With the holiday Season upon us, our hearts are often filled with love and goodwill towards our fellow man. To me, Living Inspired means Living this way year round. Even in my own toughest times in life, reaching out to help others made a profound impact (lifting my own spirits as well). When we are putting an energy of love out there, we are in turn going to attract love and kindness unto ourselves. This is where true miracles happen! Today’s inspiration is a true story that happened to me (and my family) a month ago. It is a story of goodwill, kindness, love, and strangers.
**Make sure to watch the YouTube video at the end of this, as it goes with my story and I think it will touch or inspire you as it has me!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:34-35
We were getting ready to leave for dinner at “the cottage”. I told Matt we were on our way and would be there soon, so I could get a nice chicken dinner going. Mom and I were in a hurry to get the rest of the work done on the bathroom walls I was redoing at my new home. Just as I was about to open the front door, the bell rang. A sort of familiar looking man was on the doorstep. He looked like one of the old neighbors who lived next door to my parents when I was a teen. However, it was not who I thought it was. It was a relative of theirs, but a stranger to us.
He made his way right in to the house when I opened the door. Without even the typical “Hi” and explanation of why he was here. He started out by basically just spilling his guts. He told me he was the brother of the man who used to live next door with his mother and jumped right in to telling stories about his brother having recently had all his teeth pulled. Inside I was sort of scratching my head, wondering why he was here talking about pulled teeth and what he needed. I think most people would think it odd to have a sort of stranger walk in your house and start talking about random things out of the blue. To be honest a tiny part of me thought so too, but I did’t judge. I looked deeper. This man needed something. Although he did not state his need upon us answering the door, I could feel it.
He looked lost.
What happened next is what inspired me. I had already chosen in my heart to embrace this stranger, but we were in fact on our way out the door. Dad wasn’t far behind me, and Mom entered the room awhile after. Dad invited him in to have a seat at the dining table. Mom came in next and sat down. We took our coats off and put our dinner plans aside. Not a single person asked this man why he was here, or treated him like it was odd. To a casual onlooker, they would have thought this man belonged here and that we all knew him well.
As he sat at my parents table, we listened to him talk of all the things that had happened to him this year. He didn’t try to sugar coat things. He was very direct in telling his story. His sister had committed suicide earlier that year. In February he said. He bluntly said “my sister is dead.” He went on to tell us all of the details (which I will spare you of ,both for your sake and out of respect for him). He spoke of his 2 brothers that were left under his care after his mother died of cancer about a decade ago (she was our former neighbor). They are mentally disabled and live in “a home” and there have been many trials with them this year as well. He then spoke of his own injuries. He had fallen off a ladder and had to have surgery on his spine.
He said he was feeling nostalgic and wanted to see the house where he had lived. He had wanted to talk to old neighbors that lived here way back when. We told him most of them are gone now (most of them were elderly as his mother had been). He kept asking about various people that no longer lived in the houses where he was thinking of ringing the bell. We did not grow up next door to him, when he lived here. We did however, know his brothers and Mother quite well. So , although we were pretty much strangers to him, I think he felt a comforting connection.
My heart felt for the man, and I knew I wanted to give him a hug. Mom beat me to it. I joined in right after. He stood with his arms wide open-so readily receiving (as we all stood there in this group hug/circle of love). It was now clear to me what he had come here for. I don’t even know if HE knew what he had come here for when he stood on that doorstep-ringing the bell in hopes that someone would answer. We welcomed him as if he was coming home. As if he belonged.
And indeed he did.
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
I invited him to follow us down to my new house for dinner, but he had plans. I got out a piece of paper and gave him my phone number (as something in my spirit called me to do so). He was given an open invitation to bring “the boys” (his 2 brothers that live in the home) over to dinner at either my house or my parents next time he was in town. He asked me for paper and wrote down ALL of his details (address, home and cell phones, etc). He doesn’t know it yet, but I am going to send him a Christmas card and maybe a little surprise present. He left our house with hugs and warm smiles. I like to think we helped him somehow.
While a bit odd, this whole experience was such as lesson in humanity for me. I saw beauty in the way my family welcomed him with such warmth-like it wasn’t at all unusual that he would randomly show up at our doorstep to bear his soul. There was a silent communication between us all. We did not have to discuss it, and yet we were all on the same page . It made me think about the impact we can make on others when we respond from places of love instead of judgement.
It also made me think about the hurried society we live in. We could have told the man we didn’t have time. That we were on our way to dinner plans and heading out the door when he came. Dinner was delayed about an hour and hungry or not, time was taken aside to help a fellow man in his time of need. How ready and willing are we to drop our own agenda for a moment to be a blessing to someone else?
This experience made me think of a song I just love called “Angels Among Us” (sung by Alabama). This song was given to me a few years ago by one of those “earth angels” that came in to my life by chance (as I impacted them in some way as well). I thought Christmas time was a great time to talk about angels! I feel blessed by the lyrics, so I am sharing them below:
~Angels Among Us:
Verse 1: I was walking home from school on a cold Winter Day. Took a shortcut through the woods and I lost my way. It was getting late and I was scared and alone. But then a kind old man took my hand and led me home. Mama couldn’t see him, oh but he was standing there. And I knew in my heart he was the answer to my prayers.
Verse 2: When life held troubled times and had me down on my knees, there’s always been someone there to come along and comfort me. A kind word from a stranger to lend a helping hand, a phone call from a friend just to say “I understand”. Ain’t it kind of funny that at the dark end of the road, that someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope.
Oh, I believe there are angels among us. Sent down to us, from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours. To show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with a light of love.
They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places-To grace us with their mercy in our time of need.
In my own life, and especially in the toughest of times, I have seen the Grace and miracles in how “angels” in human form have been brought to me exactly when I needed them. There are too many instances to list here in this one story, but I have received many miracles and miracle people on my adulthood journey of living inspired. On the flip side of that coin, I have actively reached out to be a miracle for someone else. There is nothing more beautiful to me than these such things. It is humanity at its best.
So my friends, this Christmas season, (and year round for all of you “inspired beings of light” out there ) let’s spread our angel wings as far as we can! Let’s also thank all of the angels in our own lives, as we pay it forward.
There truly are angels among us. Do you believe?
Here is the song that I recommend listening too. I think it is such a beautiful sentiment and I get emotional (in a good way) and inspired every time I hear it: (You can click HERE for the link if you subscribe via email and can’t see the video):
Stop on by and leave a comment or share your “angel on earth” stories at weliveinspired.com. I would love to hear inspiring stories of your encounters with “angels” in human form who have appeared on your life’s path just when you need them!!
Wishing you angels and miracles in abundance,