Without doubt the most precious tangible items in any home are those related to the holiday season. No other time of year is more steeped in tradition and keepsakes. When asked what I miss most from the house fire it is the decades of Christmas ornaments and decorations. It became more heartbreaking this year when our youngest had his first tree and 30 years of Christmas treasures saved for him were gone.
For 40 years, I have been accumulating Christmas angels. It wasn’t intentional, or so I thought. One Christmas Ted gifted me a beautiful pair of tapestry angels. They anchored each side of our mantle and shared a strand of stars. The pair were later joined by others gifted from friends and family
I did not realize how many I had until a few years ago when I joined them together as The Heavenly Host. They were displayed in a cupboard over a nativity scene given to me by my parents. The Host was very unique and, to my way of thinking, reflective of angels unaware.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” Hebrews 13:2, ESV.
Along the way God gifted us with our first grandchild (middle name “EvANGELine,”). The ‘theme’ began to come full circle for me. What rejoicing! I continue to feel the presence of angels, especially when our granddaughters are with us, spreading love and light everywhere they go.
Decorating a new home with new things can be fun – until, with great nostalgia you reach for that favorite piece and realize it is gone. This Christmas an empathetic friend gifted me a nativity scene. By tradition, I would have had the accompanying animals, Wise Men, shepherds, cresche and….The Heavenly Host. Instead, there are empty spaces where Baby Jesus’s support group belongs. It made me sad.
Days before we had celebrated Thanksgiving – the first with all our kids and grands at our new home aptly named “The Lantern.” Lanterns cut through the dark and spread light as angels do. Thanksgiving brought great joy and non-stop frivolity. One of the biggest events actually occurred next door at my cousin’s home. She was holding a Gingerbread House decorating contest with her grown children. EvANGELine was asked to judge.
To add to the fun, my sister had brought early Christmas gifts for the grandgirls that included a pair of angels wings and a life-sized unicorn. In no time flat, EvANGELine disappeared to dress herself in what she deemed appropriate judging attire. Upon return, saddled up the unicorn, she announced she was ready to fly next door.
From that point on, between angel wings and feather boas, feathers flew all over the house and lawn. Long after all had returned to their homes, I continued to see feathers everywhere – including along the footpath to my cousin’s front door.
True to my habit of saving special things, I gathered the angel feathers and placed them into a lantern on the porch. Post fire and flame respectful, the lantern holds a battery operated candle to cast light on the small calling cards from The Heavenly Host…..and from angels who visit The Lantern.
It is all a reminder that many tangible things are mere representations of greater treasures we cannot see. Despite bare spots where we feel something or someone should be, God is actually filling those voids with light and love and laughter – some by angels unaware and some by angels on Earth – seen and unseen.
You can always find the light if you look for it. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned,“ Isaiah 9:2.
“Look for Christ and you will find Him. And with Him, everything else,“ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Yes, that is a purple “A” magnet on the lantern randomly placed there by a grand angel months before the feathers!
~ From the desk of Becky Morlok ~
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