Christmas Angel

A week ago Monday I realized my heat wasn’t working. Not in the main part of the house, anyway, the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. It had seemed chillier than usual for two days prior, but it wasn’t until Monday that I looked at the temperature. 55 degrees. It was 18 outside and the thermostat was set for 68.

I mentioned it to Jim, as I do all things of this nature. If it weren’t for  Jim, I doubt I would have ever bought a house. Any house that I could afford would have too many issues, too many repairs, too many things that I had no clue about, too many needs that I couldn’t afford to address.

But I had Jim. Jim is a contractor. He can walk into a house like mine, asses the situation, and have it under control within a matter of hours.

And this is what he did on that Monday. Despite having work to do at a real (full paying) customer’s place and work to do at the house he is flipping, he took the time to run and get parts and install them and have warmth restored to my home before I arrived there after work.

My Christmas Angel.Christmas Angel

Not that this is the first time he’s lent a hand. He’s been my Valentine Angel, St. Patrick’s Day Angel, April Fool’s Day Angel, Easter Angel, Memorial Day Angel, Fourth of July Angel, Labor Day Angel, Halloween Angel, and Thanksgiving Angel. And, yes, my Vehicle Angel,  Yard Angel, Marathon Training Angel, and Kitchen Angel, too.

The day he was working and squeezing in the job of fixing my heat as well, my daughter, unbeknownst to me, called him because she had a dead battery. It’s not her first experience with a dead battery. She has her own jumper cables (courtesy of the Dead Battery Angel, the first time she called upon him) and knows how to use them. On this day, however, she couldn’t get her hood open (something to do with a dent incurred while rear-ending a Hummer) and she needed assistance. So she called one of her angels.

On top of working, flipping a house, and dealing with my heat, Jim ran up to the high school parking lot and helped my daughter get her hood open and the car running.

Like I’ve been saying, he’s an angel.

This past week, which was crazy busy, he asked if he could take care of dinner for me Thursday night. He said, “The last thing you need to worry about is cooking dinner.” It was true. I had already cooked dinner twice that week. A record for me. He’s seen how cooking can stress me out like nothing else.

So I came home, on Thursday, from running a few errands after work. I had texted Jim while out and about to see what the plan was for dinner, what time, where. When I walked into my house there he was, wooden spoon in hand, surrounded by my daughters and their friends, garlic bread and lasagna in the midst of preparation behind him, comfort and happiness in the air.

I thought I would cry. I thought I would cry because I was exhausted. Exhausted from two weeks of Christmas and school and parenting craziness.

And what I walked into was relief.

The kind of relief that makes you realize just how weary you are, just how close you were to not making it, at the same pace, for even one more day.

The kind of relief that makes you cry.

I set my things down and then I set myself down, my distress slumping out of me all over the table. And I let my Christmas Angel do his thing. I let him serve me by the grace of God.

Today I was wondering when I’ll have the opportunity to be a Christmas Angel. I was wishing there was something I was good at, like repairing anything and everything in a house and acting like it’s no big deal, something I could do for someone, something they couldn’t do for themselves.

Jim acts likes it’s no big deal to work on my house. He says what he does isn’t rocket science. He acts as if each task (from his point of view), each miracle (from my point of view) is just a little thing, just what he does. To me, what he does is a big deal. He is highly skilled. And he has years and years of experience that types like me know are invaluable.

As I thought about that, it hit me. Jim’s acts are gifts for me and others who need them. He may not see them as all that special because they are not necessarily a need that he would have to have met by someone else. And it must be the same with the things that I can do. I may not consider my talents to be a big deal because they are just what I do, day after day. But for others, who cannot do what I can, my offerings may be illustrative of God’s grace, just as Jim’s are to me.

And so it has not been obvious to me when I may have been or am, presently, a Christmas Angel to someone. Jim perceives my needs, as well as the needs of others, and acts accordingly. I perceive his needs and the needs of others and act accordingly, usually without even thinking about it, without realizing that that is what I’m doing.

Angelic behavior doesn’t have to be big and bold and surrounded with a halo of mesmerizing light. It’s the every day, regular stuff that truly qualifies as God’s grace.

So get out there, do what you do, be who you are, spread God’s grace, and recognize yourself as… a Christmas Angel.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. farfetchedfriends
    Dec 22, 2013 @ 22:19:54

    That’s good. That was mentioned at church today – being willing to accept gifts from others and being good at receiving.
    Very timely post!


    • randee
      Dec 22, 2013 @ 22:43:52

      There was also something on NPR today about how our middle and upper class SES are not very good at asking for help or giving charitably. People in poverty give more per capita because so many of their friends and relatives need help. It’s just what they do.


  2. theclocktowersunset
    Dec 22, 2013 @ 22:26:06

    I don’t think I can put into words the kind of wisdom that you’ve dipped into here. This, Randee, this, you nailed it.


  3. Anonymous
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 19:27:27

    love this….love both of you for being angels!


  4. Naomi Baltuck
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 15:52:27

    What a lovely thoughtful post. It brings to mind a few of my own angels, and for that I am also grateful. Best wishes for the New Year.


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