There are angels walking among us
I have never believed in the ever-young flocks of angels in the Heavens in white robes with oversize swan wings on their shoulders. But since Philadelphia, I know. Angels do exist.
The first time I met angels was in Philadelphia, USA, in 2002.
We had arrived hoping that André would get a new liver instead of his sick one. Two adults and two children. Naively thinking that the transplant would happen quickly, we had brought nothing but a few summer clothes. Completely disregarding that autumn is freezing cold in North America.
Out of a network of friends, and friends of friends, two women showed up and offered us help. As if descended from the Heavens.
In the USA you can rent furniture, so we had arranged for a sofa, a table, and a bed for each. But we needed everything else.
Therefore, angels exist.
Ours first arrived with bags filled with linen, towels, quilts and blankets. Then they brought plates, glasses and cutlery and among other things an electric kettle, an iron, and an old but well-functioning TV.
A short while later, one of the angels came over with a friend. He had just become a raw food fruitarian. He had given up cooked food and lived solely on raw vegetables, fruits and nuts. He was so preoccupied with his new lifestyle that he even fed his old dog, minced red beets, hoping the bitch would believe it to be meat. He no longer needed his cookware and handed us all of it in a cardboard box: pots and pans, knives, spoons and ladles. There you go.
He also lent us his old car for as long as we would need it, this angel, who had known us for less than an hour. We got the keys right away. The girlfriend drove him home.
As the secular person, I am, I have never believed in the ever-young flocks of angels in the Heavens in white robes with oversize swan wings on their shoulders.
But since Philadelphia, I know. Angels do exist.
They have both sexes and wear no uniforms. They are down here on Earth. Among us.
I have seen them in many places.
The attentive stranger who grabs a toddler who has lost his mother’s hand and is on his way into a dangerous street full of traffic. The angel does not even turn around to receive the deep-felt thanks of the mother.
Or the invisible angel who sees an elderly man in the market drop the handle of his small two-wheeled shopping-cart to reach out for a shiny apple, sees the cart fall and with the speed of lightning, picks it up. So that when the hand reaches back to re-grab the handle, it stands exactly where it was released seconds before. The old man does not even realize that an angel has been there.
Let me extend the concept of secular: Although I am not a believer, I am so incredibly touched when a religious person offers to pray to higher powers for my health.
I currently have two such religious guardian angels:
One is a friend who is a priest in Southern Zealand (Denmark). Every Wednesday, she lights a candle for me in her church and sends me a small greeting.
The other day she wrote: “Now a candle is lit for you in the church with thoughts sent to Tel Aviv and prayers sent upwards.”
The other one is a religious Jewish Israeli friend.
She has been through cancer herself, and when she heard that I am sick, she called me immediately and offered any possible help.
At the end of the conversation, she quietly asked for my mother’s name. No more. I understood, and tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes.
When saying the special Jewish prayer for healing of the sick, it is customary to mention the first name and add son of… or daughter of… depending on whether the prayer is for a man or a woman.
My mother’s name was Vera.
It is originally a Russian name meaning faith.
Now along with the flickering candlelight in the church, somewhere in the sky above hovers a prayer for Hanne, daughter of Vera.