I sit still and watch a flower blossom as it soaks in the afternoon sun.
The white of its petals is a drastic contrast to the heaviness in my heart.
But the longer I sit, the longer I breathe, and the longer I see the beauty.
The flower reaches deep into the earth.
The ground is providing all her nourishment where she rests.
I envy her Peace and her Balance.
Taking another look, the Spirit breaths across my consciousness.
I remember that I also have access to Peace.
I also have access to Balance.
The petals and I sit side-by-side, breathing.
We share our secrets.
Together, we grow in harmony.
As I have said before, I have encountered angels – each one dressed in their unique way.
Some have familiar faces to me because I connect to them every day.
Others pass by in fleeting moments since I spend so little time with them.
These experiences occur to my surprise but definitely never by accident.
There once was a whole day I needed to spend in a local laundry mat.
With a broken washing machine at home, our family of five went through a lot of clothes!
Lunch at the neighboring pizza joint seemed a logical resting place.
I walked into an empty dining room.
It sat waiting patiently for the customers who would never come.
A friendly waitress came over with a large and genuine smile.
I only glanced quickly, afraid of what I might see behind my own masked face.
Unsuccessfully, I tried to hide my forearms.
But the open wounds called out loudly against my skin.
Instead of the usual look of fear that I had become accustomed to receiving, the waitress offered me no questions or concerns – not one empty “I’m sorry” or “Oh, dear…”
I dared to look up into her eyes and I saw something…something that I am unable to find words to describe.
It was a look of knowing…knowing something deep…
A look of peace and a graceful mind.
I noticed the bracelet wrapped around her wrist as she passed me a soda.
A compliment slid from my mouth; a comment on the jewelry’s ability to bounce the sunlight off its face.
She graciously thanked me, giving tribute to the friend from where the bracelet came.
A few moments later, my soda was drained.
It turned into an empty glass that just kept staring back at me.
Was this glass half-empty or half-full?
My mind kept wandering until the angel reached over to refill.
For a moment, time stopped spinning.
It was just a brief pause, but the silence created space so that I can recall this experience for the rest of the time:
The angel asked me to hold out my hand.
I would never have been able to imagine why.
She unclasped the bracelet from her friend and placed it on my arm.
I don’t remember the rest of lunch.
I don’t even know what happened the rest of that day.
But I still have the bracelet tucked safely away.
The clasp can no longer hold the glass stones together.
Yet, the sunlight still bounces off it.
I pull out my angel when I need a reminder:
a reminder of God shining through His children.
I decided long ago about that glass before me.
It was neither half-full nor half-empty.
It was only an object for an angel to hold as she passed on her spirit to me.
They travel between Heaven and Earth.
Sometimes they are seen walking among us, while other times, the wind cradles them by.
It was the Christmas season when I fleetingly met my first Messenger.
It happened in what I thought was an unlikely place.
But what do I know of such things?
It was years ago in a crowded mall.
I felt alone and isolated even with my mom’s attention and love walking through the jungle with me.
Hunger began to take over my gut.
Well, it was late in the day.
So, I sat down with meek anticipation in a sea of plastic, white tables that were filled with fellow passengers.
I waited for mom as she stood in line to purchase our hurried dinner.
The loneliness drained my endurance while I sat in my depressive state.
I scanned the food court impatiently – so many people, so much commotion!
They bustled through the labyrinth, immersed in the joy and anxiety while looking at the epic deals they procured on gifts for friends and family.
My inanimate gaze fell upon one woman, her table standing diagonal from where I flopped.
A smile emerged from my muscle memory – it was honestly genuine.
To my surprise, she returned the gift.
I noticed her eyes transforming into Light!
I had no choice but to turn away in fright.
Minutes later, with my mouth full of rice, this same Messenger stopped by the table.
Again, her smile filled my vision but, I could not turn away this time.
“Thank you,” she said with loving esteem.
However, I did not understand.
She further explained what she gathered from my smile – the strength to finish the tiresome search for dolls and toys to wrap for her grandkids arriving later that night.
Her message has stayed with me to this day.
I have slowly come to recognize what she meant.
There’s a shining power within a smile – it carries healing and restoring grace.
A smile can emanate through any disturbance and shine brighter than any sun on any given day.
Remember to smile.
Look everyone you meet in their eyes.
See their humanness.
See their struggles.
Because we only have today.
Invisibility is a real thing and a real problem.
I wonder what I will choose to be blind to this day.
Yet, I also know I can rest with the assurance that I will choose to open my eyes.
This is my prayer.
One of the most beautiful things about living in a broken world is that I do not have to fit nicely into any box.
Three doors are before me. I can only travel through one. Or I can choose to stay stuck and sink into the mud. I notice a gold latch that opens a door in the earth. Is there a staircase beneath? Is it dark or unclean? Sparks revel a door above. A rope hangs with anticipation. Does this entrance have an exit? Do I want to find out? The last frame stands solid. It’s straight in front of my eyes. So many questions… Not enough time... Falling into the ground would be the easiest choice. No more questions or temptations. Just a finite course. If I dare to go up, I would be left afloat to search endlessly through clouds of doubt and lost hope. What about this framework? It stands right in front of me. Is there another side? Do I have enough faith to proceed? My feet are planted hard and straight. My heart pumps fast before it skips a beat. Butterflies circle my stomach as I think: Is someone out there laughing at me? It takes all my strength to stretch a trembling hand forward. I grab the heavy handle and take another step forward;
Hear the Silence
It’s filled with Peace
Waiting for Warmth
That He will come!
My heart aches as Fear spreads its flame across the sky holding its audience captive while chaos advances and consumes humanity My heart aches as Anger surges throughout the world born from fear born from greed doomed to spontaneous combustion This anger has lurked in history disguised within rationalization enabling hatred to breed from generation to generation blinding eyes and turning heads away from the Truth What can my heart do? Anger creates space – space between systems space between people space between family and friends However, life is a two-way street. Anger creates space – space to change systems space to unite people space to heal family and friends My heart ebbs and flows: it's confused and angry it's sad and frustrated it dwells in the darkness of an endless night But I will keep the door open; How else can Light get in?
If I sit on the side of the road, what does that accomplish?
If I walk by someone that is in need, who am I truly hurting?
If I choose to be colorblind, ignoring racism and inequity, will anything change?
If I choose to stay silent and abandon all humanity, who will benefit?
If I choose to hide behind the color of my skin, who will I hurt?
I am choosing to get up from the side of the road and actively listen.
I am choosing to walk alongside my neighbors, healing any disconnection.
I am choosing to see our differences and similarities, embracing everyone with Love.
I am choosing to write out loud, phone my state Senators, and understand and oppose the seeds that birth discrimination.
I am choosing to speak up to teach tolerance and acceptance.
I am choosing to care for others as I
Wear a mask,
Watch my distance, and
Wash my hands.
Will you join me?