Our last post was brought to us as the introduction to "Everyday Angels" by Karon Phillips Goodman. I will be quoting her enitre book in hopes to help each of us be more of an everyday angel in our every day lives. I will put my own thoughts down below each post and encourage each of you to comment in the comment section so we can discuss each chapter together. :o) I am also going to start trying to put my thoughts in "italic" writing.
"What Is an Angel?"
"We've all read of those angels that foretell historic events or deliver messages in dreams or proctect believers from harm. They are immortal, supernatural, intangible--and quite scarce. They are angels of the heavenly kind, but they aren't the only kind of angels. Thankfully, we live in a world full of a far more common kind of angel, those everyday angels that are completely mortal yet undoubtedly spiritual, no less sent by God than those of Abraham's day.
An angel is sometimes defined as 'a spiritual being' or 'an attendant spirit'. I like those definitions. they're easy to understand and not limited to the surreal angels of biblical lore. You and I are both 'spiritual beings'. The life God breathed into us is not only a physical thing, but compassion and love and empathy and soul. It's our birthright, one of the joys this life offers abundantly to all who will take it.
Some of the 'angels' pull people from burning buildings, donate organs to dying children, or give vast amounts of money to worthy causes. Thankfully, not every day is a 'burning building' kind of day! But the opportunity to be an agel in some way does present itself daily. It's a never-ending opportunity.
You know those people who have mastered the art of everyday angel blessings. They have a peace and joy and serenity about them that shows. They live their lives and make their choices by reaching out to others first, in patience and acceptance, not judgement. They make mistakes, but they know how to correct them. They are always looking forward, not back. They see the best, take it, and leave the rest behind.
On a very basic level, we are all alike--in need of affirmation and acceptance, desiring peace and joy and someone to help us when we're down. We want to see goodness in the humanity around us and believe that people do care. We want to be touched by others with that spirit of giving that defines the everyday angel. We need to both give and receive.
We can be the kind of 'attendant spirits' that others need if we recognize and seize those opportunities that God puts before us. We can reach out, spiritual being to spiritual being, every day, in small ways, passing on time and thoughtfulness, compassion and strength. You don't have to have wings or a halo!
Being an everyday angel isn't hard, time-consuming, or expensive. It often takes just a minute and seems completely insignificant. It's a matter of giving what you have and listening with your heart. It requires no advanced degree, but it does take intuition and attention. The rewards are not mantel-pieces or public recognition--they are far greater, and you'll reap surprising benefits long after your actions are over. Give, and it will come back to you.
God didn't breathe life and spirit into you only to have you become a doctor or teacher, artist or singer, mom or dad. He's also given you an 'attendant spirit' to do the real job we all have here every day--to reach out to others, to meet needs and touch hearts, to be everyday angels."
I know God knows the intent of our heart. In saying that I encourage you to not think about "what can I get in return?" and think more of "what can I do for or give to someone else"? I'm going to give you "homework" this week. I want to strongly encourage each of you to pray this week and ask God to lay someone on your heart and send them a card. Maybe you know someone who is sick, depressed, lost a loved one, or maybe they've just been a great friend to you. Maybe it could even be someone you don't normally get along with. Maybe it's someone you look up to but have never told them. Whoever God lays on your heart. Send them a card btwn. now and next Tues. Let's try to reach out and encourage someone this week. It doesn't have to stop with one. I encourage you to do whatever God lays on your heart. :o) I can't help but think about the angels sent to different ones around the time of Christ's birth and there after, spreading the Good News: "Jesus Christ, our Savior is born!" Don't forget to spread the Good News of our Lord along the way! Have a blessed week!