A little silly, a lot of paperwork

I was doing my chattery thing where I talk in my head to my guardian angel about anything and everything, and I interrupted myself mid-stream to say, “But you can’t do that. It would be a HIPAA violation.”

This time, I thought I heard a response: Am I bound by HIPAA?

I thought, “No, I guess you aren’t. I mean, I didn’t sign anything…but maybe you are.”

I figure a guardian angel is, in a way, a health-care provider, since they’re looking out for  a person’s general well-being in addition to their spiritual well-being. But they don’t really have to do the paperwork that an American health care provider would have (since, you know, they’re Heavenly creatures, and I cannot imagine Heaven as a place of eternal happiness and peace if you have to fill out form SA-381 in order to acquire it) and I’ve never had to give my guardian angel a co-pay.

But that led to another thought, which is something I’ve tangled with from time to time and which showed up in the draft of one of my novels. In the story, the character says her guardian angel should ask the guardian of someone else if that person has a certain stolen item in his home. The angel responds the way you would if I asked you to wear a duck on your head: it just isn’t done, the angel says. A person’s crimes are between himself and God Almighty, and talking about those things would be defamation of character.

Well, that would neatly eliminate the possibility of guardian angel support groups, despite the fact that I got a lot of mileage out of that idea too. You could have a group of angels hanging around but they couldn’t really vent, could they?

Angel#1: My charge did this awful thing.

Angel#2: So did mine.

Angel#1: I wonder if they’re the same thing.

Angel#3: Well it can’t be as bad as the thing mine did.

Angel#1: I wouldn’t know, would I?

Angel#3: All I can tell you is, I hated having to fill out yet another SA-381.

Angel#2: Yeah, those Requisitions For Reforgiveness Of Previously Forgiven Faults are just a nightmare.

Angel#4: Actually, that’s the SA-381-R. I just keep nine or ten of those around mostly filled-out. It saves time.

But the upshot was, eventually I decided that when we do something wrong, it doesn’t become the fodder of the Heavenly gossip mill, and that only the witnesses know it happened. And of course, God would know, but being Omniscient and Omnipotent, God wouldn’t have a problem filling out the forms.

God: Welcome to Heaven! Here’s your G-29, and please stand over there and smile so we can take your picture for your ID cards. Press hard while signing: thou art making seven copies.


  1. thefaithfultraveler

    LOVE IT.

    1. philangelus

      Did you fill out the Loving It requisition form, SV-2291.7? Make sure to initial paragraph eight.

  2. Lynn Mosher

    LOL Love it!

  3. Pat

    I don’t know – I figure at least my patrons know about it. If I’m asking St. Joseph for help with a problem I may have caused myself, do I have to fill him in on the details?

    But gossip – no. Gossip is really boring, anyway. Surely angels and saints have something more interesting to talk about!

    1. philangelus

      No, not exactly gossip. But let’s say I do something that my guardian angel considers reprehensible, and he wants me to turn around and not do it anymore. Wouldn’t it be helpful for him to go to a mentor and say, “How do I stop her from doing XYZ?”

      Clearly that would be okay. Now you go to the next step: I’m doing a reprehensible thing and he thinks it would help me to become un-reprehensible if someone I respect tells me to knock it off, so he might try to recruit another guardian to get their charge to talk to me about this thing.

      That’s iffier, right?

      Now what if the angel is just fed up with me being all reprehensible-like and says to another angel, “I cannot STAND it when she goes ahead and does XYZ!” That’s something most parents can relate to, only if you’re talking about sin, it has eternal meaning, right?

      Carry it out further: “Hey, I noticed Jane’s guardian seemed really stressed today. Anything I can do to help?” / “No, he’s just concerned because she’s doing that reprehensible thing again.”

      See — kind of slippery, which is why it feels like there must be some sort of angelic version of HIPAA that comes into play.

  4. Mary333

    You are a riot 🙂 No, maybe they don’t gossip, but do you know what is really humiliating? That everything done in secret is made known someday! Or so the Bible says. Now, I have to say that I have done some things and thought some thoughts in the past that I would prefer no one knew about. After all, my conversion came late and those late teen, early twenty years, tend not to go very well when you don’t have much of a relationship with God. Lol!
    I read a book about a man who “died” and had his judgement and all of heaven saw every little thing he ever did. He was very embarrassed. The blessing was that the people in heaven were so charitable that they focussed (focused?) on the good stuff. Still, reading this bothered me ’cause of the pride thing I have not been able to completely get rid of yet. I was always taught that once you confess your sins that God remembered them no more. I like this way better 😉

    The thought of all the guardian angels gathering to have a gossip session over the sins of their clients made me snicker because humans have a way of forgetting that they are never alone. Sheesh! Can’t get a lick of privacy down here, can we?!

    1. philangelus

      Keep in mind that during exorcisms, the demons are unable to remember the sins that have been forgiven. So it’s only unforgiven sin that will be made known because to the Father, once we’ve been forgiven and the sin has been expiated, it’s as if it never happened. I guess. 🙂

  5. Mary333

    That’s very interesting. I didn’t know that but I’m glad I do now!

    1. philangelus

      I think that’s from Malachi Martin’s Hostage To The Devil, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read it elsewhere too. That during exorcisms, the demon will tell the exorcist anything he can in order to get him to stop, and if that means listing all unforgiven sins, that’s what he’ll do. (Not like they care whether other people know. Can you imagine some demon saying, “Well, I don’t want to hurt his feelings, and besides, that’s the sin of detraction!”? LOL.)