89: A Loving Reminder

89: A Loving Reminder

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

A Loving Reminder

Angels can fly directly into the heart of the matter.

~Author Unknown

I should have felt wonderful. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, my husband and I headed for the busy, fashionable mall outside our town. I dressed up — trendy earrings, understated sexy blouse, tailored slacks, matching bag and shoes. We visited a few shops together and then agreed to browse separately and meet at the front entrance in two hours.

I’d visited almost every shop, spending a lot of money without guilt. In both hands, I gripped multiple entwined handles of shiny, smart-logoed, overflowing shopping bags. But my purchases barely veiled my heaviness. At the imported pen shop, we’d had yet another fight. I didn’t want to admit it, but they were becoming too frequent. Each time, our unpleasant words escalated, with the anger on both sides surprisingly intense.

Reliving my outbursts, I felt ashamed and helpless and like we were edging toward the big D. Now, despite all the new acquisitions and plush surroundings, I fell deeper into depression.

As we had icily agreed, I arrived exactly on time at the mall entrance near the parking lot and taxi stand so we could get a cab home. We’d supposedly “made up,” each saying what we thought we should, as if this would make us feel differently. I already knew from past repetitions that what seemed resolved would only reappear a few days later, sparked by the next most trivial thing.

I dreaded the stony ride home, then unpacking everything that was supposed to have brought us joy, and serving an uninviting cold supper of leftovers. We’d eat without speaking, except for requests to pass the salt, and then disappear into separate rooms, each blaring a TV to cover our resentful thoughts.

Shifting from one foot to the other, I kept looking both ways from the entrance. Where was he? He’d promised to meet me promptly. Now it was much later.

My bags were heavy, so I set them down and propped them against each other. I grew more depressed by the minute and realized I hated the distance and the repeated arguments, wearying in their predictability. I really wanted to regain what we’d had, bask once more in our love. Pacing back and forth, I tried to hold back the tears.

I kept surveying the area for my husband, glancing to the left where the taxi stand was. Appearing as if from nowhere, a man stood at my right.

Startled, I looked full at him. He was tall and stout, towering over me. He wore black slacks and a black shirt open at the collar. In his mid-fifties, he had a large head, somewhat sagging jowls, and dark brown hair. Around his neck, standing out dramatically against the black shirt, a huge gold cross hung on a gold chain.

He peered hard at me. I thought he was going to fight me for a cab or make a pass. Instead, he kept looking at me, and then, with a small smile, he reached into a little black pouch in his hand.

He held out an object. “This is for you.”

Automatically, I extended my hand, unafraid. Something small dropped into my palm and, without looking down, I closed my fist. Then he bent closer, his eyes piercing.

“God loves you and so do I.” He leaned down and kissed my cheek.

I stood wide-eyed. Regaining a little composure, I nodded.

He smiled more broadly. “Keep thinking that,” he said. “Keep repeating that.”

My voice breaking, I managed, “Thank you.”

I opened my hand and looked down. On a tie tack back, a tiny angel shone up at me. Its gold halo sparkled, and its diamond-cut glass skirt billowed with promise.

I looked up again for him. But he was no longer next to me. Assuming he was walking toward a car, I surveyed the parking lot, but there was no sight of him. He’d just vanished.

I gasped, holding back sobs. How did he know to choose me, a stylish woman looking like she had it all? How did he know that beneath the façade, I felt so lonely and depressed I hardly knew what to do?

The man had sounded so sure in his declaration of God’s love for me. Could I believe him? I cradled the delicate angel. Was it really possible? Her wings, like welcoming arms, opened in unlimited love.

How did He know that this was exactly the reminder I needed?

My heaviness lifted and my anger dissolved. I couldn’t wait to invite my husband to dinner at our favorite restaurant. This time, I knew, we’d really be able to talk.

He came striding around the corner. I waved and smiled. “Hi, sweetheart. You’re just in time for the next cab.”

~Noelle Sterne

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