February 12, 2029, Level VII Heaven
After three attempts, Kali finally opens her heavy eyes. She is having her first conscious thought since the broken phylactery forced the snake venom into her veins and made her dizzy. She covers her eyes with her hands to prolong facing the inevitability of being back in Hades. The light around her is bright, and she’s sure it’s coming from the high flames that burn in the deepest levels of Center Earth.
Someone calls her name. It’s not Lucie’s voice, nor the voice of any of the other Lead Demons. It’s the voice of a man. She peeks a little to allow her eyes to follow her curiosity. Just as she does, a second male voice, whispers to her, “Kali, you have to get up. Almighty is speaking to you.”
She sits up quickly and looks around. The light is not coming from flames. It comes from above and shines directly on her. The second voice comes from Archangel Raphael. He smiles as he reaches down to offer her his hand to help her to her feet.
Kali wonders if her memory is a bit foggy from the venom—because the last time she saw Raphael he was not smiling at her. He was shaking his head in disgust and turning his back. After centuries of a strong friendship, they parted ways after the Angel Revolt.
Raphael continues his whispered guidance. “You are in Heaven, and more importantly, you are in the presence of Almighty. Pay attention. He has something to tell you.” Since Raphael seems to offer his advice without the slightest inkling of condemnation, she takes hold of his hand and shuffles to her feet. Almighty begins to speak.
“My beloved Kali, today you will return to live with me in Paradise.”
Kali is disheartened. She’s sure Almighty is toying with her to set an example for the others. His sarcasm is sure to end with Him casting her into Center Earth for all eternity. Who could blame Him? She certainly deserves it. She was ousted from Heaven once—and given her activities of late, she may be the first of Almighty’s creations to be ousted twice.
She drops her chin to her chest and begins to sob. “As much as I wish this were true, Almighty, I was already banished from Heaven for my sin of pride. I have hurt so many people. I am responsible for tempting tens of thousands of people to their deaths by convincing them to commit suicide. I robbed families of their children and children of their parents. I preyed upon the vulnerable and the weak. I do not deserve forgiveness, nor do I deserve to live in your Paradise.”
“Kali, you are my creation. Because you are my creation, redemption is always a possibility. When I spoke into the vastness of space and said, ‘Let there be light,’ I established the laws of the universe. I set what is good and what is bad, and I established restoration. No one deserves forgiveness—and no one earns it. That’s not how it works. Redemption is a gift of grace and mercy I extend to any and all who humble themselves before me. I am Alpha and Omega. I am the great I AM. No one sits above me, and no one can deny me the option to reverse my decisions. There is someone here in Heaven who pleaded your case before me. He convinced me you deserve a second chance.”
As Almighty finishes his sentence, Kali takes notice of movement in the dense fog to His right. A man emerges from the mist. As the figure moves in her direction, she can see it is St. Paul. Once he stands directly in front of her, he draws her in for a hug. Kali buries her head into his shoulder and cries. She eventually looks up at him through her tears. “You pleaded my case after I tried to ruin your ministry on Earth—why?”
“Kali, Almighty’s message has always been about hope and forgiveness. Almighty forgave me after I had many of His followers put to death. I sought them out for prosecution for one reason only—they had a relationship with the Creator I didn’t understand. I feared them for it. I figured if Almighty can forgive me, I can certainly forgive you. I also want you to know after my redemption on Earth, you were in my prayers and forgiven. Look up, Kali. Almighty has something else to tell you.” Paul turns towards the light. Kali shadows her eyes with her hands so she can do the same.
“Kali, you protected my people by breaking free from Lucifer’s stronghold and arming the Pope, the Ambassador, and the Heavenly Team with information they needed to thwart Lucifer’s plans. Because of the great things you have done, hope has been reborn on Earth—even as it enters its final hours. The keys are safely stored with the Saints, and my children will be safe in seven years. You stepped out on faith and risked your future to spare the lives of innocent men. I have never asked for faith that is stronger than this. I am restoring you to the rank of Angel in my kingdom. Your wings will be returned, and you will dine with the royalty of Heaven for all eternity.”
The former Lead Demon is awestruck. Am I dreaming? One look from Paul tells her the proclamation is real. She bows on one knee and thanks her Creator.
“Kali lift your head and stand. Saint Paul has something to say.” Kali turns to face St. Paul.
“Angel Kali, remember when Lucifer told you there would never be a chair in all of Hades that would bear your name?” Kali nods. “She was right. There will not be a chair for you in Hades, but there will be one for you here.” Paul steps aside to reveal a beautiful crystal and pearl throne that sparkles when the light reflects off the diamonds interlaid in intricate designs. Across the top of the small throne are the words, Kali, Beloved Angel of Almighty.
She turns to thank Almighty, but His bright light has departed. A tear of joy runs down her cheek. She closes her eyes and offers a verbal praise to her Creator—knowing that once again, he’ll hear her prayers. When she opens her eyes, many of her former angel friends are holding a banner which reads, “Welcome Home Kali.” Thousands of angels dance, surrounded by balloons and flecks of gold falling and filling the space around them. They sing praises for the return of the prodigal angel.
She thinks, If every human being could see this, they would know how much they are loved—and how much Almighty desires to save them and bring them home.
Raphael hands her a bouquet of white roses. Michael and Gabriel reattach her wings. And Paul himself places a crown upon her head.