willing to put on your angel wings?

{ Side note: I cleaned off my desk yesterday. I had a big stack of birthday cards I’d received a few weeks ago, and I read each one of them again. It didn’t take but a second for the tears to begin falling and for my heart to be overwhelmed with God’s goodness through the blessing of amazing friends… tangible proof of His love and care for us. I lifted a tearful prayer of thanksgiving for each one, and then I took the stack upstairs to my Keepsakes box… which is really just a fancy label for a plastic tub where I store things that melt my heart. I have a folder for birthday cards, and as I got ready to add this year’s cards, I couldn’t resist looking through the old ones. And then I found the one from Miss Ada. Sobbing tears now. You’ll understand when you read the story below that I wrote below almost five years ago, but it’s worth telling again. }

Let me tell you about Miss Ada. She’s just a few inches over five feet tall – such a tiny little thing that I have yet to figure out her her little body holds such a big heart. Her eyes and skin are the color of dark chocolate, and despite several missing teeth, she has a smile that captivates your heart instantly. I’m not sure how old Miss Ada is because I think black people disguise their age better than anybody else does, but I do know this. She has energy and enthusiasm that doesn’t come from a tender young age or an easy life, but from a heart that loves God.

I met Miss Ada several years ago at Westview Manor Nursing Home in McGregor. She worked as an aide on the 500 hall where we placed my precious Granny after she fell and broke her elbow. Although my head clearly understood the solid reasoning that my Granny was no longer able to stay home alone, my heart was positively broken. A nursing home. It was never what we wanted for her. Thankfully, the nursing home was only about eight miles from my house, and that made it possible for me to see my Granny every single day. God is good that way.

Since my daily schedule was a bit unpredictable, I often arrived at the nursing home at unusual hours. Sometimes I made a morning visit on my way out of town. Other days when I worked from home, I’d sneak by with a Sonic milkshake about 4 pm, and Granny and I would visit on the front porch. But, most days, I headed over about 6 pm so I could be there while she ate dinner and then I’d tuck her into bed. Bedtime was 7pm sharp. And, bedtime prayer with her was a highlight of my day.

Miss Ada worked the 3-11 shift, so I saw her frequently. She always had a smile for me, but she positively beamed when she talked with my Granny. Her eyes bespoke of a love that ignored the fact they weren’t blood kin…of a love that didn’t mind doing the unpleasant chores necessary to take care of her every need…of a love that reflected Jesus in her heart.

When my Granny got sick, Miss Ada was there for me. She prayed for me and with me. She held me as I cried many, many times. She took care of a place for me to shower after I’d been at my Granny’s bedside for over 48 hours. Sometimes she just sat and cried with me. She loved me through four of the longest and hardest days of my life. And, she’s still loving me today. You see, Miss Ada still checks on me. She’ll call just to see how I’m doing. She’ll drop a sweet card in the mail. She’ll have her daughter text me. All because caring for others is not her job. It’s her God-given mission in life.

Miss Ada did it again this past Friday…my birthday… the first one without my Granny. Oh, Miss Ada had no clue it was my birthday, but her timing was impeccable. I was missing my Granny so bad! I just wanted to see her, even if just for a few moments to hug her and tell her how much I loved and missed her. My heart ached knowing that I wouldn’t get a birthday call from her, that a card wouldn’t be in my mailbox like it used to be.

But there was a card in my mailbox.
From one of God’s earthly angels.
From Miss Ada.

I started just now to type that I don’t know how Miss Ada knew, but I really do. Miss Ada knew because she’s obedient to God. She knew because she’s willing to love others in a way that sometimes doesn’t even make sense. She knew because she lives out 1 Peter 4:8-11 MSG, “Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything…”

I bet there’s an earthly angel in your life, too. Don’t let another day go by without telling that person what they mean to you…without praising God for the way He has blessed your life through them. But don’t stop there. Challenge yourself to be an earthly angel for someone. I can promise you that someone desperately needs to experience Christ’s love through you.
Willing to put on your angel wings?

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