Friday, December 24, 2010

Angel Collection

I have an angel collection.  I didn’t used to.  It was started many years ago by Lopez, my boss, who asked someone else if I collected anything.  She figured I collected angels.  So, for Christmas and birthday and Secretary’s Day and for sundry other times when gift giving was an appropriate part of our work relationship, he bought me angels: figurines, ornaments, candles, bookends and more.  Finally, I asked him why he always bought me angels. 

“Because Judy said you collect them,” he answered plainly.

“I guess I do now!”  We laughed and that increased the angel giving. 

We worked together for ten years.  I have a lot of angels from him.  That kind of thing is contagious and so I also have a number of angels from other people, too.  It’s easy to give gifts when one has a theme.

This year when the angelbabies were decorating my little Christmas tree I was caught by the beauty of it.  They kept asking me, “Who gave you this angel?  Where did this angel come from?”

The angelbabies had never, and likely would never, meet the angelgivers.  They are collected along the rainbows of my past.   Those rays of promise, peace and plenty who gave what they could to smooth the way.  We shared laughter – so much laughter  – as we walked and some tears.  Although, the tears I tried to keep to myself.  My angels always seem to have enough sorrow of their own without borrowing mine. 

I always felt I took more from my angels than I gave.  Like the Little Drummer Boy, I always seem to be the poor one with nothing to offer but my love.  Many times I have sat with my Lord and talked about my angels and all of their needs.  “Please, God, can’t you just…..”   The blank would be filled with “make them better, bring some cash, heal the hurt, do something about the anger, bring peace to their lives?” 

I wished a thousand times for unlimited supplies to fix all that was wrong. 

In the meantime, these angels kept doing good things for me.  Compassion and grace and books and clothes and dinners and coffees and calendars and time they gave.  Filling my empty cup again and again with memories.    How could I ever repay them their generosity?  How could I ever give back?

I am not a very good friend.  I forget birthdays, important events and details.  I don’t mean to.  My days move quickly and I lose track of time.  I try to do better by adding things to the calendar, and then I forget where the calendar is.  I try to listen better and take mental notes, but then the notes in my mind get misfiled and I forget if it was her or him with that particular problem.  Sigh. 

And then, there I am again, back in my prayer closet asking God to help all these precious angels.  Hoping I have enough faith and He has enough grace to overcome my forgetfulness.

I also thank Him, often, for the angels He has given me.  If you hear me say, “Thanks, God!” it’s not a cliché.  I am often caught off-guard by the gifts He gives me and can’t help but thank Him.  Most often, though, the thanks I give Him for the angels cannot be heard by others.  It’s mingled with tears flowing from a grateful heart.

I pray today you see the angels He has given you.  Forget looking for signs and wonders inexplicable.  Notice the everyday, amazing, stunning miracles that He has littered your path with.  Drown yourself in His blessings.
I thank my God for you, my readers.  You give courage to my voice. 
I thank my God for you, my lifetime friends.  You give purpose to my laugh lines.
I thank my God for you, my angels.  You give ever much more than you receive.

Thanks, God, for so many gifts. 

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