Bree Ervin’s Angels Everywhere

When I met Bree Ervin, well, everyone has a “how I met Bree Ervin” story, but here is mine.  I was walking through a crowded hotel lobby at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, and I bumped into this red-headed demon, who said, and I quote, “I’m Bree, and I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to meet you.”  And meet me she did.  We talked about God, atheism, faith, hope, love, and the greatest of these…is love.  I love Bree Ervin.  She is a dynamo: writer, publicist, wife, mother, poet, warrior, queen.  And so, I enlisted her to write a blog on angels, thinking she would say no.

She said yes.  This is the result.  Take it away, Bree!

* * *

The truth is, I don’t believe in angels. I don’t believe in God. Or Hell. Or Demons. Or the Devil either. I am an Atheist.

I tell you this to establish a baseline for what comes next.

Angels are everywhere.

That might seem like a contradiction.  After all didn’t I open with the promise of not believing in angels, with the statement that I am a militant Atheist?

Sure. But in this, like in most things in life, you have to look a little closer.

I don’t believe in semi-divine beings with wings and a penchant for fighting over God’s favor. I find there is quite enough of that down here in the human realm, why sully up the heavens with it?

And yet, it turns out that angels, real honest to goodness angels are, in fact, everywhere. And no, I’m not talking about the Victoria’s Secret babes either, they’re even more improbable than the little godlets we all get so worked up about.

I mean angels. Real angels.

Let me explain.

Angel means messenger.

It comes from the Greek – ἄγγελος and before that, the Hebrew – מלאך. Both of these words mean messenger. In fact, if you read the Bible in its original form you will discover that most of the angels described in its pages are not supernatural, paranormal beings with wings – but people. That’s all, just people. People with a message.

Some of these angels became prophets or priests. Some were just one time runners. Many became scapegoats.

I tell you this, not to take away whatever magic or power you wish to imbue the world with, because while I may not believe in God or angels, I do believe in Magic. No, I tell you this to open your eyes and mind and heart to the magic and power that really is here.
Because when we break through the semantics of what we’d like an angel to be, to discover what an angel actually is, a shift happens. A very important shift.

Suddenly angels are everywhere.

When we begin to look at the world, and the people around us, as if they might hold a piece of the divinity we seek, we open ourselves to a new realm of possibility. It is one that we do not have to tithe for, or pray for, or be judged by. It is not one we have to fear. It is, instead, a reality of exaltation.

When you see the person making your morning latte not as a loser who couldn’t do any better, but as a piece of the divine, who just might be carrying a message for you, your perception shifts. You listen closer, you open yourself more, you see deeper.

Then, one day, the full shift comes and you realize that if all of these people that you interact with on a daily basis are part of the divine, then you must be too. If they are your angels, your messengers, then you are theirs. All at once it matters what you say and how you act.

When we see each other not as competition, but as compatriots all trapped in the same endless maze, it becomes that little bit easier to offer a helping hand. When we start to really account for all the help we receive every day from friends, family and anonymous strangers, it goes beyond that and becomes a genuine obligation.

Aaron Ritchey’s book, The Never Prayer, asks the question, “When do we struggle to change the world and when do we let go and embrace life’s broken beauty?”

When we open our eyes to the miracles of life all around us, when we open our hearts to the messages laid out before us, when we begin to see the angels everywhere – the answer becomes simple. We struggle to change the world, always. For we are the angels we’ve been waiting for.

Bree Ervin can be found ranting at her blog, working at her website, and wasting time at facebook/bannedthoughts and on twitter @thinkbanned where she believes she is an angel of common sense.

Thanks, Bree, I owe you my life.  And dude, you used Greek and Hebrew on my website.  I’m so in love with you again.

Heavenly Friday – Feathers, Angels, and Kittens That Love You

In my book, The Never Prayer–no really, I wrote a book. No, seriously. Why are you laughing?

I’m going to keep on, while you titter, you titterer you.  In my book, my heroine’s three-year-old brother finds feathers, all the time, and says, “Angels are in heaven, but the God Birdies are all around us.” I wanted to make a distinction between the mythology of angels, Michael, Ariel, beyond, living with the Christian God, and the God Birdies, who are always around us, spirits, on the other side of things, pushing for good.

This all came from a friend of mine who, whenever she sees a feather, believes that it is God’s way of making contact with her.

That feathers are like the feathers of angels.

At first, I was cynical. My logical mind thought, “Well, that’s stupid. Some pigeon gets eaten by a hawk, and she thinks God is watching over her. Yeah, maybe God is watching over her, but what about that frakkin’ pigeon?”

But then, I started finding feathers, just around, you know, the detritus of the world, and I realized what a nice idea that is. But then, that is the secret of the mythological part of who we are, the spiritual, the divine, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, if you wanna get downright Catholic about it.

You can find meaning and symbols all around, as long as you look, as long as you are aware. It is so easy, though, to keep our heads buried in the sand, or to turn robotic about the world. The rainbow doesn’t mean anything, just light through water. That squirrel who lives on my porch is just a rodent feeding off the rotting meat of my BBQ. A+B=C.

And yet. The world is a mystical place, if you have the right mindset. For example, when I was thirteen, I wanted proof that God existed. And so, I asked for proof. Right now. I wanted a burning bush. Lightning. Fear and trembling. I am the Lord, thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before me!

Nothing happened. Until the next day, when a white kitten showed up and camped out in our back porch. For days and days. And I pet it. And fed it. And it was a sign from God. My heart was moved. And then the kitten left us forever.

Of course, it was acoincidence. A stray. Please, let’s not get hysterical. And yet, what are the odds? I was looking for God and found something.  In my experience, if you look for God, you’ll find God. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s all up to you.

And so, are the feathers we find angels watching over us? Why not?

I lie to myself about reality all the time. Might as well lie to myself that the world is good, and that something is watching over me. Might as well. It is JUST as valid as the alternative. That I am alone, the world hates me, heaven is empty, and I’ll die alone and stay dead, rotting into the dirt.

Might as well believe in Heaven. And angels. And goodness in the world. Believing such things has never harmed me personally. And I got to pet a kitten out of the deal.

A lovely white kitten. An angel.