After the Day of Rest, God looked out on the universe that he had made. God saw the ripples and the rhythms; the flow and the ebbing of all Creation. Here and there, God saw that there were eddys in the flow and sometimes the tide was turned aside or even back on itself.
God called the archangels and sent them to visit Creation and tell of what they witnessed.
Gabriel spoke of the music of the spheres, the birdsong; the call of the wolf and the midnight song of the nightingale; the rustle of leaves and the thunder of waterfalls; it was all good.
Raphael spoke of the growing of life; the play between the butterfly and the bee; the patterns of the flowers and grain; the colours of the coral reef and the rainbow of the myriad sealife that moved across it; it was all good.
Uriel spoke of the sunrise and sunset; of clouds racing across desert skies; of the midnight sun sparking off glaciers; of death and how new life came from death; it was all good.
Michael stood silently for a moment; frowned; opened his mouth then closed it again. His eyes went up to the higher heavens and then he sighed.
'Michael', God said, 'speak of what you saw.'
'Almighty, You are good and everything you do is good. It's just the little ones; the humans -they don't seem to know their place; they don't seem to know how to 'be' good. They wander here and there; they build homes only to destroy them; they dig up the earth only to plant something else; they love - they love wonderfully but they hate as wonderfully as they love. They don't seem to know You; they don't seem to know themselves. They seem - unsettled - unfinished somehow.'
Michael opened his eyes wide, lost for what else to say, and looked across at the other archangels.
'You made them last of all, Wondrous One,' murmured Gabriel, 'perhaps they are not quite ready?'
'I made them last of all , but I love them most,' replied God, 'and I have given them so much. Maybe they could do with some guidance; some support; maybe someone to watch over them?'
The archangels bowed in agreement. 'Maybe more than one?' suggested Uriel.
'Then,' said God, 'I am sending you, Uriel, to watch over their days and nights and show those with eyes that see, signs of my presence. Gabriel, you will speak to those with ears that hear, of my love for them. Raphael, you will teach those who are willing of the healing power of my creation and guide them on the right paths.
And Michael, Michael, you will watch over them - if you have seen their weakness then others will have too and I will not lose even one. You will guard them whilst they live and, at the end of this Day you will bring them Home to me.'
The archangels bowed deeply to their Almighty Beloved and turned in formation to take up their guardianship.
'I have a feeling,' commented Michael, 'this is going to be a really long Day.'