By Hilary Scheppers
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
in the presence of the angels to you I sing. ~ Psalm 138:1
Out in Los Angeles, it’s easy to see trees overflowing with fruit in the middle of an urban neighborhood. There are lemon trees, orange trees, and avocado trees. So much of the fruit goes unnoticed. It ripens and then falls on the sidewalk to spoil. I’ve seen bags on the street that say “free plums” because people don’t know what to do with so much fallen fruit.
Near the same place where I’ve seen this bag, I’ve also seen a tree dripping with clusters of mangoes over someone’s roof. The other day I saw an older woman with white hair stand on top of the roof with a fruit picker to glean the tree. I was nervous she might fall because it was dusk and getting dark.
The following day when I passed by her house, she was outside. I told her I saw her picking mangoes. I had been nervous she might fall. “I call on my angels before I go up there,” she said. “I know they help me.” Indeed, they did. Although she gave me a bag of mangoes, I felt the true gift given in that exchange came in the form of passing her courage and faith to me.
Today is the feast day of the Archangels—St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. They are the only three angels mentioned by name in Scripture; each a herald of God’s word, strength, and remedy. I think of this neighbor, Maria, who gave me mangoes, as an “angel” delivering the message of God. She demonstrates what to do with her abundance, which is to give it away as a blessing. She reminds me that when I have to do something scary or difficult, I can call on my angels too – and they will deliver me unexpected fruit.
Lord, I thank you for keeping me in the presence of your angels. Under their faithful protection, I move forward humbly and with new strength.
Call to Action
Who in your life needs some extra encouragement, guidance, or protection right now? Deliver a message of faith and courage to someone who needs it most. Call on your angels to help you
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