I saw an angel last night.
I am ashamed to say I greeted her with a flinty heart.
As she walked up to the car window
city streets at midnight
I quickly pressed the lock
on the door & on my heart.
Rolling down the window only halfway
she greeted me with a near toothless smile
so caught up in judgement I didn’t catch her eyes.
She asked where we were headed
She lightly said, “Oh, wow!”
And wished us safe travel.
She walked away
white wool floor-length coat brushing the pavement
I swear now there were wings hidden underneath.
A pure white feather fell
much like the one inexplicably found on our doorstep days before.
Not until we hit the open road did I realize
I failed that lesson of compassion.
Remember this well, my child,
Anyone you meet could be an angel in disguise.
On the two-hour drive home, I begged repeatedly for forgiveness. I beat myself up. I wished to die to this person I’ve become so that I could be reborn into a better, more open, more humble, more generous, more loving woman. Although I think I failed that test maybe I learned more in my failure. Now that I know how NOT to react, I will know better next time how to act valiantly in the face of a challenge.
I still haven’t completely forgiven myself for being so guarded & selfish. For not offering a ride on a freezing cold night, though I know well the warmth of a generous stranger. For judging appearance & not seeing the soul. For a greedy preservation of self & belongings that never belonged to me anyway. For saying “NO” when I could have easily said “YES”.
So this helps…