Angels at Their Post(al)s
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Angels at Their Post(al)s
It started out like any other day. In the mornings, I listen to memos directed to me from my Boss. He tells me what in my thinking needs attention. He shows me what specific problems – my own or the world’s -- need to be addressed and answered with prayer.
Christmas Eve morning 2005, I didn’t have any particular problems of my own. So I had fun pondering some citations from my favorite Bible concordance -- Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. One was this arresting idea, which is part of the definition of DAY. “Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.” (1)
Capitalized, Mind is a name for God. It defines His creative, intelligent, idea-generating nature. Mind’s time doesn’t recognize minutes ticking away but, rather, reveals timeless good that already and always exists. I had read that statement often. That day, it riveted me. What good would appear to me today?
Little did I know what a doozy of a good plan Mind had mapped out for my Christmas Eve. Nor could I have fathomed how many helpers our Grand Planner and Great Protector would provide along my path.
Would you believe He used six – I repeat, six -- letter-carriers from the US Postal Service to show me Who was in charge of unwrapping my day and delivering me from danger? The only thing I did was follow directions -- like an obedient puppy.
Speaking of pups, the Fritz Carlton dog kennel is where my afternoon began. Its 31 indoor-outdoor runs were filled with paying canine customers at Christmas time. The rescued boxers who live at the kennel, awaiting adoptive homes, are kept in small crates during busy holidays. At those times, they need extra attention, affection and exercise. Hence my presence.
* * * * *
After playing with several of the boxers individually, I decided that Bronson -- a sweet but hyper, previously abused boxer who hated other dogs -- needed a long walk.
We set out on a quiet street, and Bronson sniffed to his heart’s content.
Suddenly, about one-eighth of a mile ahead, I saw a mail truck stop.
Simultaneously, out of a yard bolted a large black dog, barking fiercely at the truck. The carrier remained inside. Bronson and I took off in the other direction! For some unknown reason, the dog didn’t look our way when he circled the truck and headed back into his yard.
The mail truck finally caught up with us further down the street. When a young lady emerged from it, I told her how glad I was that she’d had a delivery at the house with the loose dog. “Oh, I wasn’t leaving them any mail,” she replied. “I stopped because I saw the gate was open and the dog wasn’t chained up, as he usually is. I knew he was fierce and could hurt you. So I just waited there until you were far enough away.”
My jaw dropped. Was this one of the angels from the “twelve legions of angels” that the Gospel of Matthew writes about? It surely seemed so.
In between my effusive thank-yous, I asked Angel #1’s name and postal station, so I could write a note of appreciation to her supervisor.
Here, I should point out that I think of angels as being silent alerts broadcast by God to each of us, 24/7. The messages are tailor-made, depending upon our individual need. We tune in to angels by using our spiritual sense. Their messages are always pure, uplifting, and safety-ensuring. Sometimes they come straight to us; other times through another one of God’s receptive representatives. Letter carriers, for instance.
Bidding farewell to my Fritz friends, I made a couple deliveries of my own: free copies of a magazine on spirituality to two washeterias down the street from the kennel. As I was pulling out of the parking space at the second washeteria, out of nowhere a postman appeared. He signaled for me to stop, then explained that I had a thick towel in the axle of a front tire. Concerned that the car’s steering would jam, he offered to pull it out. It was wedged in too tight, though. He then offered to ask the washeteria manager if she had some scissors. She didn’t. He looked worried. I promised him I would drive slowly and would stop as soon as I saw a store that might have scissors. So Angel #2 and I waved goodbye.
Through the parking lot my car crawled, around the corner, and, voila, a nail salon. Scissors! I parked in front, next to another – you guessed it -- mail truck. The carrier was on a late lunch break, having her nails painted. I borrowed scissors, got prone on the pavement, and proceeded to cut the towel from the front and back of the tire, until it was loose enough to be pulled out of the axle.
As I was cutting, I regaled the mail lady with my tale of Angels #1 and #2. She laughed and said she worked at the same station as #2. I hoped she would tell him that the tire and towel had been decoupled.
