His name was Angel. I had a difficult time understanding his thick East African accent, but this much I understood. He was the second angel I had met on my journey. The first one had accompanied me on the plane. I don’t remember her name, but her gentle demeanor and life lessons left me with a sweet aftertaste.
So did Angel’s.
Before I traveled to Portland, Oregon for a life coaching conference, I had set the intention that I would be “escorted.” I had never used that term before, but in playing with affirmations and intention setting for years, it seemed like a fun experiment.
The key with affirmations is to choose one and then, forget about it. Yup, that’s right, forget about it. Choose something that you desire, a dream or a longing, and state that in the present tense.
For my travels, something that in general causes me a bit of anxiety because I don’t enjoy being 35,000 feet above ground in a metal vessel, I chose the affirmation “I am escorted on my journey.” I use affirmations as personal prayers, so I show a trust in Hashem (G-d) by making the statement in present tense, and this way it’s not just a wanting, or future desire, but a belief in unlimited present possibilities.
If Hashem says no, that’s ok, but at least I put my desire and trust in Hashem to co-create and bring my “wanting” into form. I then let it go and “allow” for this possibility to happen if it’s meant to be.
I had stated this affirmation as I experienced some nervousness packing the night before my trip. I promptly forgot about it the next morning, until the woman seated next to me asked me about the book of psalms that I held (ok, slightly gripped) in my hands.
We talked a bit about travelling, before she proceeded to share with me her work as manager of a food kitchen for the homeless in a suburb in Connecticut. Story after story unfolded and I realized the breadth of the compassion and affection she had for the 200 individuals and families who were fed daily by her non-profit organization. She shared with me the little miracles of connection with some of her “guests,” as they are referred to.
One tale touched me deeply as I’ve been “playing” with a more feminine approach to connection – that of “allowing” rather than the more masculine approach of “action.” As she went about her daily tasks in the building, a guest who suffered from schizophrenia would follow her about. This guest was disturbing to the others at the food kitchen because of his active dialogue with his many personalities. She would allow him to follow her as he muttered to himself, and though she did not actively engage him in conversation, a familiar rapport began to develop between them. After a few weeks, he began to converse with her, basically his only human connection to a world outside his mind. Through the pausing, peaceful space of engagement that she allowed, a safe bridge was created for him to cross.
Story after story, kindness after kindness was unveiled to me until we landed, my fear of the flying metal vessel completely forgotten as I was so absorbed by my conversation with this angel, veiled in human clothing.
When we landed, my second angel appeared, as unexpectedly as the first. Loaded down with much baggage, as bringing along kosher food requires an extra suitcase, I shlepped around to a few counters to figure out how to get to the hotel where the convention was. It turned out that it was pretty far from the airport, so as cheap as public transportation would have been, I didn’t want to maneuver with all that baggage.
I opted for a taxi shuttle: expensive, but necessary. As I settled in for the 30-minute drive, happy to see the color green as opposed to the gray and dirty white that I had left behind in Chicago, the cab driver introduced himself as Angel. Wow, can’t get more specific than that with an affirmation about being escorted on a journey. When he found out that I was an observant Jew, he eagerly requested a blessing. And here I was the one feeling so blessed. He was a kind man, and as he dropped me off at the hotel, he gave me his number in case I needed a way back to the airport when the convention finished.
A few days later, I found myself texting Angel the night before I was to return back to Chicago. He was happy to shuttle me the following morning, but it got complicated when in conversing with my husband the morning of my flight, my destination was being bombarded with inches of snow. I kept checking the airline website for cancellations because I knew that it would be impossible to land in the windy city. The website stubbornly displayed that the plane was departing on time, and my call to the airlines was continuously met with obnoxious muzak.
It got to the point that I couldn’t ask Angel not to come (he was driving from at least 30 minutes away), though I knew that the plane would be cancelled. I said goodbye to the really nice hotel, knowing that I would be forced to spend the night at a not-as-nice airport hotel. Oh well, I guess Hashem wants me to be escorted back by an angel.
And so I was. The exact moment that Angel pulled up to the airport and put the car in park, my phone rang with the text “your flight to Chicago has been cancelled due to weather conditions.” Instead of feeling frustrated or annoyed, I laughed, paid Angel and within minutes of consulting the flight attendant, had a new flight out the following day and a discount for an airport hotel.
Angel sent me a text after we parted ways “thank you God to bless you” – I’m keeping this one to remind me of my Angel Affirmation and how G-d did indeed bless me by escorting me by angels.