In art class some children were working with plasticine. Plasticine is a clay-like substance that can be used over and over again because it doesn’t harden. A girl had made a very nice model of a creature with wings. “See, an angel!” she exclaimed as she held up the figure for all to see. Then she quickly molded the angel back into a ball and asked everyone, “Ok, now what’s this?” Nobody could answer, except to say, “A ball?”
“Nope,” said the girl. “It’s a hiding angel.”
Over these past few years, we have come to appreciate the presence of angels hiding among us; angels disguised as firefighters and emergency personnel, health care workers and ambassadors of good will; angels who have joined the existing legions of others who for years have been feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the sick and in countless other ways have reached out to those in need with love and care and bread.
If the truth be told, some of those angels are inside of us just waiting to be released. All sorts of angels: angels who help those in trouble, angels who comfort those in distress, angels who speak words of truth in difficult situations, angels who make a difference in the world.
So, if you really want to see an angel at Christmastime or any time, you should look very closely at yourself and at others near to you. Angels are there when people are kind to each other and encourage one anoth- er, when they are angry at injustice and risk speaking up to right wrongs, when they try hard to love each other and struggle to forgive. Angels are there when people write songs or sing them, when they hug and dance and play in courage and faith, when in the midst of even difficult times like these, they hold fast to hope and do crazy, wonderful, simple things against all odds, just for the joy of it.
When that happens, when hiding angels are unleashed, the One born that night, who so wondrously links heaven and earth, smiles. And the angel inside each of us is given another reason to fly.
Here’s hoping the angel inside of you meets up with some other angels this Christmas, giving the world a better picture of our smiling Savior and your life a fuller measure of His love.
P.S. Click the picture or link below to read the full December 2023 edition of The Beacon.