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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Entertaining Angels

Tonight I went to a concert. 

Its been too long since the last one, and it was two of my favorite bands. Conditions were perfect. 

Except they weren’t. 

As I paid for parking and stood in line to go through the metal detector, I thought about the last 36 hours. I thought about the last year. 3 years. My whole life. I was wishing that I could do most of it over. I was wishing I didn’t make some choices; to carry the things that I had been carrying around. I told my friend this much over text while waiting in line. Texting a close friend in time of need has always been my drug of choice. I wanted them to tell me the same sort of words that I had been telling myself all day. ‘You are not worth it. You are never going to recover. You are never going to get it right.' However, tonight, I didn't get what I expected. I didn’t expect the care and understanding and acceptance that I got from my friend, but, thats what I got. As I dropped all my keys and gadgets into the metal detector bin, I think I dropped a lot of other things that were much heavier that the items in my pockets. I started to breathe a little easier, but I knew it wasn’t that easy. It couldn’t be that easy. 

I walked in to the concert and found a place to stand in the dark. The first band had already started playing. I was nodding along; singing along. No one ever seems to get excited for the opener, but I was. I scanned the crowd in front of me for some signs of life. I found some dancing, singing, non-zombies and made my way over to them. I didn’t feel quite so silly jumping around now. 
The music ended. I looked around. I was alone. Not in a bad way, just in a quiet way. I checked my phone. My dad. Asking how I was. I smiled. 

After a few more minutes of sideways glances and staring at my phone, a girl walked up to me. She was with an older lady. “What’s your favorite [band that had just played] song?” 
“Mmm,” I thought, “that’s a hard one.” 
After chatting for a few minutes, I found out the girl’s name was Cerra. Like Sierra. I know its spelled like that because she said: “Its not spelled normally. Its C-E-R-R-A.” (or something like that). It means something cool in Gaelic. I know because she told me. Eventually the woman (who was Cerra’s friend and had invited her the night before) left us alone. The next band came on after some friendly chit-chat and we re-focused on them. Pretty soon it became clear that Cerra liked to dance. I smiled to myself because thats just the kind of person I’d hoped to be next to me, if I had been hoping for someone to be next to me, which I think I had been. 
So we danced. And sang. And laughed. It was all very unexpected. I had expected to just get through this show. I had payed for the ticket so I might as well go.
I listened to the words these musicians were singing and the melodies that were having such a strange effect. Maybe it wasn’t all so bad? But, maybe it was. I couldn't decide. I looked at Cerra and she was having a blast. And I just gave in. I had a blast too. 

When the show was over. We said our goodbyes. I tried not to make it weird. The woman said “God bless you,” as she left. Cerra’s turn. It was over in a flash. A smile. A soft word. Some quiet footsteps in opposite directions. She melted into the crowd and was gone. 

On the way home I thought about angels. I read that we should be kind to everyone because sometimes we ‘entertain angels unawares.’ I asked myself if I thought Cerra was an angel. No. I don’t think she was. I think she has an earthly home, a steady job, an apartment, and pays taxes, but maybe she can be human, and sort of an angel too. I thought about the other people that had played a part: the text messages, the melodies. I wasn’t expecting to be hopeful as I walked to my car, but I was. I stopped trying to resist. I had been blessed without expecting a blessing.

I didn't walk out of the concert perfect by any means, but I was ready to try again. 

As I thought about who I was before, as compared to who I was now, I knew that I had indeed entertained angels. They were just regular people, (as far as I know), with overwhelming hope in their hearts, and had been kind enough to share it with me. Sometimes I look for miracles, or something bright, and winged to save me. I did not expect these kind of angels who didn’t have, or seem to need, any wings.