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Anonymous Angels

by Lucky Garvin

The Unnoticed Angel

There is a reason things happen; and often those things also have a purpose.

Her face was too broad to be beautiful; her carelessly close-cropped hair would never stir a man to poetry.

And she knew it.

I knew she knew it because when I walked into the examining room she would not look at me. She was plain; I knew it; she knew it.

She lived with it every day.

When most of us are dismissed, we feel insulted in our self-estimate. When they are dismissed, people like this lady feel confirmed in theirs. Lord love them all.

She picked nervously at nail-bitten fingers and broke my heart.

How easy it would be to pass over one such as this. A mere extra in life’s broad and varied casting. It came to me in that instant how small God can be; He can fit inside a moment; this moment. If my suspicions be true, she is held dear by the Creator; a limited edition with her own watermark, as we all are. And this truth has implications: if He holds her dear; then I must also, if only for a moment. To do less is to shirk a spiritual responsibility, I think.

So I listen to her. I talk to her, she begins to look at me, and then a shy smile emerges. I touch her shoulder and she is gone.

Strangely, try as I will, I can no longer remember the reason she came to me: a cough, or maybe a sore throat?  But then, that’s not important, is it?

An Angel At My Door?

It was many winters ago. The doorbell rang. I moved towards it, but evidently not quickly enough to suit my visitor. I heard the irritated thumping of a gloved hand against my door. Open it and there stands one rough-looking, unsmiling man; jailhouse tough. He wants to shovel my snow.

 “No,” I say and then tell him that if he stays in the neighborhood, he’ll probably find all the work he can handle.

“Been here two hours so far,” he said, turning to leave. “Haven’t made a dollar yet.”

I closed the door, vaguely unsettled by the encounter. Have I just turned an angel from my door? Sometime later, I figure to go dig my car out. The same man is passing at the corner. “Any luck?” I ask.


“Well, your luck just changed,” I said. Twenty dollars later, he had my car dug out. I chatted some with him. He loosened up.  Roofer; can’t work with all this snow. Girl-friend just left him.  Recently in a fight. Some guy broke into his apartment and cut him. Medical bills: $2000. Well, maybe so; maybe not. He told me his story with an indifferent shrugging which suggested this was not so much a run of bad luck, as a continuation of his usual.

I fixed him an insulated jug of coffee to carry with him.

He stared at the fancy mug. “You want me to take this?” I nod.

Some time later [maybe a couple of hours], I pull out of my drive-way and see the same guy, walking past the same corner. He is drinking my hot coffee; he waves; big smile for me. “You were right about the neighborhood! I’ve made some money!”

Possibly. Or possibly he comes from a place where money doesn’t matter, but charity does.

So, what does all this mean?

Don’t know.

Felt good to do it; I felt pushed to do it. Was he an angel? Was he set before me to see what I would do?  Was he like the bedraggled lady who came into the church kitchen during Christmas and asked for gas money; only to disappear without a trace when she was refused?

Or, was it just a thing that happened?

Don’t know.

Look for Lucky’s books locally and on-line: The Oath of Hippocrates; The Cotillian; A Journey Long Delayed.

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