Last night I was an angel. With real feather wings. My group walks each year at the very end of the solemn, candlelit, beautiful 12th Night Joan of Arc Parade-- we are the angels who accompany Saint Joan, in the form of a white dove, to heaven.
We walked with our gloved hands in prayer position, and as I glided past the throngs of people gathered to celebrate the start of Carnival season, I did my best to think like an angel. I telepathied these words to the people I saw, some with phones held high to record the moment, some directly meeting my gaze: "You are loved." I thought this over and over. I spread it liberally across the crowds. "You are loved." I had nothing to hand out, no throws to distribute, so I didn't have to pick and choose who would receive my outpouring of love. I pictured the love simply wafting over the crowds.
And I thought to myself, what if I did this every day? What if I sent angelic telepathic messages to the people around me - and beyond? After all, angels need not be impeded by distances.
As I walked along the parade route, in my silvery velvety angel garb, I wanted so to see and send love to each person individually. There were far too many people to be able to do this, at least with my decidedly human and un-celestial senses. Sometimes it seemed overwhelming to behave as an angel would. So many people, each with their own lives, hopes, dreams, worries. It seemed impossible to share that much love.
But I propose that we keep trying.
What if we lived daily like angels?
When we are going about our routines and we see strangers, we often judge. This homeless person looks young and capable. Why isn't he working? This person is frowning. Why are they being so angry? This person looks like they are not taking care of themselves. Why don't they choose healthier food or exercise? This person isn't using their turn signal. Why don't they learn to drive properly? Any time a voice like this enters our heads, it doesn't even feel like us. It's as if the disembodied chants of some judge-y Greek chorus entered our heads and shocked us with their nastiness. Those voices lead us to reserve our love as if it is a limited resource, like a handful of Mardi Gras beads, only to be distributed to the deserving.
What if we remembered that love is infinite and never depleted?
What if we behaved like angels, sending out the simple words, "You are loved." To everyone. Whether they're managing their finances properly or not as we eye their checkout items, or making the right decisions about their wardrobe and hair, or whatever other external thing catches the attention of the inner judge-y voice that doesn't even belong to us.
Try this in traffic. Try it in the store. Try it at the mall. Try it on Facebook. "You are loved."
Extra credit: Try it in the mirror."You are loved." Look that beautiful human in the the reflection. Spread that abundant love over yourself and then over everyone else. Let's all be like angels for a day.
Me with the other angels. Grateful for this photo by S. Boles