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.