What do you think of when you hear the word Angel? Do you envision a celestial being sent from God? Someone or something flying around with feathered wings and a halo? A small creature sitting on your shoulder, whispering in your ear. Or do you think of a person with great character and strong faith who walks among us doing great things? A messenger from God in human form. Or do angels come in all forms? If we look, do we see angels all around us?
I have written before about angels. I believe in all those that I listed above. I believe that I have seen and experienced both earthly angels and Heavenly Angels. I believe that God has sent angels to walk among us and to be with us every day.
Some days our angels are here. Watching us live our lives, helping us with our daily existence. Those are the angels that cause us to pause a little longer than needed at a green light, just to see a car speed through the red cross light, that would have hit us. The angel that catches us when we trip, so that we don’t actually fall all the way to the ground. The angel that whispers where our keys are, when we are pulling our hair out looking for them.
Some days our angels hold our hands in silence, wishing they could help but knowing some lessons we have to learn ourselves. Or screaming with all their ability, as we ignore them and just let our pride lead us in the wrong direction. They sing with us during our times of great joy. Or they wrap their giant wings around us as we cry ourselves to sleep at night, wishing we had just one more day with that one we loved and lost.
There are also amazing people all around us that are Gods messengers clothed in human skin. These are the people that drop everything when you call for help. The ones that know what to do even when you don’t ask. These are the friends, family and sometimes strangers that God puts in your path when you most need them.
Last week, Kirby and I were in New Orleans. I had been there once before, but Kirby hadn’t. Our fist evening, after dinner, we went for a walk down Bourbon St. in the French Quarter. After just a couple blocks I told him that I had seen enough and was ready to head back to the hotel. I had seen enough depravity and debauchery. I even told him that I felt we had passed through the seventh ring of hell.
We headed back to the hotel, via Walgreens. Walking through the store, the most unusual “person” crossed our path. A man dressed as the devil stood before us. All in red, head to toe, with horns and a tail. Painted face and all. It wasn’t until hours later, when I woke in the night, I realized what I had really witnessed in that store
The clothes that the man wore were tattered and dirty, and his shoes were worn nearly all the way through. He was at the counter buying the bare essentials of life: bread, milk, peanut butter and deodorant. Those things that most of us buy when we need it, without even thinking about how we will pay for it. But this man wasn’t paying for it, another man was. Standing next to the “devil in red” was a young man dressed in a t-shirt and jeans. I was so busy watching the older man, I didn’t even pay attention to the man in jeans until I noticed that he was paying. It was obvious that the 2 men were strangers, only in the store for that purchase. After the transaction was done, the man in red asked the other young man if they could pray together. They prayed and parted ways. Probably to never cross paths again.
The scene could have been a parable written by Jesus himself. A messenger from God, dressed in jeans and t-shirt, went out of his way to help someone that most of us would have crossed the street to avoid. Someone that needed to feel Gods love, but instead caused fear in most who crossed his path. And an angel that didn’t do what he did for attention, just to help someone in need.
Tonight I thank God for all the angels in my life. Some of those angels are people that are reading this blog. People that love me and I don’t always remember to thank. And for those angels that I know are here but I only feel but don’t see. I hope you feel them too.