I believe that angels exist; but, contrary to popular belief, they are not invisible, winged creatures who protect us from temptation. They are not silent and ethereal, and are not always beautiful. In fact, they come in all shapes and sizes. They are living, breathing beings who surround us on every side. All we have to do is open our eyes and hearts, and they are there.
Look for them. Break down the barriers. Hold out your hands and you will find them. They are hidden in our neighbors, in our co-workers, and in our friends. They are disguised as many things–a receptionist who makes us feel truly welcome, a stranger who holds the door when our arms are full of packages, the driver of the car who holds up traffic so we can merge and get in. Angels don’t have to be celestial–angels are those souls who touch our hearts and lighten our loads. They go that extra mile, or step, to help someone out. They make us smile, make us feel worthwhile; they put us first and themselves second.
Last week I had car trouble and I suddenly seemed to be surrounded by angels. Call it idiotic, if you want, but they were angels to me. The first one pushed my little car around a parking lot at work so I could pop the clutch and get her started. The next one wiggled the right wires a few hours later so I could drive her home without having to get pushed and pop the clutch again (which, by the way, is soooo embarrassing.) Another angel answered his phone early on Saturday morning and talked me through how to fix the car, even when no stores in the area could get me the right part. Maybe you’re thinking those are all just little things, but that’s the magic of angels. Without even being asked, they do ‘little’ things that mean so much more to the person on the receiving end. Angels are what they are–helpful, compassionate people who don’t live by the motto of “me first.”
So . . . here’s the challenge. It’s your turn. Once a day, be an angel. Let someone know they’re worthwhile. Hold a door, send a long overdue card, say an encouraging word, let someone else cut in line ahead of you . . . The possibilities are endless. For example, consider that grouchy check-out clerk. I dare you to get her to smile. Say something nice (and sincere!). You can do it. Will it be easy? Probably not, but it will definitely be worthwhile. Try it once and see how it feels.
I am grateful everyday for the angels I encounter. I embrace them as friends, or as passing souls, whichever they may be. To the ones who stepped forward last week, I thank you. But then, angels don’t do what they do for gratitude. They do it just because. So the next time you see an opportunity to help out, or to lighten someone’s load, don’t ask, “Why should I?” Instead ask, “Why not?”
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