Angels Among Us

I've been painting angels lately. My mind and my paintbrush have been consumed with them.

I'm not sure if the increase in my thoughts about angels has been in tandem with the recent loneliness I've felt, but I have certainly stepped up my study of them in Scripture.

Angels are among us.

Scripture confirms this over and over. Sometimes they are named. Sometimes they are part of a "heavenly host."

God sent His messages through an angel multiple times throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

My paintings and my studies are certainly not the end-all, be-all representation of what a biblical angel might be, but they are what I have been inspired to scrawl out on canvas.

When it came time for God to make His most important announcement ever, to begin the story of redemption for all of us, He chose to send the angel, Gabriel, to Mary. Let's take a moment and step back into that scene:
"And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! But she was  greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.'" Luke 1:28-31

We are familiar with the rest of the story, but Mary did not run away from this angel or his announcement to her. She considered what he told her and replied with this:
"And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.'" Luke 1:38 (ESV)  

I've often pondered how I might have responded in a similar situation. I'm not sure I would have been as quick to accept and agree to the parameters of Gabriel's announcement. However, I am incredibly grateful for Mary's utter lack of hesitation.

That brings up a thought I've pondered many times over the years. Have I ever encountered angels in my path?

I know I have. Imperceptible on some days and much clearer on others. One in particular will NEVER leave my memory and will forever be etched on my heart. Bear with me as I recount it for you here:

I was meeting my mother-in-law at the airport with my then nearly three-year-old and newborn daughters in tow.

I was by myself and struggling to make it to the gate, after neglecting to think ahead and put everyone in a stroller.

I was very new to this more-than-one child life and not quite knocking it out of the park yet as a super mom.

We were headed to her gate, because you could still do that then.

Yet between us and a hug from the Maw Maw was a long walk and an escalator. The distance seemed to multiply as I contemplated crossing the airport with a toddler, an infant, and my postpartum self in the mix.

I decided to let Olivia get situated on a step and follow behind her with the infant carrier holding newborn Sophie.

We ascended slowly and seemingly uneventfully. Then Olivia lost her footing on her step. I scrambled to help her get to safety and lost my hold on the car seat carrier while my newborn baby begins to freefall down the escalator.

In a split second I have someone grab the handle, lift me and Olivia to the top of those moving stairs with her hand firmly yet gently on my back, and securely set Sophie and her carrier back in my hands. As quickly as this angel swooped in and "saved the day" she disappeared into the crowd.

Some may say I experienced the kindness of a stranger.

I prefer to think of this verse:
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2 (ESV)

I wasn't really showing any hospitality, and the awareness in my spirit rather was undeniable. I felt a stirring in the presence of this one who so clearly rescued my new mommy self.

I was stunned into silence for a full moment before coming to tears at the gate, greeting my mother-in-law, and introducing her to her new granddaughter.

So, I share all that to say again, angels are among us.

God has a purpose for them now just as He did when including them in His word. I've had them on my mind and in my paintbrush.

May they draw me closer to Him and His purpose for me.

Do angels ever show up in your day to day? Do you think they are present in our times? Let me know.

Leaving a trail of beauty~


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