I’ve seen the angels

Ellie Tanko, Opinion Writer

I’ve held their hands and they’ve held mine. I’ve looked into their eyes and I’ve seen the Divine.

They’re everywhere. They’re in the cars you pass on your way to school. They’re in the stores you shop in and the restaurants you eat at. They eat with you, they talk to you, they make you laugh and, every once in a while, they make you cry.

They’re your angels.

I got a DM on Instagram a few weeks ago. Unlike most overly forward, explicit messages on the app, it read something quite different. My eyes ran over the message demanding, “I’m an atheist. Prove your God.” Within seconds, I whipped out every factual piece of evidence I had stored up from my years in Catholic schools. And within a few more seconds, he sent back, “But do you actually believe in him?”

I can’t lie. In that instant, I paused. It’s just that I’ve been so mad lately. If He were really a good guy, then why would life be like this? Why would a woman in Cambodia wake up every morning and sweep her doorstep? Sweep it because it’s the only thing she has that she can clean, trying her best to make her neighbors forget for just one second that pain that comes with knowing they live in a slum.

Why would a little boy attending Taylor Elementary fall asleep looking up at the stars? Stars he sees through the sunroof of the 1990’s sedan he lives in with his struggling father who is trying his best to give his child a life from pain.

Why would a 13-year-old girl not know that it is Christmas? She doesn’t know the date because she doesn’t know where she is, how long since she’s been taken away, who these strange men are and how she can possibly begin to process this trauma.

Kindness, shown by the generous donations resulting from the requests on the angel tree at Xavier High School and collected on December 10, spreads far and wide during the Christmas season, representing the love of God between all people. Cara Joens Photo.

Why would I be unable to help them? Why can’t I help? Why do I have to stand by as these occurrences happen, unable to give them new homes or save them from hurt?

Let me remind you, there are angels. And they are everywhere.

But they’re not shiny figures with halos. They aredoctors, teachers, astronauts, construction workers, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends.

Every single person has angelic value. Sometimes, value has to be searched for in an individual, but you will find it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

They show me why. Through their flowers of kindness that sprout through the cracks in the concrete of trauma. Their flowers reflect the kindness within God’s plan.

They show me that someday, God is going to give the Cambodian woman the prettiest home with more than just a doorstep. God is going to show the father his son giggling and playing amongst the stars they once slept beneath. God, one day, is going to give that girl the greatest Christmas gift: a life she never has to fear will end, a life that never gets taken or stolen, a life where she will never have to face trauma again.

That’s why. I’m scared for the future and all that may come. But I know my angels are everywhere.

I’ve been waiting a long time to make up with God after all my anger. I’m ready.

I know who I am now. I know who my God is. This is not the end. This is not my end. This is not your end. By way of the flowers, we are going to get to that place where there is no pain, no fear, no tears.

All of us. We are all God’s angels if we just believe.