Today, my friend Esther answered a phone call while we were having lunch together. As I listened to the phone call, I gathered that she was speaking with an elderly couple who seemed to be in trouble.
She later told me that she has known this elderly couple for over 20 years. They don’t have any children and very few friends. Mr and Mrs Smith live alone in a small apartment which belongs to a government housing estate. Mrs Smith has been battling with cancer for the last 2 years and in the past few months, her health has taken a turn for the worse. As Mr Smith is frail himself, Esther took Mrs Smith to the hospital for her scheduled appointment.
The phone call Esther received was from Mr Smith with a difficult request. He asked if Esther would mind coming to their home……but before he could finish his request, Esther had already agreed. She told him that she knew what was on his mind and that she had already spoken with her employer to let her rearrange her schedule so that she had two free days to take care of them. She told him that she would visit them twice a week and not only buy them their weekly requirements (groceries and other household necessities) but also cook and clean for them.
Mr Smith was so touched by her offer to help, he broke into tears. He has always been the provider of their family of two but as his body is starting to fail him, he has had to come to terms with his age and learn to ask for help. This has been a difficult process for him.
As for Mrs Smith, she also cried as she spoke with Esther on the phone. She told Esther that her greatest worry isn’t her impending death but her husband being left alone in this world. Esther was her source of comfort. In fact, she was their angel from heaven.
Today I learnt that it is hard to help others but *harder* to receive help from others. I also learnt that you don’t have to look up to heaven to see an angel. They aren’t those transparent holy beings dressed in white robes with widespread wings. God sends angels into our lives everyday in different shapes and forms. They are our friends, acquaintances and neighbors…..we need to learn to recognize who they are and thank God for sending them to be part of our lives.