In the few weeks before I became a Christian, someone was dropped into my life who I am certain is an angel. Not purely divine, of course, but someone who is most assuredly blessed — who walks and lives among us. Heaven opens over her and her presence seems to bring about great and incredible things.
Our relationship has been left intentionally undefined by both of us – because, while it’s been unspoken, we’re both “recovering” in a way. But since meeting her, I have been observant of other individuals in my world who could potentially be angels – people I know and love, and sometimes strangers. My mother is the only other definite person I’ve landed on as angelic.
This morning, though, while I sat at an intersection near my office downtown, I felt a strange pull toward a sight along the roadside. I saw someone wrapped from head to toe in a purple blanket, lying on a hill of grass near West Pennway and Southwest Boulevard. I couldn’t tell if the body was a man or woman. But there “it” was, lying there asleep while a few thousand cars drove by. I drove past too, initially, then when the light changed, I made a U-turn and stopped on a side street.
I walked over to the body and when I was about 10 feet away, I said loudly, “Excuse me, sir …” There was some motion, but the body didn’t sit up. I repeated what I said, only this time I added, “I have some money for you.” Then the blanket was pulled back. He was an older man, probably almost 50 years old with short-cropped gray hair and skin the color of a Goodyear tire. I knelt next to him. I had two fives rolled up in my fist where he could see them. He seemed surprised and didn’t take the money.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
When he spoke, I saw he was missing several teeth on his bottom row. He told me his name but I couldn’t hear him over the passing traffic, so I asked again. “J.T.” he said.
“J.T.,” I said. “Try to have a good day, ok?”
He took the money and said, “God bless you sir.”
He couldn’t have said anything more wonderful than that to me: God bless. I know sometimes we refrain from giving money to the homeless because of how it could be spent. But even if he used it to buy alcohol or even drugs, that would still be an exercise on my part in forgiveness.
These people you see lying around under the overpasses downtown or begging for food … what if they were something more than downtrodden? What if they were tests of your spirit and what’s in your own soul? I have learned in the last year to see through people and to find their essence. This is at the heart of Christianity.
You don’t have to be a Christian to be kind and loving, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. There are angels everywhere. I’m grateful to know the names of at least three.