Angels Arriving

We are having the perfect November—it’s chilly and rainy, and the leaves have turned. Autumn is the time for long dog walks by the river, snug evenings bundled in sweats, and crock pots full of hot and hearty soup. It is also the herald of winter and the holiday season. Many years around this time I notice that angels begin arriving in the most unexpected forms and places.

I had planned to go to Wal Mart yesterday, after my dentist’s appointment. While in the dentist’s chair, I heard the siren’s song of orange chicken calling to me from the nearby Panda Express. Abandoning my plan to shop for gluten-free, organic groceries, I dashed straight to the Panda from the dentist office.

I barely noticed the young man in line ahead of me. When we had worked our way up to the cashier, I overheard him saying, “I’m also paying for the next one in line.” I turned and looked behind me, thinking I perhaps had separated him and a friend. No one else responded to his comment, so I turned back and asked, “Are you offering to buy my meal?” He nodded yes, and I replied, “Well, God bless you, then.” He said, “No, God bless you,” and asked me if I also wanted a beverage.

He was not a dangerous-looking person. He resembled Aaron Paul who played Jesse Pinkman on “Breaking Bad.” I couldn’t decide if his casual outfit was stained by living on the street, or if he just dressed in his play clothes. Nor could I decide if it mattered.

I'm embarrassed to share what happened next. After I received my meal from the cashier, while the young man was still taking his change, I rushed out the side door and hurried to my car. As soon as I was in the car, I locked the doors and drove off without fastening my seat belt. I made sure no one followed me home.

What does it say about us that so often the strongest responses we have to unexpected kindness are fear and suspicion—in some cases mixed with gratitude, embarrassment and confusion? I had, and have, many unanswered questions: What did he want? Was he flirting with me? Was he going to ask me for something? Did he think I was special, or was this his day for random acts of kindness? And why did I run away?

It’s no accident that the first words most angels in the Bible speak to humans are “Fear not!” In Unity, we often interpret angels as divine messengers. It’s understandable that we tremble at hearing what they have to say—for wouldn’t a divine message be a little intimidating? Perhaps encounters of the angelic kind are designed that way to catch our attention…

It may seem like I will never know what message my Panda angel was sent to deliver, but I believe that his mission was completed successfully. For the many questions he left me with, and the ways he made me question myself, are themselves gifts.

As the days continue to shorten, and the nights seem to hold new comfort and excitement, be aware of the miraculous that surrounds you. For angels are everywhere, bringing your attention to the questions that reveal the Truth and beauty of the season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rev. Carla