Angels from the Realms of Glory

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? – Hebrews 1:14 (NIV)

My angel shelf

For He will command His angels in regard to you,  To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways. – Psalm 91:11 (AMP)

I don’t collect angels. They come to me.

My Satterlee angel

One of the first angels I received was a gift from my husband’s employer at a company Christmas party over 25 years ago. The “Satterlee angel,” as I came to call her, is a clear, lighted angel about 8 inches high, holding a golden banner reading “Merry Christmas.” A golden halo once perched above her head. I placed her where she could light up a dark section of the house.

Winter days are often sunless and dreary. Nights are long and darker than any other time of the year. But my Satterlee angel reminds me that even in the longest, darkest, and coldest times of our lives, God sends us hope in the rays of His Son, which wrap themselves around us, warming the cold places in our hearts and spirits, lighting the darkest paths that stretch before us.

My Satterlee angel represents HOPE.

Then there’s my “Donora” angel. 

This angel is one of a pair that my late sister, Judi, had (Judi was the one who gave her the name “Donora angel.”) We grew up in that steel mill town in the heart of the Mon Valley. My niece sent her to me the Christmas following my sister’s sudden death in August 2003.

My Donora angel is a little over 12 inches high, dressed warmly in a burgundy winter gown with a Christmas-colored plaid apron, red cord belt, and a dark blue shawl. Her beige linen wings fan out behind her tranquil face. Over one arm is draped a Christmas wreath. In her hand she holds an empty birdcage, with a bird perched on top.

My Donora angel reminds me of a past rich with family and traditions and people who helped to mold me into what I am today. People who knew me raw and still believed in me.

My Donora angel represents LOVE.

Another of my 11 angels perched on a shelf on the stairway landing is my “Birthday” angel. She was a gift from my little flock at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ after my first tenure of filling the pulpit of that little church in Punxsutawney. A delicate ceramic angel, she wears a necklace with my birthstone, topaz, on a chain around her neck. “November”—my birth month—borders the hem of her gown in raised letters across the bottom. And her halo—oh, my, one little bump and it’s askew.

My birthday angel

She reminds me of the happiness I get from serving my little flock and serving God in whatever way I can.

My Birthday angel represents JOY.

The most recent angel came to me as a birthday gift from my closest friend, Sharon. Butterflies and flower petals cover her dress. Her wings are framed in gold. The letters across the front of her gown read, “It is such a blessing to have a friend like you.”

My friendship angel

She is my “Friendship” angel, reminding me that friends are gifts from God. They remind us that we are never alone. Our Abba Father sends them to minster to us in times of need, to lend an ear and a helping hand, to give us hugs. Friends stand in the gap for us. A true friend brings a sense of stability and security to our hearts and lives.

My Friendship angel represents PEACE.

Look around. I’ll bet you have a few angels watching over you, too.

Thank you, Father, for sending Your angels to minister to and watch over me and those I love. Amen.

Read and meditate on Matthew 1:18–2:23Luke 1:5–2:20

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons (c) 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

1st Sunday of Advent – Expectations

She gave birth to her firstborn . . . and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn. – Luke 2:7 (NIV)

My husband’s a hard worker, so I try to ease the workload around the house when I can. Sometimes, though, my efforts make more work than if I’d just let him do the job in the first place. 

Wanting to surprise him, one year I decorated the front deck with pine garland and white Christmas lights. That was the first year we had a deck to decorate, and the coffers had taken a hit with building front and back decks that summer and re-roofing the house. So the least expensive garland and light string I could find, I got. 

I wanted him to come home from work and “ooh” and “ahh” over how it looked or at least show appreciation. Instead he said nothing. When my husband says nothing in a situation like this, I assume he doesn’t like it and he doesn’t want to say anything because it’ll just get him in trouble. Which it did. Because I squeezed the truth out of him—so I really shouldn’t have been mad, right? 

After a couple of days, I broached the subject, and we discussed how the front deck decorations could be improved. I do admit, he’s a much better decorator than I am. He has both the eye and the touch. My decorating philosophy is the same as my baking philosophy: throw it together and hope it turns out right. 

“It’s not that I don’t like it,” he told me. “It’s just not what I expected.”

Expectations—that’s what this was all about, not who was right and who was wrong. I expected him to lavish praise on my efforts and was disappointed when he didn’t. He expected thicker boughs, something that stood out more, and was disappointed when the reality didn’t match the vision. Once we talked about it, the air cleared.

Expectations weren’t met when Jesus came, either. He was born not at home, but in a town 70 miles away, in a stable because the inns were full of travelers coming to pay their taxes. No family gathered around the new parents to rejoice with them, only strange shepherds and even stranger foreign dignitaries. And when He grew up, Jesus didn’t fulfill the expectations of anyone but His Heavenly Father. Even His death caused crushing disappointment for all who expected something different. But the reality was so much more than they ever could have dreamed! 

Be careful of expectations. They can be good, but they can also be dangerous. 

When we expect something of ourselves, our expectations can drive us to be better persons. But when we expect something of someone else, expectations can be dangerous because we’re so focused on what we expect—what we want—that we’re blind to the reality in front of us. 

And sometimes, like with the birth, life, and death of Jesus, the reality is so much better than the expectation.

When things don’t turn out the way I expect, Lord, remind me that in Your hands the reality is exceedingly abundantly above all I could have asked for or imagined (Ephesians 3:20). Help me to live in such a way that I meet Your expectations of me. Amen.

Read and reflect on Luke 1:26–38.

© 2012 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.