An elderly Hispanic woman at church, sits alone on the front pew saying her rosary. Her body is bent and her hair is white. Her brown and calloused hands are wrinkled and boney. Her head is covered with a white scarf and she holds a rugged little rosary as she prays. She has no doubt lived a very long life and is now in the autumn of her existence. She sits and prays for all of her children and her children’s children and her friend’s children, who have all left the church or are having struggles in their lives. She prays for peace in this troubled world. Her husband is long gone and she spends her time praying, reading, watching tv, and going to church.
One day as the woman is sitting and praying after mass, she sees a younger woman (an Anglo woman) in her late 50’s and she motions for her to come over. As the woman approaches and bends down to embrace the old woman, the old woman pulls the younger woman to her knees. Once the younger woman reaches eye level with the old woman, the old woman cradles her face in her hands. Looking lovingly into the younger woman’s eyes, the old woman says, “I love you.” She pulls her face to hers and she kisses her affectionately on both cheeks and repeats, in English, not Spanish, “I love you.”
The younger woman is overwhelmed with emotions and begins to cry. She didn’t even know she needed someone to say this to her. She felt just fine, she thought, and then God reached out through this “Angel of Love” and let her know she was loved. She thanked the old woman and left the church to have a good cry in her car. Even though the younger woman seemed fine, she had a wounded spirit that needed to be told that she was loved. God knew there was a need and the old woman was directed by the Holy Spirit to respond to the dark space within the younger woman. The younger woman in this story is me and this is a true story.
Each and every day, God sends an “Angel of Love” into my life. It might be an overt interaction like the older Hispanic woman or simply the realized, interested stare of a small child, who then smiles upon recognition. These “Angels of love” are God’s way of reaching out to me to remind me I am not alone. I am truly loved. I am cherished.
As I grow older, I come to realize that I am genuinely alone at times. Being an introvert (my colleagues and students would never believe that), I don’t mind and truly treasure and need my alone time. I selfishly love being alone with my own thoughts and cuddling with my pets. But there are times when the memories of past traumas and woundedness well up and overcome the peace and joy of a solitary, contemplative life. Sometimes, I feel like all is right with the world too and have no idea that I am in need of a hug or a smile or an overt act of kindness.
It is at times like these that God sends an “Angel of Love” to remind us that we are indeed special and loved unconditionally. I pray that God uses me too as an “Angel of Love” for others. We never truly know how much another person needs to feel loved. We may not even know that we need to be loved ourselves, but if we trust in the love and goodness of God, we will be loved and be used as instruments of love.
Praise be to God…..Sciencegranny