Friday was an errand day – grocery shopping in two different stores. I just entered my second store, had parked my cart and was looking at the produce. From the other side of a vegetable display, a voice said: “I just love your hair, it looks so nice.” A bit surprised, I looked over to see a lovely slender woman I had never seen before and said (of course): “Thank you, thank you very much.” I wanted to add that I loved her hair also – her soft chestnut brown hair was cut in a charming pixie style. Instead, I remembered it was better not to “gush” over a compliment and just simply say thanks. But, I was so flattered, since I had recently gotten my hair cut (something I had postponed way too long); I wanted to say something else to her. So, after I had picked out some potatoes, I walked over to her noticing she had a protection boot (I’m not sure what they are called) on her right foot. I just said: “Goodness what did you do to your foot?” And, that began a conversation – I found that she had been diagnosed with the same debilitating disease a person very close to me has. Her diagnosis came at age 50; the other person’s diagnosis came in her 20’s. Nevertheless we shared some information and I learned something new about the disease. It was enlightening. During part of this conversation, she paid another compliment to me, said that I was a “beautiful woman”….it has been a long time since I’ve heard anything like that, and the words seemed to have much more impact since they were from a stranger. Funny how some simple words simply make a person feel wonderful. I hope that our conversation also lifted her spirits as much as they lifted mine.
I’m not sure how often one realizes that “angels” can be in the flesh of “ordinary” folks, but truly angels are always around us – every day. Anyone can be an angel, in large ways and in small ways, such as I’ve described. Pleasant words, kind gestures, consideration, politeness, providing positive reinforcement, are examples of simple things that can possibly be all that it takes to brighten someone’s day. And this, perhaps only brief, release may be all that is needed to bring one closer to the healing effect of God’s peace. Angels are all around us, let them in; be one.