Niagara Gazette — My favorite holiday movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The part that always brings tears to my eyes is when a tiny ornament on the Christmas tree chimes and George’s daughter Zuzu says, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings” and George realizes that Clarence finally got his wings.
Holiday decorations, Christmas songs and even Christmas confections are rife with stories about and images of angels: however, most of us don’t spend much time during the rest of the year thinking about them or believing in them. My first response is generally skepticism when I hear stories of angel encounters; however, I’ve come to see that there might be more truth than fantasy in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
While walking in a city park with my mom when I was a child, I was transfixed by something I’d seen on a nearby bench. Although my mom couldn’t see what I’d seen, she allowed me anyway to run through the grass to get a closer look. Sitting on the bench, I found what I’d been looking for. It was an angel. A real one. Unlike Clarence, this one already had its wings. Since I was a little girl and the veil between this world and the divine was still thin, I was able to meet my angel, even though the other people in the park couldn’t see him.
From where I was standing, slightly behind a tree, I could see that the angel was intently focused on something. My angel was … eating! Typically, religious iconography doesn’t depict angels doing worldly things like enjoying a meal, and I’ve never heard stories of angel encounters involving food, but this angel was most certainly having an afternoon snack. As I’ve been passionate about food and cooking my entire life, it seems fitting that the one time I’ve seen an angelic being, he was eating.