How Many Angels

Short Story Day 110 of 365

The college dayroom was quiet except for two second career theology majors discussing the topic most Bible school students discuss at one point or another in their lives: how many angels can stand on the top of a pin?

Roger was from Brooklyn and Preston was from rural Wyoming, about as two distinct and disparate places in the United States as you can get. Both were in their early 40s.

“How many angels on the head of a pin? Really? Why is this even a topic at Bible college?” Preston asked. “Don’t you think there are more urgent topics we could be talking about?”

“Such as?”

“Uh, missions in the 21st century. Women in the pastorate, race relations, sin in the church, reaching the inner city masses, poverty, failure of church leadership, inerrancy of Scripture.”

“Well, then, do you think we have guardian angels?” Roger asked.

“Probably. Doesn’t matter. God protects regardless. Next question.”

“How many?”

“Guardians? Or angels?”

“Guardian angels,” Roger said.

“Doesn’t matter to me. None. Does that satisfy?” asked Preston.

“Nope. Why none?”

“Because I don’t care.”

“So you don’t care about theology?” Roger asked.

“Theology of angels? No, not really. Not really a high priority of mine. Theology of God, missions, Christ, the church, the Spirit, absolutely. End times, maybe. But angels aren’t in my top 10 list.”


“How…no, why so?” Preston asked. “Why is it a pity I’d rather focus on the major parts of Scripture rather than the minutia? Yes, angels helped usher in some major things over the last 4000 years of biblical history. Ten commandments, Abraham, Isaac, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, even the Apostle Paul. Whether or not a guardian angel protected my car from being smashed in an icy accident 20 years ago isn’t a major thing to me.”

They froze.

Roger asked, “Why? What happened 20 years ago?”

“I was listening to this Christian artist and the lyrics came on ‘Got His angels watching over me, every step I make’ and my car slid to a stop in the middle of an intersection and a car that could have broadsided me didn’t. He went around instead. Exact same time as those lyrics.”

Roger nodded and smiled.

Preston said, “Okay. One angel only. That’s all that needs to be there, right? Are you happy now?”


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