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  • Writer's pictureDoug Weiss

Do Angels Have Wings?

Angels walk among us. They really do. I am not talking about beings with incandescent glow and ephemeral wings, nor am I referring to good and kindly humans we may encounter. What I am talking about are those heaven sent beings who appear in our lives from time to time in response to our needs and God’s plan for us.

They take many forms. A friend who calls or texts with a heavy heart and challenging problems who needs our help. A stranger we meet in passing who shares an insight about life we have never considered. A homeless person we reach out to and help along the way. All of these and countless others we may come across are angels, and so are we.

Before you conclude I have gone wonky let me explain. These encounters are not chance—they are carefully managed intersections— beautifully crafted to move us on our personal journeys. It is not always obvious why God places us in each other’s lives—being know-it-all humans we have a tendency to assert our own meaning and can miss the subtle clues to his real intent. Often, we interpret his purpose through the lens of our own wants, needs, and desires and view those we meet along the way in this limiting context.

God uses us—he takes us by hand and leads us where we need to be to do his work and quite often we remain ignorant of his purpose. Sometimes, if we watch very carefully, we may catch a glimpse of this work unfolding. Generally, it comes after the fact—a day, a week or years later we look back and realize how a sequence of encounters and events were turning points for us or for others. We learn that the rippling effect of our time spent together has brought about a necessary change in the ebb and flow of someone’s life. That is when we gain the understanding that life is not a random walk, but an ordered journey to the destination God has chosen for us.

We can, and sadly do ignore some or all of these insights if we elect to close our eyes, and look to our own understanding. But, when we allow stillness and introspection to guide us we can catch a glimpse of the artist at work, in the way he has woven invisible threads together to create the fabric of our lives and those we meet.

Sometimes our encounters do not end on a happy note—a relationship ends, we suffer a loss or are diverted from a path we thought we were destined to walk. At those moments, it is easy to lose perspective. We cannot peer into the future and see how the present outcome will lead to the perfect destination. God is so good at this work he patiently leads us back on the path we belong even when we obstinately elect to walk our own way. It may take more than one gentle correction and occasionally an impassable obstacle or slip and fall to get us back on course. We are generally ungrateful and uncomprehending at the time. That’s alright, he knows where he is taking us and he has all the patience in the world.

So, next time you have that chance encounter, try to remember that God sent you an angel and that you are one too. You may not have wings—but you are his messenger and the instrument he has chosen to bring about his plans. Keep your eyes open—you just might catch him at work.

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