An angel is not so much born as it is formed: created out of nothingness, shaped by a divine hand.
Some are made of darkness, the secret space between stars. Others are made of dust, glittering as a million balls of fire burn bright around them. Still others are made of the ice of comets and the chill of meteors, the coldness of the silence of space.
He watches as his Father crafts the little one. This one is made of radiance and resplendence, of a brilliance that touches all those who see him. His Father gathers the pulsing light of a misty nebula and forms each individual feather of the little one’s wings, smooths them down with love and care. An ethereal glow forms his skin. A sliver of a galaxy becomes his hair. A fluttering sheet of ghostly-green aurora plucked from above the Earth clothes him.
His Father collects the light of the stars—Andromeda, the Black Tortoise of the North, the White Tiger of the West—and cups that shining mass in his hands, presses the tiny points of light together into a single wavering ball of pure white light. He calls it the angel’s Grace.
And as his Father cradles the little one, he tucks the Grace into the heart of the celestial mass—and the little one trembles into being, every part together and alive and whole.
“Castiel, the angel of Thursday,” his Father murmurs in the voice of a universe, a rumbling that shakes the stars and tears galaxies apart. “My little soldier.”
Castiel’s Grace glows in the darkness, a light so bright that it swallows the light of the stars around him.
And as Castiel flaps his wings for the first time and plunges into the darkness, Gabriel unfurls his wings and catches the little one, his own Grace bursting with brotherly love as he welcomes Castiel into the whirling dust of countless galaxies, into the fire and light that has existed since the beginning of time.
“Castiel,” he murmurs in a voice that makes the little one quiver. “Welcome to the world.”