Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Touched by an Angel

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2
I almost died this morning. Well, that sounds melodramatic now that I’ve written it. I was almost in a wreck this morning on the interstate. In a congested patch of highway I travel each day on the way to work, a car tried to sneak in front of me during a merge.  There wasn’t enough room for them between me and the car ahead of me, so I was forced to maneuver over to accommodate them. The only problem? I knew the lane beside me was also full of bumper-to-bumper traffic so I had nowhere to go. In a split second, I darted over and there was miraculously room for me. My heart skipped a beat as I realized what could have been, yet there we were, all fine, all sipping our coffee and going about our day. As I exited the interstate, I sent up a quiet “thank you” to everyone and anyone involved. God. Jesus. My guardian angel(s). Other random angels I imagine invisibly dotting the landscape, ready to jump in and help.

There’s a lot wrong with the 1998 motion picture City of Angels. Namely, I don’t particularly care for either of the two leading actors, Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. If you’re able to put aside their odd facial mannerisms and non-existent on-screen chemistry, it’s an interesting little story. The gist is that we’re surrounded by invisible, well-intentioned celestial beings. For some reason, in this depiction, they’re all dressed like Columbine shooters. Clad in long, black overcoats, they gather on the beach each morning to watch the sunrise and hear Heavenly music. Then, they go about their day, watching over people in operating rooms, coffee shops, and a public library. It turns into the age-old tale of an angel falling in love with a human and facing the decision of trading his endless, supernatural existence for one of human fragility. What I like about it is the portrayal of us being surrounded by these loving, Heavenly bodyguards.

One was definitely there this morning and I was ever so grateful.

Quotes from City of Angels

Maggie (human, surgeon, played by Meg Ryan): Something happened in my OR. And, I got this-this jolt - I got this feeling that there's something... bigger is out there. There's something bigger than me and bigger than you, and it- Does that sound crazy?

Seth (angel, played by Nicolas Cage, speaking to Maggie, a surgeon): I came to take Mr. Balford... and I saw you. I couldn't take my eyes off you. How you fought for him. And you looked right at me... like I was a man.

Seth: I always asked the dying what they liked best about living. Wrote it down in my book. This is it. This is what I like best.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
                                                                Psalm 91:11