Heather Goodman over at L'Chaim mentioned today that she had never seen an Angel.
"I've heard they're pretty scary warriors with the glory of the Lord accompanying them sometimes, which always inspires fear. Either that, or they come to tell you your pregnant. So I'm okay with not seeing them for now."
I giggled over the pregnant part of her statement.
Then I recalled the conversation I had with my sister Sandra earlier this week. This will be her first Christmas without her husband of nearly 44 years. This summer he died in her arms.
On Thursday, she was in the card aisle of the store looking for the ideal one for her two sons and daughter. Time slipped by quickly as she read the many choices. She wanted a card that conveyed something special to each of them, as she knew they would have an empty place in their heart this holiday season.
Finally! She found the one that had the perfect sentiment. The artistry gave her comfort and the words gave eloquence to the feelings she wished to share.
An agonizing pain pierced her heart when she realized that the card was from "mom and dad."
She stood, holding it close, for a long time, unable to move from the spot, her arms refusing to return the beautiful card to its slot. Her throat became constricted and tears began to tumble over her cheeks.
"Is there something I can do for you?" a soft voice penetrated her despair.
She mentally shook herself and turned to face a stranger, a woman, who was looking at her with question and concern.
'Uh..oh...OH!" Sandra responded, feeling totally exposed and raw. "I can't give this card to my children because . . . . because my husband died and . . . this is the wrong card."
The stranger's face softened with sympathy and love. She reached out and pulled my sister into her arms giving her unspoken permission to weep in the protection of her embrace. She quietly held my sister until her composure returned.
"Thank you for listening to me blubber on," was what my sister said when all was better.
"You are welcome, and I am so sorry for your loss," the stranger answered and said her goodbyes.
During her telling of this event I was feeling angry that I hadn't been there. My sister needed me and a stranger had to do my job.
”You know,” she went on, “a friend suggested that it was like meeting with an Angel.”
My guilt disappeared in an instant.
My sister required an Angel, and I think that is exactly what she got.