Angels of God have often inflamed my imagination during my childhood days. But the interesting fact is that, I placed those heavenly beings beside my childhood war heroes. Naturally, Michael the Archangel was my favorite, as he was the heavenly fighter, a hero at par with my favorite war heroes – Hercules, Hanuman and Phantom. For me Michael the Archangel, with his robust figure holding a heavy sword, belonged to the category of fierce fighters who thrashed their foes with their mighty blows!
It was much later, when I really passed through bitter experiences of life with its excruciating loneliness that I began to ponder upon the character of Raphael the Archangel. The serene angel, who walked along with the lonely Tobias, stood by him in his trials as a faithful companion. Thus, Raphael became the epitome of friendship for me.
There was a time when I thought Michael was the foremost among the archangels. But, now I realize that a human being, passing through deeper experiences of life, is more in need of the companionship of Raphael. I believe that it was none other than Raphael, who came to comfort Christ, when he sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. Who else can stay thus in one’s bitterest hours?
Today, every war hero who shed blood has vanished from my heart. History has taught me that it was never the killers who ultimately win. And I know that Raphael came down to strengthen Christ before His selfsacrificing battle.
I know that Michael is not just a fighter, but a zeal roaring, ‘who is like God?’ But, Raphael, the friend of the friendless, is still my favorite – he is the friend who brings healing into our lives.
Raphael is not a mere angel, but the lost guard of mankind as depicted in Genesis. Raphael is an inspiration to all to become one another’s guard. Raphael is the name of friendship. It is through Raphael that God and man comes to visit and heal the lonely lives!