I know you are likely enjoying your second helping of “Thanksgiving plenties” and while everyone is sharing their gratitude, I instead want to let you all in on something I just remembered.
There are angels everywhere. No, I’m not talking about angels in the Biblical format. Like other things I’ve heard about but never seen, I’ll have to experience a large, awesomely beautiful humanoid with wings sprouting from her (or his) back in person in order to believe in the historical creatures. And then I may need to check out if there are wires and if the wings truly break through the skin.
(And when my time comes to meet my maker, I am confident I will FEEL that I am in the presence of something amazing. I won’t need proof.)
A little cynical I know. But regardless of how impressive something is, even if I do see it myself, I’m going to have to understand how it works. I don’t watch Siegfried and really think he made the tiger disappear into thin air with magical glitter dust, and I don’t think Criss Angel can really float into the sky. It’s fun to watch and entertains me because I am mystified at how they made my eyes see what I saw, but like when King Kong bats at airplanes, I know full-well that seeing something isn’t really believing.
And my name is Angel, only because my parents couldn’t agree on a more hippieish name for me like Starfire or Aquarius. I have no powers and no wings and if I got to actually choose one power, it would be for people to get my name right. I’ve been called many things (and many inappropriate for newsprint) but few of them as offensive as being referred to as April, Angie, Angela or Hazel by someone I’ve spoken directly to more than once. I’ll even take people asking rudely, “What is your REAL name?” over someone referring to me incorrectly. Long ago someone told me that when that happens, to make myself feel better, I should spend the rest of the day calling others by the wrong names. After Tom gets called Ted enough times and Jim gets called Jeff, if and when I’m corrected, I can say something catty like: “Huh. Well, you always call me by the wrong name so I thought it was a ‘thing’ we were doing; you really don’t know my name after all this time?”
No I haven’t done it but I’m seriously almost there.
And while I’m named after ethereal creatures and collect statuettes of them, and literally AM AN Angel, I obviously am not heavenly. But the ones that protect, care for, and bless others with kindnesses ARE definitely out there ... everywhere. Some you can see and some you can’t.
I watched a video taken by surveillance tape of a woman walking along a sidewalk minding her own business next to a pole, about three feet away from a building. Into the frame whizzed two cars traveling at pretty high rates of speed which then smashed into one another, bounced off one another and then into the pole, and then into the building -- but without putting one scratch on her. They missed her within literally an inch or two and it all happened in about three blinks of an eye. Unless she was Irish, had a rabbit’s foot, a four-leaf clover, a pinch of salt, an amulet, a horseshoe AND the bigger portion of the turkey’s wish bone -- that scenario -- her leaving the scene unscathed, simply couldn’t have happened.
I have a friend who joked with a dying male family member that she would not believe in Heaven until she stood outside the pearly gates and so she, in jest, asked that if he got there, to send her a “penny from Heaven” like the many stories she had heard and read about. In this person’s room were only herself, the man, and another person, none of them carrying money on their persons or having purses or wallets in the room. He sighed his last breath and she stood to approach him. The two women dealt with turning off machines and wiping away tears and such, and when my friend returned to the chair she was sitting in -- a brand new, shiny, 2012 penny sat face-up looking at her. Bewildered she began to ask the woman ... and her eyes told her what she felt in her heart. It wasn’t planted by anyone. It didn’t fall out of a pocket or wallet.
That friend has randomly found a shiny penny, not always minted this year, but on the ground, under a napkin, on a shelf, and so on, every other day since she left that man’s living side.
There are about a zillion similar instances that can be found now that we have super computers and phones smarter than most people to find the examples for us. As a staunch pessimist -- I at first assume there is a trick to it, a slight of the hand or special effects master at work. But sometimes no, that’s not the case. Sometimes, for no reason, something that shouldn’t happen happens, or vice-versa and for the better, and it isn’t because someone was trained well to connive one’s thought process. They just are. They just happen.
No wings, no zaps of lighting, no magic sparkle dust.
Other times angels can be visibly explained. And like horrors and tragedies bursts of random and often life-changing kindnesses come popping out of anywhere. Someone goes out of their way to open a door or carry a bag or position an umbrella to make another’s life a little more bearable. Maybe they run an errand or prevented something bad from happening unbeknownst to the received or the nicety. Perhaps they performed yard work or paid for the person’s restaurant bill. The angels might take the flack for something that they didn’t do or maybe they dropped off something to another that they knew was needed. Angels make big differences by doing simple things. They give up their seat or revered position to someone less-abled or more wanting. They direct someone that is lost, give someone a ride, and donate to help others -- and they don’t do it so they can tell everyone on Facebook that they did.
And sometimes, like the day I am writing this, they are found incognito. I sat in a waiting area for much too long with too many others also wishing they were anywhere else. I began discreetly people-watching. Not much else to do with the bland decor and lack of printed distractions, and noticed a woman much less happy about her waiting time than most. She was “tsk-ing” and shifting this way and that, sighing heavily and making eye contact only to immediately roll them disapprovingly before shaking her head ... letting everyone there know that she had many more important and interesting things to do than the rest of us patiently waiting. A little old lady, yes, the perfect definition of such, scuffled in and to the main kiosk of which everyone must master before even being allowed the long wait. She peeped up at the screen (I told you she was little), and squinted her eyes and furrowed her brow intently trying to tackle this technological-voodoo-nonsense she faced. She screwed up her nose and her mouth and began tapping a crooked finger to the screen, making the box “bleep-bloop” in apparently an unsuccessful manner.
Miss Impatient swiftly stood up and rushed at the woman. For a sickening second I was sure she was going to shout “off with her head!” ordering the demise of the elderly woman for her “incompetence” and, like an instance I earlier explained -- in mere blinks of an eye -- transformed her face into something pleasant and appealing and asked in a honey-coated voice, “Ma’am, could you need my help?” The little old lady’s expression of shocked and appreciative relief bedazzled my eyes to be able to see the angel in her glory, as she conquered the machine for and with the guidance of the old lady.
Stunned, it was probably a full 10 minutes before I realized my cheeks were smarting because I had been smiling for too long.
I’ve had a “thing” I do almost everyday that is anonymous and seemingly random that, while it is no big deal, I know it does put a smile, if only fleeting, on people’s faces. I can’t share what it is because I will continue to do so because it makes me as happy as them. I guess in a sense, maybe I am a type of angel, if only a generic one dealing in small favors.