For each story a match could also be found for the rearrangement of life taking us on a journey into the unknown and many times rewarding in unusual ways. Working in positions of unemployment years before as our lives were taken for granted as being endless and rather easily given possibilities we might not have given consideration to during a more stable economic time in our life.
One such experience working as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army the winter of 2008 set myself on a more open journey into understanding and welcoming the perspectives of others into my thoughts than I might previously taken the time or seen the need. Stationed outside of a local Wal Mart in Stanley for many weeks the days and weeks moved from seasonably warm fall days into the harshness of the winter months spending eight hours a day outside layered in many thicknesses of clothes to ward off the sting of the cold. Holding an umbrella over my head in an ice storm while still ringing a bell while occupying my own thoughts of the reality eight hours a day was in many lives who did not find shelter at the end of the day, unable to even feel the pain of warming at the end of the day as shelter for many is rare.
One afternoon the week before Christmas a man walked by as he entered the store, over time I learned to recognize the regular patrons who frequented for groceries or shopping during the holiday season though this man was a new face. He smiled as he passed and returned shortly afterwards with a sack of cookies from the in store McDonalds instructing me “do not give away the cookies!” I said thank you and sat the package on the ledge behind myself as I continued to ring the bell, saving the cookies for the next available break time. Hour later he emerged again holding a package of cookies which were stapled shut with the same instructions “do not give away the cookies and God Bless you – Merry Christmas” smiled and proceeded to leave the store and walk to his car in the process thinking how odd this was yet still waiting until later to take the cookies inside and sit down with a cup of hot chocolate breaking from the winter cold.
As I opened the first package I found three cookies and a twenty dollar bill, opening the second I found three more cookies and two more twenty dollar bills. All the money I had or was making during the season was already delegated to obligations rather than Christmas, thoughts of buying for family were not a consideration. A Christmas angel had crossed my path one winter day that will never be forgotten in a true meaning of paying it forward in life, not always in huge ways in relation to our lives, huge to another often is small in relation to the giver.
Our time of recession has also created earth angels in many forms, places and circumstances with a personal belief it is what we might silently be sending out in thought which is reciprocated in direct relation in those who cross our path each day. Financially these are hard times where hearts only grow larger is we allow another to connect to us with even a mustard seed of faith in the improvement of life and being another participant on the Earth. Take time today to pay forward from the heart, follow your prompts and allow your light to shine and you just might be an angel unaware before this day rests into tomorrow.