Angels have been defined as “spiritual beings that act as compassionate agents of the Divine.” Do you believe these spiritual beings exist? Do you believe they’re here among us? I do and I’d like to write about two kinds, which will include a personal tribute to one.
First there’s the heavenly kind of angel, invisible to all but few people. I myself have never seen them, but given the Mysteries of the Universe, why should they not exist, and why should they not visit us?
Apparently, visiting angels sometimes make themselves visible by taking human form. They arrive suddenly and seamlessly to help individuals in difficult or even dire situations. Those present who are able to see this “person” (visiting angel) don’t recognize him/her. These angels do what’s necessary, from an act of simple kindness to a feat of seeming impossibility. Then as suddenly as they appeared, they disappear, and without a trace. The group Alabama released a beautiful song in the early 1990s about such an experience.
The second kind of angels are human. Yes, that’s right. If it’s not all of us, then it’s just about all of us! We are angels when we listen to our heart’s prompting to be kind or helpful to another. Our ego is put aside and we’re simply in the flow. We are being our essential spiritual selves, and it feels right and good.
Maybe it’s a seemingly little and ordinary “angelic” act we do, like smiling at someone in an encouraging way. Or maybe it’s bigger, like driving a stranger home who’s missed the last bus. Or maybe it’s even bigger than that, like saving somebody’s life!
How the Kindness of a Stranger Helped “Save” My Life
I’ll never forget the kindness of a stranger over 30 years ago. It lasted all of 2 seconds yet made an enormous difference. I’d been verbally assaulted by “a friend,” a man I had developed trust with while working on church-related activities. It was like a knife in my heart. When I saw him next, he “twisted” the knife by pretending nothing had happened. It was surreal and awful. I summoned courage I didn’t know I had and carefully said, “I must have angered you the other day.” (I knew that a “you” statement would not work.) He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. Then he launched into a tirade all over again. First the original insults and accusations, all outrageous, then a whole lot more. He was blaming me for every unresolved issue in his life. I felt thoroughly betrayed.
As I walked home in a state of shock (not the first nightmare of its kind in my life), a stranger walking the other way smiled at me. That was it. That one gesture, friendly and kind, told me that I was okay, that I was someone worth smiling at. As the Alabama song lyrics say:
Angels among us… wear so many faces,
Show up in the strangest places
And grace us with their mercies in our time of need
What that stranger did wasn’t little. It was actually big; his kindness helped give me a compass in what was to become a dark period in my life, which included my choosing to leave the church.
Honouring an Angel Named Lindsay, 1962-2017
Many years later, I befriended a kind-hearted, gentle soul named Lindsay Straith, who used to say that his purpose in life was to see the divine in everyone and to love them. He did just that, and he brought a whole lot of laughter too!
I’m sad to say that Lindsay, at 54 years, passed away unexpectedly in February. He had suffered more than his fair share of troubles, due to schizophrenia. “A bit odd,” some would say about him. Very few people saw, or experienced fall-out from, one of his psychotic episodes (infrequent, I imagine). I did. It was so bad I told him our friendship was over.
A few weeks after “the awfulness,” I saw Lindsay. As he tentatively approached me, I felt uncertain, yet somehow knew just to be calm. What he did next floored me. He looked me in the eyes and said, “I am so so sorry for the awful things I said and for all the pain I caused you.” I just about started weeping. It was probably the first time in my life that a man who’d hurt me genuinely apologized.
After we die as human angels, I wonder if some of us become celestial angels? If indeed some do, then Lindsay’s got to be one. Maybe he shows up here in human form, as the Alabama song says, to “guide us with the light of love.” I wouldn’t doubt it. God bless your beautiful soul, Lindsay.
Aligning with Our Hearts
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I agree that we are all essentially spiritual beings, even people who seem to be anything but. The “anything but” individuals are woefully out of touch with their own hearts.
What I’ve learned is that: Knowing myself as a spiritual being is not a head job but a heart experience; it’s about my being real. When I feel my feelings, especially the “softer” ones, I experience my humanness—weaknesses and strengths all mixed together. I see that no one is better or worse than anyone else. I also see that we’re all in this thing called Life together. It’s humbling.
I started this blog with: Angels have been defined as “spiritual beings that act as compassionate agents of the Divine.” So, I guess that definition can fit for us humans too.
I wonder what it would be like if more of us owned that “we are spiritual beings having a human experience”? If more of us listened to our hearts and allowed ourselves to be the human angels we could be? The world would certainly benefit and I bet we’d be a lot happier!
How about you? Do you believe in angels, visitors from the beyond and flesh and blood ones too? If you have any experiences you’d like to share, I’d love for you to do so in the comments section below.