Recently, I lost my purse. Well, I didn’t exactly lose it. I left it in a shopping cart at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Don’t even ask how I did such a thing. Suffice to say, I’m still trying to figure it out myself. I didn’t notice it was gone until I got home and reached down to pick it up before getting out of the car. Nothing there! My old minivan has never moved so quickly as on that trip back to Wal-Mart, praying the whole time that God would send an honest person to rescue my handbag. After parking, I trotted up to the Salvation Army bell ringer and asked if he saw anyone take a purse from a cart that was clearly in his view. No. Inside, I asked the friendly door greeter if anyone had turned in a purse. His smile told me it had been found before his words sent me to customer service.
My immediate reaction was to take inventory of my credit cards, driver’s license, checkbook and cash, but even before I did, I felt certain nothing was missing. The pack of gum I had tossed inside my purse during checkout was still lying right on top—unmoved. Everything else was just as I had left it. Even my cell phone was at the bottom of my bag where it always manages to settle and my credit cards appeared undisturbed. Praise the Lord for honest and caring people.
The Bible speaks of angels as ‘ministering spirits’ and tells us that at times we entertain angels without realizing it. It takes integrity and often some inconvenience to help your neighbor. The lady who found my purse took the responsibility of seeing that it got back into my hands. Thank you, dear friend. You were my Wal-Mart angel that day.
Last summer several ‘angels’ came to my aid at Kickingbird Plaza when I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and slid across the gravel-encrusted walkway like a baseball player sliding in to home base. Unfortunately, I had no protective gear. As I pulled myself into a sitting position to evaluate my injuries a small band of shoppers averted their gaze, acting as if I had intentionally plopped myself down in the middle of the sidewalk to sort through the contents of my purse, which were now strewn around me. Thankfully, a young dad and his son came to my rescue, even offering to clean my bleeding knee. (I thanked him but was able to do that myself.) The young man helped me to my feet and guided my injured toes into my sandal before allowing me to hobble on my way. The employees at Tangles, where my teenage granddaughter was getting her hair done, gave me an icepack and band-aid for my injury and a little girl sitting nearby showed me her skinned knee to make me feel better. On that hot summer day, I definitely appreciated those ‘Kickingbird angels.’
Most of us have an opportunity to be someone’s angel to help others in need. It’s a great feeling and if you haven’t tried it, I suggest you put it on your list of resolutions for this year. It doesn’t have to be major. A smile or kind word can change someone’s day. And if you want to “up” the challenge, take a meal to a friend who is ill, write a note to someone who is lonely, visit an elderly person in a nursing home or share your tears with someone who is grieving. There are multitudes of ways to minister to the people God puts in your path, so start today. Resolve to be an ‘angel’ to friends, family and even strangers. It’s a great way to start the New Year!
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
(Hebrews 13:2, Holy Bible, NIV)