DONNING ANGEL WINGS: The overwhelming responsibilities of a do-gooder

angel-2591973_1920As the holidays approach, I’m finding myself reveling in my good luck! My wallet is full enough, my family and I are healthy enough, the weather is holding, and peace seems to be vibrating through every bit of my world.

Yes, there are the elections coming up, the horrible massacre that occurred here in Pittsburgh at a synagogue recently, and the constant needs of the poor and hungry, the homeless and the sick right in my own neighborhood. It can be so overwhelming, I could find myself crying in the corner… except for one little thing. Well, I guess several things.


I have always believed and had faith that things will be as they’re meant to be. I’ve always believed that finding joy spreads joy, that carrying happiness in a secret jar held tight to my heart would help others find joy, too. That we’re all meant to locate the trigger inside our souls that bring the goodness of this world to those struggling all around us.

I’ve struggled. We’ve all been there. Perhaps not homeless, but terrified we might not meet the rent next month. Perhaps not dying, but fighting cancer as hard as we can. Maybe feeling completely alone, only to be reminded that a bigger world is snuggled right up against us.

turkey-218742_1280If I had millions I’d love to help everyone! So many are without funds for the holidays, without the ability to purchase small gifts for their children, or a turkey for dinner. I help where I can, volunteer, support, and help serve holiday meals to those in need at a local church.

And here’s what I discover every year, every moment, with every wish that blooms in my soul. A smile goes really, really far. A prayer goes even further. A buck is as helpful as a ten-dollar bill to a hungry homeless person. I once watched a driver take a coat off his own back and give it to a beggar at a red light. Warmth comes in many forms, but I think we all need to be gentle with ourselves, as well as those we seek to help.

coffee-690422_1920Angel wings can be so heavy, they can break us and that wound seeps into the true joy of the holidays head. For years I and a group of like-minded people collected food, clothing, and money for those starving and suffering on the Rose Bud Reservation near Mission South Dakota. We packed boxes, cleaned and folded donated clothing, shopped for gifts and wrapped them in motel rooms along the way. The drive was always treacherous, as winter comes early on the plains, and getting home in time for Christmas was always a challenge. What I learned was much, much bigger than the time, work, and money donated.

At each home we delivered gifts of holiday happiness, the hospitality was deep, indigenous, cultural, and someone always made a pot of coffee for us. A simple pot of coffee. However, most of these lovely Lakota women we digging coffee grinds from the bottom of the tin. They were offering their last bit of coffee to me! I soon changed my idea from gratitude for a hot mug, to making sure that hot mug was not a hardship to our hosts. Before they could even turn on the faucet to fill the coffee pot, I handed them several small bags of coffee, the kind they sell in a single pot size at the grocery store for a buck each. The kind that helped them all relax and smile, and joyfully pour mugs for us all. A buck. Three bucks per household. It was a simple gift that made everyone less burdened and more joyous. It really is the little things that make the biggest difference!

smile-2607299_1920The lessons of wing-wearing do-gooders are big. No matter who we are or what we have, we can’t help everyone, no matter how much we might want to. But we can smile. We can observe and see what really takes the load off those who are struggling. We can make our hearts bigger than our heavy wings and sing a song for a lonely person, dance with a sad person, giggle with a homeless child, take the jacket off our own back for a freezing beggar. We can do these things. We’ve been blessed with enough to lighten even the heaviest load. And it’s so worth it because it really does keep those wings especially white.

What special thing do you do to lighten someone’s load?

wings 1Welcome to ANGEL MOMENTS. My views are in this blog, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on angels, how they influence your life, and how you experience the amazing blessing.

Lost Race-Orphans Cover NEW 300 px

Eighteen-year-old orphan Gracie wants a normal life, but a shocking set of unexpected wings and a deadly war change everything.

Watch for The Orphans, book one of The Lost Race trilogy. Coming November 2018!

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