This Winter I’m Looking Out For Every Day Angels
A car stalls in the middle of my traffic lane. Two teenage boys get out of the car in the cold, trying to push it to a nearby lot. They can’t make it up the hill, slipping backwards, but they keep trying anyway, until a giant man pulls up on the other side of the road. He gets out of his own car. He directs the next move as he pushes that old car into the next parking lot, giving those boys hope and letting everyone else go home to their families, me trying to get my two babes safe to mine…
…My three-year-old daughter is in tears at her first basketball practice earlier this week. She’s scared to play with the boys. She’s scared she won’t be able to do what everyone else is doing. A high school assistant principal, her bitty basketball coach, bends low as she takes a few steps forward trying to bounce that ball on the court. He cheers her on through her tears and says, Good job Brielle, you’ve got it, now keep going. She smiles and finds her confidence to try again…
…of course this past Saturday night, with the weather forecast warning everyone the worst cold front was about to blow in, I decided to brave the great outdoors anyway, driving into downtown Kansas City. I had friends to meet and the impending birth of a baby to celebrate. Besides, it was only 41 degrees when I started that direction about 6:15 that night.
Living in the Midwest, you never know what you’re going to get. One second the wild wicked witch of the West is riding in on a tornado of swirly dangerous air, and in the next, you look up and think, huh, the birds are singing again, the sun is shining, and wow, is that a rainbow? I really like the color of the sky. :0)
“The weather’s getting bad,” one of the cute girl’s with the curls said staring at her phone nearly three hours later at the dinner table in the restaurant.
I glanced outside for the first time in that whole three hours. I think my jaw dropped a little, my heart started to pound in my chest. “Can we please get that check?” I asked, raising my hand at the waiter.
21 degrees colder, I wrapped my coat around me and shivered all the way to my car. Ice speckled the windshield but luckily not enough to warrant a serious scraping. I drove through the streets trying to keep my eyes straight ahead and not on the snow collecting along the sides coating the roads. Semi trucks zoomed past my slow speed, but I’d learned years ago, to drive whatever speed made me feel quite comfortable.
It’s hard to shake the cold out of your bones sometimes, that hard chill that sneaks in through your skin and tingles in your toes. It is also hard to shake a sense of panic brought on by memories. Something happened to ease my fears. Something beautiful and shiny, to where I let go of that hard grip on my steering wheel, and I sighed out-loud.
In the oncoming distance on the opposite side of I-70, I saw this band of glittery bright lights staggered in a line. Snow trucks. Giant ones, like a real front of angels with glowing lights and shovels on wheels blowing through the storm. That night, they were my every day angels on a mission to make the city safe for all of us.
So is it really a “Polar Vortex” out there, as CNN terms it, “the worst rush of cold air from the North Poles since Santa?” Maybe. But then if the vortex exists, and Santa exists, then maybe there are also signs out there of angels, too. Maybe simple signs you might see as you look around, sparkling along the street, or the gas station, or the grocery store, and maybe even on the highway, or in the shelters in the city. Keep your eyes open for that simple little miracle. Feel the smile curl up your face as you see it. Feel the laugh threaten to shake your chest. And above all things, maybe add a sprinkle of believe.
Every day angels exist in all of us, and I do believe we are all in this big wide world to learn and help each other along. So thank you to my Winter Angels, and happy Wednesday all.
…And don’t forget, just because the One More Day Tour has come to an end, the good news is, the book is still available 🙂