In all honesty, I don’t spend much time in contemplation regarding angels. When I do think of them, images planted by Hollywood come to mind:
• Clarence, from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” who in his quest to earn his wings is sent down to Earth to help George Bailey. (I know, you’ve seen the movie and don’t need a plot summary.)
• Michael, from the movie by the same name that stars John Travolta as the archangel who is sent to Earth to do various tasks, including mending some wounded hearts.
• And then there is Seth, from the movie “City of Angels” starring Nicholas Cage. Seth is one of many angels who watch over humans and protect them in unseen ways. Seth’s main responsibility is to appear to those who are close to death and guide them to the next life.
While I fully understand there is frequently a big gap between what Hollywood portrays and reality, I certainly don’t dismiss the possibility that there are angels among us.
In the Bible, at the end of the book of Hebrews is a verse that says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
That scripture would suggest that angels aren’t chubby, little naked beings with wings, as many artists have portrayed them. Neither can one count on recognizing them because they are carrying a harp. My mother-in-law Glenda would suggest that some angels actually carry a snow shovel.
My in-laws, Don and Glenda, are two of the dearest people you’d ever want to meet, but they are at a stage in life where neither one of them has any business being out shoveling snow. That wasn’t a problem when my son, Jacob, and his wife, Whitney, were still living with them because they were more than happy to help move snow and/or ice. But when Jacob and Whitney moved to Wisconsin, Don and Glenda lost their snow movers.
When the late-March snowstorm dropped roughly a foot of snow in the St. Louis area, Don and Glenda were content to just stay inside their home and wait for the snow to melt. However, last Wednesday, as they were having breakfast, Don and Glenda heard the sound of shoveling just outside their home.
“I felt we were visited by an angel,” wrote my mother-in-law on her Facebook page.
As you might suspect, the individual turned out not being an angel, but a relatively new neighbor a couple of doors down, whom they had said “hi” to while out on walks.
Page 2 of 2 - “Guess she knew we shouldn’t be shoveling and came down and surprised us,” wrote Glenda. “I know she is a Christian and felt the whisper of God and obeyed it. I am just overwhelmed at how God takes care of our needs. God is so good.”
While we mortals may not be angels, I guess it’s possible for us to be mistaken for one. But to do so certain criteria must be met:
• One must be on the lookout for a need. Take your blinders off and just look around, they’re not hard to find.
• Don’t simply meet the need of someone you know. You want to plant the seed that you truly are an angel sent by God, and not just so-and-so being a sweetheart.
• Leave your harp, and brass band at home. If you truly want to be considered an angel, try your best to do your good work anonymously so that God receives the glory.
No, doing a good deed for someone in need of help won’t make you an angel, or even open the gates of Heaven to you. But one thing is certain, there are a lot worse things your deeds can have you mistaken for in this lifetime than an angel.