As we approach the holidays, I am reminded of a show I saw years ago that featured stories about people who claim to have been helped by angels. One story really touched my heart that I have never forgotten. A divorced mother and her young son were living in a cheap apartment, and money was very tight. She had just lost her job waitressing for a coffee house nearby, and although she had a degree in accounting and an excellent work record, she could not find work in her field. None of her interviews had gotten her any closer to a job offer. Thanksgiving was approaching, and she was worried that she and her son might not be able to celebrate, let alone have a good meal.
Thanksgiving day dawn broke brightly, and there was frost twinkling on the grass. The mother took out three hot dogs from the freezer, plus three rolls. This, and a small can of beans, would be their Thanksgiving dinner.
She took her little boy to the playground, where they enjoyed the swings, the teeter-totter, the little merry-go-round, and several games of tag. They walked home hand-in-hand, laughing. Her little boy was happy, and looking forward to Thanksgiving. The mother was dreading it, as they had so little food.
As they approached the apartment complex, an older woman came out of the apartment above theirs. She greeted them, and asked if they would like to share Thanksgiving dinner with her. It seemed that her whole family was flying in from across the country, and their flight had been canceled.
“Please come in and help me eat up all this food!” the woman said. The young mother stammered, “But we don’t want to impose–what if your family gets another flight?”
The older woman laughed, and said, “With the weather so bad out there, I doubt that I’ll see them for weeks! So, if you don’t come in, all this food will go to waste.”
The mother and little boy looked at each other. The little boy said, “Mom, I’m hungry!” The older woman smiled and said, “Well, there you go. That’s what we need, some hungry people!”
Smiling, she opened the door. The mother and boy walked in and stared.
The table was set with a beautiful white cloth, and the china and glasses glittered in the light. There was a tremendous turkey filled with stuffing, a big bowl of mashed potatoes with butter melting on top, a gravy boat filled with delicious-looking gravy, a basket of hot rolls, a bowl of squash, one of fresh green peas, a crystal dish of cranberry sauce, and, at the far end of the table sat three pies, one apple, one blueberry, and one pumpkin.
They all sat down, said grace and helped themselves. All during the meal, the older woman asked the younger woman about herself, and asked her son about school. The younger woman found it easy to speak with her, and, for the first time since she lost her job, she felt happy and somehow confident that things were going to get better.
As they enjoyed the last crumbs of pie, the older woman insisted on packing up the leftovers for them. She hugged them both, and whispered into the mother’s ear, “everything is going to be just fine; you’ll see.”
After thanking the woman, the mother and son went downstairs to their apartment, put all the food away, and talked about what a good day it had been. For the first time in a long time, the mother slept well and without worry.
The next day after the boy had gone to school, the mother repackaged the leftover food from their meal, and washed and dried all the containers. She put them in a bag, and went upstairs to return them to the kind woman who had fed them. She knocked, but there was no answer. She knocked again and called out, but heard nothing.
The landlord appeared in the stairwell, and said, “No one lives there. Are you looking for someone?”
She explained about how the older woman had had she and her son over for Thanksgiving and that she wanted to return her containers. The landlord scratched his head and said, “That apartment has been vacant for months.”
“But the woman who lives here had my son and I over for Thanksgiving yesterday!” she said. The landlord looked confused and repeated that the apartment had been vacant for a long time.
Troubled, the mother walked downstairs. She knew that the woman had lived there; they had eaten her food, hadn’t they? She even had her containers to prove it! How could this be?
Later that day, she received a phone call from a company who had interviewed her weeks ago. She had given up on it, and had taken the waitressing job to make ends meet. It turned out that they had lost her file and had just located it, and wanted her to start work that week! The salary they quoted was far more than she could have imagined. Happily, she accepted, and hung up the phone.
Then she remembered what the older woman had whispered in her ear; that things would be better. Could it be that an angel had fed her and her son, and given her the job opportunity she needed so badly? There was no explanation for it.
But it happened.
NOTE: I personally believe in angels–I have had too many experiences to doubt their existence. There are angels and miracles all around us.