Angels all around us

English: Sunrise on Christmas Eve looking up A...

It’s evening on Christmas Eve, and the feeling of anticipation among all my family members is thick and very nearly visible. Today, I watched as each one of us took turns making the house gleam with hardly a grumble. Later, I watched as my daughters performed in their church Christmas pageant, each taking their roles so seriously — until the end, when Meg decided to put “bunny ears” behind the girl in front of her during the finale. My husband and I could only grin and try not to laugh out loud at our little monkey.  The end of the church service had a particularly beautiful rendition of “Silent Night” that ended in candlelight and silence. As I write this, I’m listening to mom watching “The American President” (a favorite movie) and my husband and children playing a board game called Agricola. Happiness and peace permeate the house.

However, it’s the invisible angelic presence that intrigues me. Angels have been here all day. They were among us as we each completed our chores with a smile. They carried the 41-yard field goal through the goal posts that allowed my beloved 49’ers  to win today. They participated in the Christmas pageant and gave that little extra sparkle to the children’s eyes and the special resonance to the church’s pipe organ. They shared our “we’re not cleaning any more dishes” dinner with us and generally made all of us smile throughout the day. So why is it we only talk about angels at Christmastime? Aren’t they omnipresent, no matter what the day is on the calendar?

I think each of us has a personal angel assigned to guard and guide. For me, it’s that little voice (no, not those voices!) that gives me ideas of a kindness I can do or an idea for some creative project. It’s the little voice of encouragement when I’m having a rough day or am generally feeling down. I think that my personal angel is in cahoots with other ones, and occasionally hear the angelic choirs in my children’s voices or the “I love you” that ends every telephone conversation with my husband. That we choose to attend to artists’ depictions of them only during the Christmas season seems a shame. They are Creation’s personal assistants for each of us.

During this season of bright lights, gifts, and general chaos, take some time out. Stop for a while and listen to the sounds of the angels that surround us all. If you’re lucky, you might catch a choir practice!

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