Every so often, along this life path, I meet up with some Earth Angels. I know them instantly, even before they speak. I know them by their light first. It transcends their outside wrapping and often doesn’t let the world dictate what that wrapping looks like. Next, it’s by their actions that my intuitive hits are confirmed. And then observation. It’s how they live their lives, the choices they make. Not the “look at me!” actions, but more the ones they do when nobody’s looking or is there to help them.
If our lives were all compressed down into 24 hours, these are the people who would spend 20 of those hours actually serving others. I marvel at this quality. I aspire in this direction with the daily choices I make. To be purely authentic, though, I can easily get burned out under stress and quickly retreat to the “I need to get my needs met here” place.
I’ve been thinking about these Earth Angels lately because I’m currently teaching a class on a local college campus to various caregivers of children growing up with multiple challenges. Some of the caregivers are biological parents, some are relatives, some foster parents, and some have adopted children. What’s hit me so strongly is how these people have signed up to help so many children (I’m estimating 100 between the 20 of them) that have so many challenges to face. These children come from abusive situations, have “saturated” brain issues from exposure to drugs and alcohol, have been neglected, abused (physically/sexually), were born with many physical issues, and have a slue of mental health issues. So many would (and do) see these as the “throw away kids” destined to a life in prison, the ones your mom told you to avoid in school.
In some cases, these caretakers have had children come in and out of their homes for 40 years as they try to provide them what they can while they have them, and clamour to become equipped with knowledge to help current and future kids. Some have 13 kids at one time. Some are preparing for a child. Some are born with children that develop mental health symptoms.
All of them are Earth Angels. They are putting into practice the idea that Emerson put forth: The greatest compensation on this earth is that you can not help someone else without helping yourself. And this, in my mind, is the best help on earth we can give.
I’m not naive. I know that motivations are not always pure in these situations. But with the group I see in front of me–taking time they could be using to get their nails done–instead educate themselves on how to help our kids, help each other as a community, and leave the world a little lighter than they found it. When class is over and I’m driving home, I leave feeling like I’ve encountered some God-light.
I marvel at you, Earth Angels. I feel honored to be in your presence. I will share with you all I can from my experiences in faith that those may inoculate you with hope and inspiration for your journeys. Keep up the good work.