Do you believe in angels?

I never did.

For years I had friends who would tell me, “I had this amazing experience- this angel came to me and…..”  and I’d think, “Oh, yeah, tell me another one.” I didn’t really get it. I didn’t understand what they were telling me. I couldn’t connect because it was so completely outside my realm of experience.

It came to pass, as I was nearing ordination in seminary, many years ago, I was having a very difficult time. I believed there were big decisions to make, that my whole life was changing, and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I felt as if my former self had been completely destroyed, leaving me a disembodied spirit floating aimlessly in space.

One evening after dinner I was so distraught that I ran to my bedroom and fell down on my knees in front of my bed and like a little kid, I just cried and cried. In my misery I said, “Someone, please help me! I don’t know who I am or what I’m supposed to do!”

As my wracking sobs began to abate, I heard a voice. And it said to me, “My name is Merlon, and I’m here to help you to recognize your own courage and inner strength.” I don’t know if those were the exact words. But that was the feeling that I got.

And I wasn’t frightened. That was the amazing thing. I was looking around and thinking, “What’s going on?” Meanwhile, I’m having this experience of being wrapped in angel’s wings! That’s the only way I can describe it. I couldn’t see them but it just felt like an angel’s soft wings were surrounding me and wrapping me in warmth and comfort.

Then I heard another voice. This was a feminine voice. And the voice said, “My name is Anita. And I am here to help you bring out your feminine nature in a way that will allow you to serve others well.” Something like that.

I felt the male energy, the female energy, and it all sounds very Freudian. It probably is. But you know what, now I believe in angels. And the reason I believe in angels is because my understanding of angels has expanded. They are everywhere if you only look for them.

Being the nerd I am, I researched the meaning of ‘Merlon’ and ‘Anita.’ Merlon or Merlin (not sure how it should be spelled), I discovered, is a sharp-eyed hawk, and Anita is the diminutive of the name Anna which is the westernized version of the Hebrew name Hannah, which means ‘grace’.

And because I wanted to make sure that I would never forget the visitation of these angelic beings, I added ‘Grace’ to my name.

Today, when I think of angels (and Merlin and Anita are still with me), they’re not only winged beings that you see floating in front of you, harp in hand. (Although we certainly have enough paintings in famous museums and stories handed down from generations past that evoke those images.)

They can also be what I call ‘everyday angels’—people that we interact with during our day who perform some loving act upon us. Right now, those angels  are our frontline people who have been here throughout this whole COVID thing—helping us, supporting us, caring for us as we sicken and sadly even die. They fearlessly go to work in the face of this dangerous illness, taking huge risks with their own lives. And, and in many cases, losing them too. So of course, these rate right up at the top of my angel list.


In 2016, I wrote this poem:

Angels come in a variety of forms.
They come in rainbow colors and emanate the music of the spheres.
You know them by their wings,

Wings of thoughtfulness, when you need a hug,

Wings of caring when your chips are down,

Wings of laughter when your heart is full of tears,

Wings of friendship, to warm the winter days.

They fly to you when least expected, bringing sunshine as they come.

And just the memory of their presence is enough to chase away

all the clouds of loneliness and fear.


I have so many angels in my life, if I had to tell you all the people I’m grateful for, that I consider angels who have been here for me, the list would be way long. And I let them know my gratitude to them. They’ve helped me to keep my business going, when I didn’t feel like continuing.

I hope that you are also cognizant of the angels in your life because they’re all around you. But you won’t notice them if you don’t pay attention. It really takes paying attention and appreciating the gifts that others give us out of their fullness, out of their desire to be loving and helpful and to share with us their life.

So today, let us remember the angels in our lives and be grateful for them. Whoever they may be, whatever shape or form they take, they’re out there waiting for you to acknowledge their gifts.  Because miracles do happen when you trust your angels to be there for you.

Peace and Love Always,

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