dwelling stretching far above her head, Wisdom slipped inside.

Discretion greeted her at the entryway.

“Is everything ok? I heard what happened.”

Wisdom sank onto the plush, satin-covered bench by the door.

“I don’t know what to think. How can Lucifer talk to Him like that? I don’t understand.”

Prudence burst through the front entrance, bouncing the crystalline door off the wall with a jarring crack.

“Can you believe it? Can you believe what happened?” Prudence demanded.

“No, I can’t, and I was there,” moaned Wisdom.

Discretion bustled over and closed the door Prudence had left wide open. It turned a swirling blue-gold opaque once it clicked shut.

Wisdom dropped her head into her hands.

“I can’t believe it at all.”

“Me neither. If the lord would have just listened to Lucifer, the world would be a much better place.”

Wisdom’s head shot up.

“Hush, sister, you do not know of what you speak!” burst from Discretion’s mouth.

“Yes, I do! Lucifer came and told us straightaway! The lord just threw out all of his suggestions, not even caring what Lucifer thought. And he, the highest and most beautiful angel in heaven!”

Wisdom looked at Prudence askance.

“That’s not exactly what happened…”

Prudence continued as if Wisdom had never spoken.

“Oh, yeah, and one of the mere craftsmen was there and dared interrupt when he was having a private conversation with the master. The nerve of some angels!”

“That ‘mere craftsman’ happened to be me,” Wisdom interjected dryly.

If Prudence heard, she gave no indication.

“I just wish he showed Lucifer the same courtesy he shows to the rest of the heavenly beings. He deserves it.”

Prudence sighed. She leaned against the translucent table that was changing colors at whim, a dreamy look entering her eyes.

“Lucifer is just—just, wonderful.”

Alarmed, Wisdom glanced at Discretion. Discretion stared back with wide eyes. Both moved as one to Prudence’s side.

“Be careful, sister.”

“Are you sure you are not ascribing worship to one of the Lord’s created beings, instead of Himself?”

“I would be cautious of anything Lucifer says.”

“Especially if it goes against the Lord.”

Prudence broke away from her sisters.

“Oh for heaven’s sake, you two are being ridiculous. I’m not going against what the lord says. I’m just stating an opinion. My opinion.”

“How is that not going against our Maker?” Wisdom demanded.

Prudence rolled her eyes and huffed.

“Never mind. It doesn’t matter. Everything will work out just fine.”

Prudence turned away from them, but not before Wisdom saw excitement glistening in her eyes.

“Oh yes, Lucifer said everything would work out perfectly.”

“Pru…”

Wisdom’s hand felt empty as Prudence shrugged out of the feather-light touches of her sisters.

“I, uh, I’m going to my room.”

Prudence unfurled her wings and brushed their feathery tips against the waterfalls on either wall as she hurried away, something she had done since Wisdom had built their dwelling and Discretion had installed the cascades on every available surface.

The site both warmed and chilled Wisdom. Normal, yet not at all. What was wrong with Prudence?

Wisdom watched her flick her wings, sprinkling water droplets on the luminous walls, floors, and ceiling before disappearing inside her room.

The door closed with a firm thud, and Wisdom and Discretion looked at each other, neither saying a word.

The tinkling of the many waterfalls cascading down the clear walls mingled with birdsong out the open window.

Wisdom’s heart weighed against her chest like a stone.

“Maybe I should talk with her?”

“No,” Discretion said. “She doesn’t want to talk right now. Just let her work this out. She knows our Lord is good.”

Wisdom pondered her sister’s words, seeking guidance. Seeking truth. Looking at the situation from every angle possible to see if there was anything more she could do. Finally, she blew out her breath and smiled.

“You are right, sister, as always.”

Discretion gave her an impish grin.

“I know.”

“Oh! You!”

Wisdom dunked her fingertips in the light blue pool by the satin bench and flicked a few droplets at her sister. Sweet perfume escaped from each watery bead as they exploded and disappeared.

“Careful, sister. Remember what happened last time?”

