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A Beast and An Angel
Written by Paul Landis Delaune

     Within me reside a beast and an angel.  The angel has the mind of a child and sees only wonder and delight in this world.  The angel seeks only to play and enjoy.  The angel sees God’s face everywhere
and everyone as a friend.  The angel is innocent and bold.  In innocence the concepts of courage
and fear do not exist, for the angel lives only in and for the moment, walking hand-in-hand with
the Holy Spirit of God.

     The beast, too, has the mind of a child and wants only wonder and delight.  The beast wants
only to play and enjoy.  The beast knows not God’s face and knows no one as friend.  The beast
is guilty and afraid. In guilt the concepts of shame and fear are only too real, for the beast
enjoys not the moment for he fears what the future may bring, terrified of the avenging hand
of a wrathful God.

     The angel is fragile and the beast is strong.  The language of the angel is laughter and that of
the beast is passion.  The angel loves himself and is happy.  The beast is ashamed of himself
and is unhappy.  The angel sees laughter in love and the beast sees passion in love.  The
angel is satisfied and the beast hungers.  The angel is free, soaring on eagle’s wings in the light
of the sun.  The beast is shackled, bound by the forgotten judgments of others in the darkness
of its own fear.

     The angel feels love as spiritual light.  The beast feels love aslusty fire. The angel’s love
gives. The beast’s love wants.  When the angel boldly says, “I love you;” the beast cowers
in the fear  that its desire will be rejected.  The angel seeks to be open and honest with
its love, reveling  in the light of truth.  The beast seeks to be secretive and
mysterious, hiding in a shroud of fear.  While the angel will lookinto your eyes
and smile, the beast will look away and glance over its shoulder.

     I am the angel and the beast.  The angel in me knows itself as a gift from God, while the
beast in me views itself as what God rejects.  The angel in me sees the beast as the
source of its strength, power and creativity, for these are rooted in passion, holding
the other in a compassionate embrace.  The beast longs for such understanding and
acceptance of itself, but its fear is strongly entrenched.

     Within me the two struggle to be one, stripping away negative judgments and conceptions as
so much worn out attire, seeking to clothe me in a cloak of holiness and glory.  Your
acceptance of me as I am and loving me despite myself helps me realize I am worthy
and have value.  In the embrace of your love, the reflection of what I can become guides
me into God’s wisdom and knowledge, stripped of the doubt of belief.

     Thus, we heal the belief that we are separated from one another,  from our world and from
God.  We further our realization of the experience of peace, unity and completion both within and
between ourselves.  It has been said that souls in support of one another is the ultimate romance.
The music is playing—shall we dance?  Angels and beasts together as one.