After parting with the scissors and with Angel #3, I drove home without incident. But that doesn’t mean God and His postal legions were done delivering me, or the mail.
* * * * *
During lunch, I read an article about overcoming fear. One sentence reminded me of what Bronson and I had seen evidence of: “God’s love is universal, and therefore it includes everyone,” wrote Jer Master. “We are all God’s children, receiving the tenderness of our Father-Mother, God. This is a powerful love, a strengthening love. Accepting it and relying on it provides the best immunity to anything unlike God.”
Sustained by that statement and a sandwich, I proceeded to take out my own boxer, Lucius, for his afternoon walk. The first person I saw was my postman! Angel #4 and I exchanged Christmas greetings. No “delivery” required, other than my mail.
Five minutes into our walk, something told me to stop in someone’s driveway and do a simple training routine with Lucius. It’s designed to focus a dog’s attention on his handler, but is supposed to be done at the beginning of a walk. (Please see www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-dialogue.html for a description of of this training method.) I had forgotten to do it then. Though Lucius was already paying perfect attention, it felt right to do the exercise in mid-walk anyway. It took 10 or 15 seconds. We then proceeded ahead.
Wham. At that moment, 50 feet in front of us, a strong gust of wind flipped a heavy 12 X 4-foot homebuilder’s sign onto the sidewalk directly in front of us. The second before, it had been leaning against the wall of a new home. Had we not stopped for those few precious seconds – squish.
My thanks to God were even more profuse and prolonged. When Lucius and I reached the sign, which was sticking out into the street, I glanced up to see a vehicle that I heard approaching. Yup, it was Angel #5 in his truck. He had just rounded the corner and was driving past us.
I stared. He waved. I was too stunned to wave back.
It was time to call my sister up East on my cellphone and pour out my tale of adventures with postal angels. Together, we praised the angels’ Sender.
We talked about how much better a grip we now had on Psalms 91’s verse, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands….” (2) Here, charge means an assigned duty or responsibility. If only the postal workers knew just how well they were living up to their duties that day – how many unheralded, critical deliveries they were making on their busy last day before Christmas.
I said there were six angels, didn’t I? Well, Lucius and I weren’t finished walking. Minutes later, while chatting with my niece, I looked across the street and saw Willis trying to get my attention. The postman in the neighborhood next to mine, sweet and soft-spoken Willis has always reminded me of an angel. “Heather, please tell your mom I just saw another postman,” I said.
Later, as dusk was descending, I brought Lucius back to the downed sign to take its measurements. I saw two orange traffic cones sitting in the street nearby, picked them up and placed them on the part of the sign that was sticking out into the street – so no cars would hit it at night. At that moment, a young woman jogger -- an out-of-uniform postal worker? Angel #7? -- appeared out of nowhere. I told her what I was doing, and how Lucius and I had been protected. She gave me a long look, then enveloped me in a hug and said tearfully, “Oh, thank you. I love hearing stories like that.”
I love telling stories like that. Especially on the night before Christmas.
UPDATE: Shortly thereafter, boxer Bronson was adopted by a woman who fell for him at a pet-store adoption event. He blossomed in her home. But, unaccountably, she made some major changes, including moving and marriage. Suddenly Bronson became an unwanted “extra” and was returned to the kennel. I spent a half-hour with him there one day. He was calm, gentle, and affectionate. I sang hymns to him as he lay on his back on the lawn and let me stroke his tummy. It was clear to me that he could not remain in a place he had mentally outgrown. A few days later, another would-be adopter saw Bronson and was impressed by his resilience. Now in his new home, Bronson meekly tails his boxer sister around. He’s a veritable lapdog and a virtual couch potato. It’s clear he feels so happy and secure that he has allowed all his inner goodness to finally come tumbling out! Christmas 2006 will be his first ever in a real home – his own.
(1) page 584
(2) Ps 91:11,12
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