I've been thinking a lot about angels lately.
I suppose it has to do with my reading and studying of, "Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power," by Don Parry. After more than twenty years of research, Parry concludes that even though the ministrations and operations of angels are largely unknown to mortals, they still move about the earth conducting the Lord's divine work. Wondrously, they serve, minister, and mingle among mortals.
One of my favorite quotes is from the brilliant and poetic Jeffrey R. Holland. He said, "When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with--here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us... Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."
I decided to create a challenge for myself. For the past couple of months, I have made a concerted effort to notice and celebrate the angels in my life. And something wonderful has happened... I have discovered angels among us.
I awoke early one Sunday morning to the sound of a scrapping shovel on a sidewalk. I peeked out my blinds and saw my neighbor shoveling the snow. He was busy shoveling the walkways for all the people on our street. An angel among us.
On September 24th, after a dreadfully long day in the hospital, I offered a prayer to heaven. I told God I was ready--ready to be a good mother, ready to love the choice spirit that would grace our home and family. With tears running down my cheeks, I asked Him to send her down; from His hands to mine. Within minutes, I felt pressure and a strong urge to push. I gave birth to an angel that day; an angel among us.
A woman I've never met, who has supported me in my talents for some time, sent a package in the mail. When I opened the box, I found a baby gift for Bridget and a bottle of pink nail polish for me. Her sweet card made me cry. An angel among us.
Angels are husbands who offer hugs in the midst of sadness. Angels are daughters who wave from cars as their daddies take them to school. Angels are grocery store cashiers who treat customers like friends and who pay sincere compliments. They are sisters-in-law who bring meals and ease burdens. They are strangers in a Costco line, who pay for the items in a young family's cart. Angels are fathers who "answer the call" (or text) when one of their fold is fearful; lost in the dark-gray fog of postpartum depression.
What have I learned? As I've prayed to recognize the "angels" in my neighborhood, in my life? That our loving Heavenly Father is a keeper of promises: "For I will go before your face...and mine angels around you, to bear you up."
They are among us.
They are everywhere.
You just have to look.