Monday, January 27, 2014



 Two angels were traveling down the road, an old and experienced angel and a young novice. They came at the end of the day to the home of a wealthy man and knocked on the door. They asked for a bite to eat and a place to rest. The rich man, wiping the gravy from his chin, gruffly told them he had nothing to spare but a crust of bread and nowhere for them to sleep but with the sheep in the barn, The angels thanked him for the moldy crust and went to the barn to sleep for the night.

 When they got to the barn, the younger angel noticed a crack in the wall, and when the older angel noticed and walked by, he waved his hand over it and the crack was repaired. The younger angel, amazed, said nothing.

 They walked the next day until they came to the home of a poor farmer. They knocked on the door and humbly asked for food and shelter. The farmer and his wife warmly welcomed them in and sat them at their table, and fed them simple but delicious stew and freshly baked bread.  The younger angel noticed that the couple fed them and fed the children, but that the stew pot was empty and the bread gone before either the farmer or his wife had eaten.  The couple gave them their own bed for the night, and the couple happily curled up on a blanket in front of the fire.

 The angels were awakened in the early by the soft sounds of the wife crying. Her husband left off comforting his wife to explain that their only cow had suddenly died in the night.  The angels took their leave and walked down the road.  The old angel seemed unusually tired.

 After a few miles, the younger angel could no longer contain his confusion and asked his elder why he had repaired the wall for the selfish rich man, yet let the only cow of the generous farmer die.

 The older anger replied, "Things are not always as they seem.  As I passed the crack in the wall I noticed that hidden in the wall were great riches.  I sealed the wall so that the rich man would not find them.  Last night I was up all night arguing with the angel of death. He had come to take the farmer's wife and I bargained with him until he agreed to take the cow in her place."

A number of years ago I fell off the top stair at the top of a three story staircase. I was uninjured except for a broken and dislocated finger.  It really hurt and I snapped it beck in place. To this day it is slightly deformed.  I was grateful to my guardian angel who caught me by that finger as I flew through the air, surely to break every bone in my body and to snap my neck. He lowered my gently to safety, but broke and dislocated my finger in the act.
Several years ago I fell on the ice as I stepped into the road and broke a bone in my back. If my angel had not shoved me at the last moment, my head would have hit the curb in my fall and split open like a ripe melon on the curb.
One Monday, getting ready to open my office, Linda was opening the waiting room curtains. She was singing a song I recognized from my pre-k youth.  I Googled the song and printed the lyrics.  I gave the office staff a laugh and a smile as I sang it to them.

 That night I visited Walter in the hospital. He is a little younger than me and near the end in his fight with cancer.  His wife, mother, and cousin were still in his room at 9:30 PM. We were chatting about many things.  The nurse came in to give him some meds, but said she had to go and get an alcohol swab to give the IV medication. I told her not to run, I had one in my pocket. I reached in and took out my Swiss Army knife, some coins, a Phillips-head screw, some alcohol wipes, and a folded piece of paper. I gave her the wipes.  Walter asked, with a laugh, what was that stuff was in my pocket. I told him and unfolded the paper containing the song lyrics.  I told him about the morning's events leading to the paper being in my pocket.  He asked me to sing the song to him. I deferred because of the late hour at the hospital, but he persisted. I sang the first verse and everyone in the room wrinkled their eyebrows in partial recognition:

 Mommy told me something
 a little kid should know.
 It's all about the devil
 and I've learned to hate him so.
 She said he causes trouble
 when you let him in the room.
 He will never ever leave you
 if your heart is filled with gloom.

 When I sang the chorus everyone except the Filipino nurse smiled in recognition and quietly joined me.:

 So let the sun shine in
 face it with a grin.
 Smilers never lose
 and frowners never win.
 So let the sun shine in
 face it with a grin
 Open up your heart and let the sun shine in.

 I went on:

 When you are unhappy,
 the devil wears a grin
 But oh, he starts to running
 when the light comes pouring in
 I know he'll be unhappy
 'Cause I'll never wear a frown
 Maybe if we keep on smiling
 He'll get tired of hanging 'round.

 And then when I repeated the chorus everyone sang out loudly!  The nurse tentatively joined in.

 So let the sun shine in
 face it with a grin.
 Smilers never lose
 and frowners never win.
 So let the sun shine in
 face it with a grin
 Open up your heart and let the sun shine in.

 Then the last verse:

 If I forget to say my prayers
 the devil jumps with glee
 But he feels so awful awful
 when he sees me on my knees
 So if you're full of trouble
 and you never seem to win,
 Just open up your heart and let the sun shine in.

 When we sang the last chorus, everyone was smiling, singing loudly, and tears rolling down their faces.

 So let the sun shine in
 face it with a grin.
 Smilers never lose
 and frowners never win.
 So let the sun shine in
 face it with a grin
 Open up your heart and let the sun shine in.

 Walter's pain was, for a while, all gone.  He said he wished everyone would sing that song at his funeral.

 We spoke a bit longer and I left for the night.  I rejoiced that for a brief moment I was allowed to be the angel that he needed.

  •  I do not really care if I allow my mind to enjoy a self-created reality.
  •  I do not care if there are other explanations or truths. 
  •  I celebrate every opportunity to be fully me, but I also celebrate every opportunity for my ego to step aside and let some other joy shine through me.

Thanks, Joe. That was wonderful. Boris
Hi Joe, what a beautiful way to look at life. It can be hard to do, that angel can seem so invisible at times. I hope you are able to find yours every day, even on the really tough ones.
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