A client made a personal visit to my husband’s office the other day.  She had never met his assistant and while talking privately in his office, complimented her happy, helpful spirit and said, “In my mind I had not pictured her to be so joy-filled. I love being around her.”  His response was a question: “Well, what does an angel look like?” 

I have thought about that question, certainly affirming that yes, an angel looks just like his assistant.  She daily offers support and encouragement to those around her.  She often brings good news and steps in to correct or improve a situation.  She is always looking and finding ways to help others at just the right time.  How fortunate are those who get to work with people who are angel look-alikes.

My mother was one.  Though not living, her birthday was a few days ago.  She loved birthdays and made birthday cakes for everyone.  She prided herself in learning how to make the frosting roses for the top of the cake and would make dozes of roses at one time in all shapes and colors, freezing them for the next birthday to bring out and top the cake for the friend or grandchild.  Through the years, she would write letters and pray for the events in our lives.  She was the kind of angel that watched over, tending to specific needs, and always showing up with an offering of time, service or companionship.  I miss that angel.

The Bible speaks of angels on many occasions, especially during the time of Jesus’ birth.  Some events are simply supernatural and go beyond human logic or reasoning.  And so angels show up to help people understand the significance of what is happening.

In researching, I found a concise paragraph with several examples of angels and their duties. “Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out his work on earth.  They bring God’s messages to people (Luke 1:26), protect God’s people (Daniel 6:22), offer encouragement (Genesis 16:7), give guidance (Exodus 14:19), carry out punishment (2 Samuel 24:16), patrol the earth (Zechariah !:9-14), and fight the forces of evil (2Kings 6:16-18; Revelation12:7), and offer continuous praise to God (Rev:7:11,12).” (Life Application Bible, NIV, Tyndale: 1988; pg.1640).

With my eyes, I don’t think I have ever seen an angel up close.  But there have been times when I have felt a presence of someone or something near that was supernatural – that was not seen but present. Hebrews 13:2 says,” Do not forget to entertain strangers for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” I choose to believe that angels do show up to bring a message, protect, offer encouragement, give guidance, discipline, patrol and fight daily for us as children of God. I hope I never turn away that kind of support.

I am praying today for one of those angels to visit my friend who is experiencing one of those life events that go beyond explaining.  Oh, it’s not so rare – the longer I live, the harder things seem to become.  War, murder, disasters, hatred, illness all leave us a little lacking for explanation.  We stop in our tracks and scream “No!” to all of it.  We feel so helpless and insecure.  And then someone– some angel–  steps forward to offer help and hope, to comfort and listen, to step in and offer light when things seem so dark.  Would you be that angel? 

Marcia Gaddis 2011

Marcia Gaddis

Marcia Gaddis is the author of the award-winning book, When God Comes Near, published in 2010. She writes a weekly column for her blog, The Olive Branch, and has been writing for three years. New in her craft, she began writing an online journal when her 25-year old daughter was diagnosed with the rare and fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The journal became a book that offers hope and healing to those who choose to read a painful story. At the 2011 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, her first non-fiction book was awarded three distinguished awards: First Place for Inspiration, The Selah Book of the Year Award and the Director's Choice Award for 2011. She has worked as a Home Economist for the University of Georgia and as the co-host for the gardening television show Backyard America. She attends Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta and serves on the board of Kindred Spirit, a non-profit program for pregnant young women in Atlanta. She is married with two adult children and and tries to write and work in her garden every day.

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