I used to wonder about angels. Were they just statues, figurines or doodads hanging from a rearview mirror? Or were they distant spirits that are always too busy to smile or laugh. Or maybe they just fly around pretending to be there. I love the thought of them, smiling, laughing and celebrating our positive impulses in life.
Yes, there really are angels. They carry messages and perform works of righteousness. I have sensed their presence in my life on special occasions. I used to think of them as being stern and kind of busybodyish. However, I have changed my thinking. To me, they are messengers of love.
Any messenger of love can't be unsmiling. Love is the highest attribute in life, and love in its unique way produces joy. Joy always produces smiling and laughter. It is just common sense. Smiling and laughter are right there at the top next to, or just below, love. The angels must be smiling and laughing all the time.
Anyone who has spent time in loneliness, with the realization of the darkness that surrounds the world that we know, has opened his senses to something greater than what is observed. Even the thought of angels comforts us.
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On a spring day in 1970, I drove from Scottsdale, Ariz., to Durango, Colo., to begin my duties as musical director of the summer productions at the Diamond Circle Theater. I was deep in thought and wished for a lifelong partner in life - someone with whom I could love and laugh and share my inner feelings. I guess it was a prayer.
At that moment I knew I wasn't alone. Looking out the window, I felt angels guiding me down the road. It was a good feeling.
The feeling was strong and its sudden appearance amazed me. I met Sandy "Bean" about 4:30 that afternoon shortly after arriving at my destination. She was the new choreographer for the theater. Later that evening, while she was rehearsing the dancers, I muttered to myself, "You've got to be kidding."
We were married 5 1/2 months later. It's been 35 years now. I know angels were celebrating because all the while they knew Bean was there, waiting for me in Durango. She won't admit it.
Psychiatrists will tell us that the angel in all this is already within us. That is possible, but there are angels outside of us, also. When my children were babes in the crib, I would tiptoe to their room and stare at them with thankful wonder. I knew the angels were there smiling and giving thanks as I was.
Our human hearts long to see and touch a smiling angel. It is totally a human thing. We should always rejoice at where we are and who we are.
There is an angel next to you right now, and he is smiling. Many Merry Christmas blessings to you this season.
Frank J. Kuntz lives in Missoula and is a member of First Presbyterian Church.