There was once an angel of God’s Kingdom, and he was called Conviction.
It was Conviction who brought God’s word to mortal man and made him to see the truth of God’s word, and brought the message back to God that man was willing to listen to His teachings. For God saw that Conviction was kind of heart and gentle in his speech and knew that his was such a voice as man might listen to with respect, and would hear what wisdom God would give.
So did Conviction become the conduit through which man learned what God would have him know, of being kind and honest, of fairness and working towards a good cause. Conviction gave to man the wisdom that God bid him teach, and so man came to love Conviction for the gifts he brought them.
And Conviction learned, too, of man and his ways, and brought back to God word of what he had seen and heard. In the beginning, God was free with His knowledge, giving as much to man as man could understand. But time went on, and God gave to Conviction less and less to bring man, and cautioned him to be wary of man’s thirst to be taught.
“They are not like to you, Conviction, for you are certain in the truth of what I say. For I am God, and you are of my angels, and above the doubts of mortal man. But he does not see that he is doubtful in his heart, and knows only that what you have taught, comes from my word, and that this is a gift. Man will believe that he has come to deserve such teachings as I cannot give him, for the knowledge of all truths will overwhelm him, though he does not believe it could be so.”
And so Conviction taught less and less, and as God had said, man grew restless. He asked of Conviction why God did not share with him truths as he had done before, and Conviction, heeding God’s command to him, said only that he did as God bid him, and could say no more.
And Conviction brought back to God word of man’s desire for truth, but his heart was burdened and he did not dare tell God for fear that He would order him cease his teachings. Conviction continued to give to man God’s words, but as His words grew less and less, Conviction stayed more and more among man and learned what he could of their hearts and minds, and became more troubled. For he saw in man a growing doubt in God’s wisdom. He saw that man was willing still to hear God’s word but he was slower to believe the truth of it, and hesitant to live by the ways ordained by God.
And Conviction saw that man lived by his own means, and was confused. For God had said to him, “My words are truth, and man seeks truth most of all.” Yet man heard less and less of God’s word and lived well despite. And Conviction could not understand, for he had lived always by God’s word and did not know how it was possible to do otherwise. So he stayed longer and longer with man and asked many questions of him, and brought back to God less and less of what he learned.
Of man’s heart, Conviction learned much. He learned of man’s initial honour that God would give His wisdom freely. He learned of man’s joy in what he learned, and the praise he gave to God for His gifts. He learned of man’s confusion and his hurt when God’s word came more seldom and less clear. And he learned of man’s reluctance to rely on God’s word when God seemed to withdraw the hand that He had so willingly offered. And at length, Conviction learned of man’s love for him, who had brought God’s gift of wisdom and yet stayed to learn what he could of man though surely God’s wisdom was more powerful.
And at length, Conviction approached God and said to him, “I have carried your words to man, and I have carried his words to you as you have asked, and though I am glad to give such service, my heart is heavy. For what I have learned by you, so has man, and it is true that he values your wisdom. Yet he has also created his own wisdom, and he holds his wisdom to be truer than that which you have given him because while you gave freely at first, you have given less and less, while he seeks to answer his own questions, no matter how many they be numbered. I know this, for I have been many hours with man and I have seen in his heart his quiet joy at the knowledge he himself gains, and I have seen that he is well in trusting what he has learned.”
At this, God grew angry, and he said to Conviction, “You know that what I say is truth, and yet you will say that man will heed less what I say than what he can find himself. Man does not always learn the truth, and I believe you have learned from him. Do you deny that it is so?” And Conviction could make no reply.
So it was that God turn his face away, and gave him a new name, and that name was Uncertainty, and he bid him tell man of what had befallen, that man might learn what it was to question God’s truth. And the angel took his leave of God with head held high, and he did as he was bid, greeting man as Uncertainty and he gave to him the tale of what had passed. And man greeted him the same and offered Uncertainty a place on Earth, that he might serve God’s will as a reminder to man.
“You who were Conviction, God has named Uncertainty in punishment. And yet He counsels only the consequence of doubting his words. He says nothing of that wisdom which he has not given, and you can serve no lesson of such matters.” And Uncertainty saw man’s wisdom in this, for the wisdom he had made was not of God’s gifts, and man would believe still in that which he had taught himself.
So did Uncertainty, who was known still in the hearts of man as Conviction, come to live alongside man as a fallen angel. And man saw him still as honest and kind and did not care that he was no longer welcome in God’s Kingdom because they loved him still for the gifts that he had brought them from that Kingdom, and for the love he showed them when he stayed to learn from them. And if with time Uncertainty who was Conviction became lesser in his glory, still did he retain his love of man, and man his love of the angel.