Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I saw an angel this morning.

Maybe it was our conversation last night at dinner. My daughter Alex was convinced that as she watched the trees swaying in the wind, she also saw an angel, waving at her, bringing her peace.

There has been a lot of un-rest and non-peace in the world lately. I’m like many, I’m sure…watching the news from Haiti, emotionally wrapped up in it. My brother’s family is adopting from Haiti, and his wife Kristen was over there visiting with her eight month-old baby, Karis, when the quake struck. She was evacuated safely with Karis, but the little boy they’re trying to adopt remains there…and it’s breaking my heart.

It’s more than just hearing of the numbering of the dead. It’s the story of a mom, lifting a blanket and discovering that the still form is indeed her son. It’s the story of a young girl being rescued from the rubble, only to die from wounds too serious to be treated at a makeshift hospital. It’s the plea for help on the computer or television screen. I was running my dog this morning, and processing it all with God. He was patient with me.

Then, on my run, I passed Little Bit, a Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville. It’s a place where tiny kiddos who wrestle with physical or mental challenges get to ride gentle horses as a form of therapy. I saw up ahead on the trail, a little girl dressed in pink, with a riding helmet covering her blond hair. She was riding a brown horse, and hi-fiving her caregivers…six adults who walked next to the horse, for safety, support, and encouragement. As I jogged close to her, she turned towards me and took in Scout and I.

It was like the sunshine came out. Her smile was heavenly. Her face shone with delight, and she raised both her itty-bitty arms above her head, squealing, “Oh…wow!” She beamed like Christmas morning. I’ve never been celebrated so richly in my life.

I smiled big at her, at her caregivers. I passed her on the trail. And as I ran past, I burst into tears, making some weird, half-laugh, half-sob, I’m-out-of-breath-from-this-run kind of heaving noise.

My heart was pierced with joy and beauty and ache, with the sun-breaks of holiness in the midst of a broken, fallen world. All is not well, not now…but even surrounded by heartache, there is much to celebrate. And she WAS celebrating! A man running with his dog! Oh…WOW! A chance to ride this beautiful horse! Oh…Wow! Being surrounded by people who love me! OH…WOW! She was an angel. I’m convinced of it.

There are wonders all around us. I truly pray for the eyes to see them.

I didn’t look back, mostly because I was convinced she was an angel, and I didn’t want to be proved wrong. But then I was thinking, maybe there ARE angels all around. The Bible tells us to be kind to strangers, because by doing so we might entertain angels unaware.

Angels bring messages of peace. Messages of hope. Messages of joy. Messages of healing. Messages of help.

Maybe that’s what the relief workers are in Haiti. Maybe that’s what peacekeepers are. Maybe that’s what her caregivers are. Maybe that’s what you and I are called to be today.

Be an angel to someone. Go on. Celebrate!