Touched by an Angel

December 21, 2020

I recently received this email about Alan from a good friend. It was written by Charles Spinelli. It was so touching that I asked Charles if I could share it.

This is from the heart…

What a year!  I don’t think it’s necessary to recap all that occurred this year or how exactly we got to where we are…actually, I am not even sure exactly where we are??

But I do want to share this with you.  I met my friend Alan the other day.  Alan is an angel.  Well sort of.  He is actually a homeless man in the town we work in.  He is grimy and he smells.  His mode of transportation – a bicycle that is held together by duct tape.  I buy him lunch or give him money every time I see him.  But on this day, Alan gave me a great gift!

It was chilly and he was wearing a hoodie and a down overcoat.  He had boots on, but there was a hole in the top were his sock was sticking out.  I said hello and he immediately got up and held his hand out to shake mine.  Despite his physical condition, and the pandemic, I unhesitatingly shook Alan’s hand.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be touched by an angel! 

With a beaming smile, he asked how I was.  Alan always asks me how I’m doing.  And not just in a perfunctory way…he really listens.  I paused for a moment and said, “You know Alan, I’m doing well.”  I expounded, “I guess the challenge in these times is to look at what you have and be able to count your blessings.  How are you doing?” I asked.  He said, “My friend, I am blessed.  I am warm and I have so much to be thankful for.  Some people have it much worse than me.”

Wow!  Angels always appear where they are needed.  I knew immediately that God was using Alan to give me a message.  Even in the midst of difficulty, we need to know that we are loved.  And that it is never, ever as bad as it seems, because God is always with us.  And, if we can love, we should love.  If we receive love, we need to return love.   Love is the only way that Alan can think that he is blessed.  His very existence hangs in jeopardy every day – the weather materially impacts him, he relies on handouts for his meals, and he can only hope that he will find someplace safe and warm to sleep.  Alan understands that God loves him, I think that is why he can positively say he is blessed.

Are we as confident in God’s love for us as Alan is?  Personally, I often lose sight of that.  The past month has been heavy.  The uncertainty of everything has caused so much anxiety.  My focus has been selfish, and I seemed to be caught up in the issues of the world.  I have been at times anxious, scared, hopeless, angry, frustrated…sound familiar?

In a sense, Alan and I are very dissimilar.  I have everything I need and most things I want.  Alan, well, he literally has nothing.  The world would say we have zero in common.  But the world is wrong.  God sees it another way.  In fact, from His eyes, there is nothing different between us.  We are both simply His children.  In this sense Alan and I are brothers and God gives each of us the same gift – love.

I was really amazed how Alan could say he is blessed.  I was also very embarrassed about why I think my troubles are numerous.  Alan gave me the gift of perspective.  As I paused to take stock of my life, I came to understand that there is indeed much to be thankful for.  Just focusing on some of the things that I take for granted, gave me so much to ponder and pray about.

So, this week, let’s take a minute to contemplate all the gifts we have.  Look at our spouses or your children; our family or our friends; and know that they are truly gifts from God.  Reflect on how God is always there to help us along.  And maybe we can also say that we are blessed…just like Alan the angel.


Thank you, Charles, that was beautiful….

Merry Christmas to all and……Stay Safe….

Every Day is a Gift

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