Met any good angels lately?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2001

As a child I was no angel but I played one plenty of times. This was purely a product of typecasting

"Kid's got really long blonde hair, big blue eyes and looks kinda sweet, so throw a robe on her and give her some of those coat hanger-and-tissue-paper wings, will ya?"

While I passed the litmus test of appearance I knew in my little heart I sure wasn't that nice and sweet all the time the way some ol' angel would surely have to be. I was really just shy, awkward, hardheaded, boring old ME.

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Funny thing is, though

lots of the ideas we have about what angels are supposed to look like or be like aren't necessarily so. Angels, after all, have the ability to take on different forms, like the shape shifter fellow on one of the Star Trek shows.

They can appear as male or female, young, old and in-between; their complexion may be as fair as my own or darkly bronzed. Hair can come in all hues and textures and lengths and eyes in every shade from the brightest blues to the richest browns.

We tend to think of angels as being stereotypically beautiful, but why not consider the possibility of more ordinary-looking visitors from the heavenly realms. You know, the just plain folks' types.

Could it be there are geek' and nerd' angels, angels who are klutzy or absent-minded or a trifle eccentric? Angels with speech impediments or bad knees? Even big, gruff, tough-looking angels with tattoos? Maybe some of those angels' also speak in purrs and barks, too.

I might be way off base here, but I'm wondering if we don't miss many angels' along life's journey because we're so busy listening for the flutter of wings or hoping to bask in the glow of a high-wattage halo.

I'm thinking of those folks who are not literally from the Celestial realm, yet who do display many of the qualities we admire in their heavenly counterparts.

Helpfulness, kindness, joyfulness, encouragement , honestythey pass these gifts along to their fellow man, woman and child in small, simple everyday ways that can really add up to make a difference in our lives.

There's the concerned angel who stops to help you, a stranded motorist, stuck on a lonely highway; the patient angel behind the counter at the drugstore who is always pleasant and upbeat; the small, bright-eyed angel whose smile can't fail to brighten the dreariest day and all the angels, big and small who give pats on the back, hugs and encouraging words when you need them the most.

No, they don't run around in long white robes toting harps and flapping their big wings behind them. They don't have time to sit around on clouds

they're too busy out there spreading random acts of kindness and deliberate moments of joy.

Hooray for the everyday angels who make life a little sweeter, kinder and more joyful.