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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Angels Among Us

The Christmas story in the Bible is filled with images of angels. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that she would give birth to Jesus. An angel came to Joseph in a dream to tell him to trust Mary and to take her as his wife. While the shepherds were abiding in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night, an angel appeared to them proclaiming the good news that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem.

Many religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam accept that angels are supernatural beings who reveal themselves to humans as messengers of God. Angels are often depicted in art with flowing garments, glowing auras, and frequently with wings. Many people report having had personal experiences with angels who have appeared to them when they were in need. Additionally, the belief in guardian angels is common.

The most recent issue of Unity Magazine contains an article about Sunny Dawn Johnston who, at the age of 13, saw an angel above her bed in the middle of the night. At the time, she did not know what it was. She reports experiencing a sense of unconditional love and oneness unlike anything she had previously known. When she asked her mother about it, she told her that the previous night she had prayed that God would send angels to watch over her. Her mother was sure that this being was her guardian angel who appeared in answer to a mother’s prayer. Over the ensuing years, Sunny has had many experiences with angels and has developed her ability to communicate with the spiritual realm. She uses her ability to assist others.

I recall that as a child I would often see swirling colors on the ceiling of my room. I never talked about it to anyone. I was sure that no one would believe me and would most likely tell me that I was dreaming or making it up. At the time, I didn’t have the idea that these images might be angels or spiritual beings there to watch over or help me in some way. As I reflect on it now, I am sure that those images of light were, indeed, messengers of the spiritual realm, the realm that we all have access to.

As Sunny is quoted in the Unity Magazine article,

“That ability is like a muscle that you can develop. You just have to start paying attention and being present. The more present you are, the more tapped in you are to the energy all around you.”

All too often, we believe that we are separate from the energies that exist beyond the physical realm. We may have been told that only those with special gifts have access to the spiritual realm. The truth is that we exist within the spiritual realm. We just happen to be focused through a physical body. Our physical senses are attuned to perceive frequencies that vibrate at a certain level. We all have spiritual senses that allow us to connect with frequencies beyond the physical. We must first understand that it is possible, then set an intention to connect and remain open to receive.

Some fear this ability and associate it with the “occult,” thinking that it is of the “devil” or of a lower vibration. I, however, believe that when we set a clear intention to only be in alignment and attract higher vibration, that is what we attune to. I encourage us to be open to messengers of God. They are all around us.

In addition, angels often show up in physical form. In Hebrews 13:2, Paul says “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (NRSV) Paul is saying that we never know when we might receive a message from God. We can never be sure where or from whom the message will come. It is important for us to be open, to be aware, and to be present. When something or someone shows up with a message, don’t pass it off as coincidence. It just may be the answer to prayer.

Finally, I believe that we are here to be angels for each other. As I reflect on my life, I know that many angles have shown up for me when I needed them most. When I have been at my darkest hours, someone has shown up to give me just what I needed most in that moment. It may have been a kind word, a smile, a hug, or a word of advice. I am grateful for all those angels who have shined the light of love on me. I hope that, in some way, I have been an angel in someone else’s life, as well.

At Christmas, we often see images of angels, whether on greeting cards, in decorations, depictions of the nativity, and many other forms. This Christmas, I encourage us all to look for the angels among us. Seek out their messages of hope, peace and love.

In addition to seeking them, I encourage us to look for ways that we can be an angel in someone's life. It may be sending a greeting card, making a phone call, writing a letter of gratitude, participating in an angel tree gifting opportunity, or simply being present.

Angels appear in both physical and nonphysical forms. Never doubt that there are angels among us.