A Trip Downtown With The Bodiless Powers

A Trip Downtown With The Bodiless Powers February 1, 2017

I’d caught the friendly driver, but Old Scratch was on the walkie, gabbing away, broadcasting his opinions to everybody who rode the Steubenville city buses. I’ve mentioned Old Scratch before– an arrogant man with a shaved head and mirrored sunglasses. He likes to turn the radio to the heavy metal music channel and blast it far too loud. He likes to say insulting, racist things to anyone who will listen– I’ve been trapped on the bus with him while he harangues passengers about how people from the Middle East wipe their bottoms with their bare hands and never bathe. Another time, he very nearly triggered a rape flashback by making all the passengers listen to the extremely profane local talk radio show, to a segment peppered with rape jokes. The very sound of Old Scratch’s basso voice makes me shudder, and now I was trapped with it.

Worse yet, Old Scratch was explaining about Donald Trump. Old Scratch is in love with Donald Trump. He’s convinced that everyone is; that the whole country is behind him, despite his low approval ratings. He said as much over the walkie. He railed about the dangers of refugees, and how important it was to be “tough.”

I tried not to listen.

I tried not to think about how nervous I was.

I tried not to think about the horrible things he’d said and done in the past.

By the time I got home, my good mood had evaporated. I was furious.  I dumped my new clothes on top of the laundry basket without trying them on. I squabbled with my husband and swore about Old Scratch right in front of Rose. I got on Facebook and vented to my friends. And I’m glad  I did, because they’re wiser than I am. One of them had a suggestion:

Maybe his guardian angel was like, “This dude needs someone to pray for him, stat. But he’s such a [deleted] I don’t see that happening. Wait, what about Bob’s lady?” (Mary, your guardian angel’s name is Bob.)

So Carl’s angel goes to Bob, and Bob is like, “Beulah, how’s tricks?” And Beulah is like, “This [deleted], courting Satan every [deleted] day… If I could get one Kyrie Eleison sent his way, I could hold Old Scratch off until Old Scratch passes out in his Natty Ice this evening…”

So Bob goes, “[deleted], I don’t know… That’s going to take some supernatural grace. I suppose I could get her to adoration, but it may not be enough, she’s going to need some corporal comforts, too…”

So Beulah thinks for a bit, then exclaims, “I got it! Send her by the thrift store later! Kelsey and I had bridge last night, and she mentioned inspiring her girl to clean out her closet Saturday. Would new duds sweeten the deal?”

I don’t think my guardian angel’s name is Bob. I don’t know her name. I just call her “Guardian Angel.”  I always picture her looking like Neil Gaiman’s Delerium— or like a giant Tiffany lampshade, a dome of rainbow-colored glass, covering me and filtering in the Light of Heaven.

But I do think that my friend’s dialogue is something like how the Bodiless Powers really work with one another for our benefit. And I am grateful. Thanks to Bob, Beulah, Kelsey and whoever my friend’s guardian angel is, I remember that my job is not to fume but to intercede.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, through the prayers of the Theotokos and the Bodiless Powers, have mercy on Old Scratch and on all sinners of whom I am the first.

(image via Wikimedia Commons)

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