There are many references to angels, be they from songwriters, scriptwriters, storytellers, folklore or the Bible.
The most powerful angels are probably Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel. In modern America, the most well known are guardian angels, Charlie’s Angels, the angel of death, cute youngsters in Nativity programs, and, of course, Clarence from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Readers of children’s books recall the emotional “The Littlest Angel.” Television enthusiasts may remember the two series “Highway to Heaven” and “Touched by an Angel.” Movie buffs know “Angels in the Outfield.” Songsters may recall the oldie “Angel of the Morning” and the more modern “Angels Among Us” and “Wild Angels.” The king of angels is the point of John Michael Montgomery’s song “The Little Girl.”
Some people, though, can tell of other angels. Their stories can label them as crazy or sane, depending on the audience.
Can you remember receiving otherwise unexplainable aide while in need? Have you heard words of wisdom from someone never identified? Have you been blessed by a comforting moment from some unknown someone who didn’t act like a stranger? Have you talked with someone who is no longer with us? Have you ever been calmed by an unseen presence? Have you been bypassed by death, and not been able to convince yourself that it was your own skill or luck?
These incidents seem to happen throughout the year. Christmastime, though, seems to be when people either notice them more readily or are more willing to tell about them. When else could a song such as “Silent Night” have stopped World War I for even a day? Charles Dickens could have chosen a different time and renamed “A Christmas Carol,” but chose Christmas as the time for Scooge’s salvation.
Perhaps wintertime needs more intervention, both subtle and direct. Less daylight, more dangerous road conditions, increased stress because of cabin fever, increased health issues; economic slowdown and thus job insecurity; all are cold weather issues.
Many people, including myself, do not believe in coincidences. I do believe in angels. The miracle of the parting of the Red Sea was about as obvious as they come. Now, though, miracles are more wispy and deniable.
Who was driving for the last couple of miles while you nodded at the wheel? Who kept the toddler safe from the pin cushion left on the arm of the couch? Who steadied the surgeon’s hand toward the end of an eight-hour operation? Who whispered to the bereaved widower that partings are only temporary? Who put the $20 in last year’s Christmas card that you knew you had emptied? Who aimed the ‘empty’ hunting rifle that shot a hole in just the floorboards? Who woke you to gently shake the newborn who was turning blue? Who slowed your tooth-jarring fall so that you didn’t break any bones? Who nudges people to be good friends, neighbors and Samaritans?
I know who.