Today I am grateful for angels. There’s lots of discussion about the actual existence of angels. Some people swear by them, others not so much. One thing I know for sure — I have had angels in my life. Not the chubby cherub kind with bows and arrows. I’m talking about real life people. I’m talking about the people in your life who give you encouragement, show up out of nowhere when you need them; the ones who always seem to know the right thing to say. They are that voice that whispers in your ear the words of hope when you need them most. They always seem give you what you need the most. We don’t always recognize them, but they are there.
The picture above is of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Marie. Marie was one of my real life angels for 30 plus years. We met when I was sixteen. I dated her oldest son for about a minute one summer. And from that summer on, Marie and I became life long friends. We were soul mates despite our 25 year age difference. And throughout our 30 years of friendship, Marie was my angel. She was the voice of encouragement and truth. She never hesitated to speak the truth about anything, and she did it in the most generous and loving way. And she was never afraid to talk about God to people. I admired that in her growing up. She made me want to spend my life talking to people about God.
I’ve thought so much about Marie this past month because it was she who first encouraged me to write. I was no more than 30 years old, and Marie started saying to me on a regular basis, “You should write. You have something to say.” I had neither the confidence nor the discipline to write back in those days. And I certainly did not have the courage. It took more than 25 years for me to muster the courage. But all through those years, Marie’s voice of encouragement whispered in my ear, ” You should write. You have something to say.” It’s almost 10 years since Marie was called home to God. I miss her everyday. But I carry her voice of encouragement with me always.
We all have had someone in our lives who has been that encouragement to us. In my mind, those people are angels — sent to us to carry us through when it all seems like too much. Maybe it was a teacher who got you through algebra. Or a neighbor who always has your back. Or a life long friend who gives you the courage to do what you thought you could never do. Whoever it is and however it shows up, they are a gift from God; God incarnate among us to remind us that we are not alone. We are more than we think we are. And we are loved — always, always loved.
It has taken a zillion angels to get me to this day. Some of them I recognized, others I didn’t. But for all of them, I am very, very grateful.
So — who has been your angel?