“I still need Mercy to have a little chat with you ‘bout that,” grumbled Wisdom.

Discretion’s smile beamed.

“She would just jump right in and join me. You know how she loves a good time.”

“Yeah, yeah—I’m going up before I get drenched.”

Discretion cringed.

“How you can stand it up there…”

An enormous grin made Wisdom’s gorgeous face lovelier still.

“Remind me to thank the Lord for your dislike of high places.”

“Remind me to talk to Him about the reason for these blasted wings.”

Wisdom laughed.

“To help you better swim, my dear. What else?”

“Go to your tower, dear sister, and leave us lowly land dwellers to ourselves.”

Wisdom chuckled and blew Discretion a kiss. Discretion shook her head and bent to urge the stream flowing through the middle of their living room in another direction.

The girl loved water a little too much. Wisdom was fully expecting the day to come when their home was turned into a giant lake, and she would have to swim to get in the front door. Wisdom chuckled again as her wings lifted her to her chamber overlooking the King’s palace and the stars beyond.

Wisdom’s heart thrilled the farther she lifted away from the ground. She would praise her Creator for the rest of her days for giving her the gift of flight.

She landed in the open doorway and stepped onto her wall-less, roof-less chamber, blue and purple sky surrounding her on all sides. Maps and blueprints and tools littered the wide-open space, and Wisdom carefully stepped over them all, thankful that Discretion would never risk the flight to her room to clean and organize. Or install a waterfall.

She unrolled the schematics for the Andromeda galaxy and sat at her desk to study the intricate details, reminding herself that the Lord would take care of Prudence and Lucifer. She smiled at Discretion’s threat of another water fight. She could always count on her sisters to calm and refocus her when she tried to take on too many tasks.

She frowned.

Well, only one sister this time, but Prudence would come around.

~~~

Prudence sat on her couch in her sparse apartment and seethed. Just who did her sisters think she was? A weakling to be coddled and told what to do? What to think?

“Don’t admire Lucifer, Prudence; it’s wrong,” she mimicked to herself, her face twisted in fury.

Don’t tell us what you think, Prudence; listen to us.

Don’t think for yourself, Prudence; you’ll hurt something.

Prudence leapt off her couch and began to pace. Lucifer never told her what to do or how to think. He trusted her.

The one and only gift the lord had seen fit to give her, unlike the multitude of gifts he had given her sisters, was the ability to see glimpses of the future. And even that was unreliable lately. But one thing she could see clearly. Things needed to change.

She—and Lucifer—deserved respect.

And she—they—were going to get it.

A soft knock at the door made Prudence jump and whirl toward it. She unclenched her fists with great effort and plastered what she hoped was a pleasant smile on her face. Wisdom poked her head inside.

“Pru? You ok?”

“Fine.” Prudence hoped Wisdom wouldn’t notice her clipped words or strained voice. She just wanted her to leave.

Wisdom studied her for an uncomfortable moment.

“K. It’s my watch in the Garden, but I wanted to see if you needed anything before I left.”

Of course it is. You always get the fun assignments.

With great effort, Prudence kept her teeth from grinding.

“Nope.” Just go!

“All right…” Wisdom drew the words out slowly. But still she stood there. “I love you, Prudence.”

Something seized Prudence’s throat like a claw and wouldn’t let go. Her eyes burned and felt hot.

What is happening to me?

Prudence gave Wisdom an abrupt nod and turned her back. She waved in dismissal as a tear slipped down her cheek. She heard the door close softly behind her.

Prudence lifted the tear from her cheek with a shaking finger and stared at it.

It was nothing like the tears she had shed in the Throne Room in the heat of worship. This tear was completely foreign to her.

“What is happening to me?” she whispered.

Come talk to Me, dear one.

Her heart snatched and choked off the whispered words before they fully formed in her mind.

Oh, she was going to talk to him, all right. She and Lucifer were going to have a nice little chat with the lord. And he would listen to them this time.

 

Wisdom and Folly: Sisters by Michele Israel Harper, Chapter Two © 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.

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