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.


Isn't it amazing that the angels come when we need them? Who knows what shape they will take. I'm glad the stranger was there for your sister -- and I'm really glad you shared this story. Hearing how others survive their greif helps us survive our own. I'll keep your sister and her kids in my prayers this holiday season. Sharing the good memories can be healing though... hopefully they are able to do so.
Kila said…
Does sound like an angel to me. Or someone directed by God. I think I've encountered a few too.
Elizabeth Joy said…
God bless that lady who was there for your sister. I hope if I am ever near someone who needs comfort I won't be so self absorbed that I can't step out and be their special stranger in time of need. I hope she found the card she needed.

Elizabeth Joy - who finally took the time to comment, even though she reads your blog quite often
Stephanie said…
I do so believe in angels!!

But I've always believed that God would rather use person than an angel because people CHOOSE to serve Him. So that every time we choose Him or another of His children over ourselves it's a little miracle. And He's still in the miracle business.

If that stranger who was there for your sweet sister was an angel, then, WOW, what a miracle. And if that stranger was a person used by God, then WOW, what a miracle that she took time from doing whatever she had to do for herself in her day to comfort your sister.

Yes, there are still miracles today.

And thank you so much, Pamela, for sharing this one with us!
Stephanie said…

(arrival of random Christmas caroler)

What child is thi-is who laaays to re-est,
On Maar-y's la-ap is slee-ee-ping?
Whom aaan-gels gree-eet with aaan-thems swee-eet
While she-e-pherds waa-aatch are keeeeep-iiing?

Thiiiis, thii-iis is Chriiist the Kii-iing
Whom shee-pherds guaa-aard and aaan-gels sing!
Haaaste, haaa-aaste to briiiing him praa-aise,
The baa-aabe, the so-on of Maaaar-yyyy.
Pam said…
What a lovely, lovely story. I'm crying. I do that a lot though since perimenopause.
So sad for your sister and her family. So glad a stranger was able to offer solace. Incredibly inspiring..thanks Pamela.
Claudia said…
dangnabbit, getting me crying, Pamela. It's a good thing I don't wear makeup for the most'd be smeared all to hell.
Heather said…
It's good to see people acting as God meant us to act, letting a bit of His image shine through them. Like this woman.
And it's scary seeing your writing quoted somewhere else. My ears suddenly perked up to all those unproofed errors, like "your pregnant." Try you're pregnant, brainchild.
Walker said…
Awww. Beautiful! Hey I hope Goober is okay!
Tiggerlane said…
What a beautiful holiday story - I teared up reading it. It is so good to know that there are kind people with God's love in their hearts who can be our angels when our loved ones aren't close.

Thanks for sharing.
BarnGoddess said…
it certainly was an Angel that comforted your Sister!

Devon said…
I think it is God's perfect plan that we can all comfort one another. Not just family! Thank you for sharing this story. Sending you thoughts of love and peace this holiday.
Biker Betty said…
Thank God for His angels. Your recount brought tears. I'm so glad your sister had an unexpected shoulder at a tough time.
her indoors said…
how sad but how warming to know that an angel was their for your sister,
i wish you and all your family a peacefull holiday x
Jodi said…
Small, random acts of kindness can turn each and every one of us into an angel for someone...

It's the spirit of the holidays... it's the spirit of human kind.
Vicki said…
This story is such a contrast to the skinny dancing elf. That is how I would want to die, with people who love me around. What a peaceful thing.
Dawn said…
that was so beautiful and yes that stranger was an angel!

i just love your writing. it's like i'm there watching it all unfold in front of me...beautiful
C said…
It's sad that she cried that way but it was so kind of a stranger to just be there without being asked.
Matt said…
I'm still counting on your help with Santa, Pam.
Yvonne said…
That left me speechless...and teary eyed.
Robin said…
Karmyn talked about me and "divine reality checks", this is what I'd call a "divine appointment". These are the kinds of things that move me...and it's a beautiful reminder to ACT when we feel moved to do so. The "stranger" could've remained distant and aloof...instead, she became a holy vessel, ministering a love that transcends typical understanding.

Told beautifully by you :).
Karmyn R said…
wow. That sent chills down my back.
SongBird said…
"I believe there are angels among us...."
Silent One ~D~ said…
Reading this.... made me realize why I haven't sent out Christmas Cards this year, or even go shop for them.

I admire your sister's strength!

I know the feeling of "losing it" with strangers around... and I cherish the feeling of the well placed and timed hug!

Merrey Christmas My Friend!
Sunrunner said…
That is very beautiful and moving. Angels certainly walk among us! Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year!
Anonymous said…
nice lady. need more of them. ivy

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