I love angels - especially the Guardians.
I taught my children the Guardian Angel prayer the minute they could begin to talk. I really valued the notion of each of them having their very own guardians. That was when life was still fairly untouched by the serious kind of suffering. It was full of promise.
I could have had no inkling of an idea then how very much all of us would come to need those very angels.
When life took some pretty serious and painful turns, however, I began to really live out the belief in the aid of angelic beings. I came to see that I could really and truly ask for help from them and actually get real and often immediate help for myself, or more importantly, for my children.
I have a handful of real and poignant angel stories and I will share those. Tonight I am only reporting this most recent intervention. This one from my 2nd oldest son's angel. It amazes me that even in the trivial, ordinary matters, such as soccer, they are ever at our sides to help.
There was absolutely nothing I could say or do the other evening to help my son go through one of those growing up moments in life. He was aching inside, and I could feel it. He was about to give up playing his favorite sport - soccer. In his heart, he didn't want to quit playing I could sense. My mom radar was sounding alert. I was trying to encourage him to stick out the season because he had made a commitment and commitments are important to honor. This is the boy who begs to play a fall and a spring season of soccer for the last two years.
I watched him drag himself out to the soccer field for the third time in 3 weeks.
The second time, there he was, on the floor tying up his soccer cleats with a furrow in his brow. This boy, quiet and strong at the same time. Normally, he would not be so pensive on the way out to soccer practice - loving the sport as he does. He is an exceptionally good player for 9 years of age. He looks up and asks if I can call the coach and tell him that he is sick and can't come to practice. I reply that it isn't the truth therefore it would be wrong to lie . He asks if he can skip practice then without any explanation to the coach. I remind him that he has made a commitment to the team and no practice means no playing in the games. He grudgingly gathers his ball and glumly follows me out the door to practice.
I am perplexed because this is not like him at all. Beyond Minecraft and Legos, soccer is pretty much at the top of his favorite activities. I watch him at practice and he really doesn't play much. Hangs back, won't go for the ball, won't engage in helping teammates maneuver toward the goal. Weird. Oh, I think. That's it, he's coming down with something and doesn't feel good. I feel guilty for making him go to practice.
But no, when we get home he has no fever and says he doesn't feel sick. But he doesn't want to play soccer anymore. Why? I ask. He says his mind isn't on it anymore. Flare of worry rises up in me. I decide not to make a big issue of it, so I casually say "oh ok. Any reason in particular you want to quit?" He tells me he is a dweeb at soccer. ???? I remind him that when he works hard in a practice or game, he's one of the best players on the field. "Yeah, I used to be", he says, "but that really tall boy on my team said I'm a skinny dweeb and that I stink at kicking. So I think I'll just quit." he says.
I tell him (calmly) that he can't let negative people control him like that... That the boy was probably being overly competitive and it caused him to be unkind. To which he replies, "well, I kind of already thought I was no good anyway."
Ouch. Arrow to my heart.
He has never voiced anything like this before. But this is a boy who doesn't have his dad around much. It's a void I worry about. When he began playing sports I noticed he began to really feel that absence.
Back to the soccer field... I sat there at a good distance so as not to hover or embarrass. I watched more closely this week. Sure enough, this other little boy was on fire with competition with JP. He tried tripping him, and wouldn't pass the ball to him and yes, there were several insults he yelled out. He had found JP's Achilles heel- humiliation - and he was going to use it. The coach tried calling the little boy out on it, but this only furthered JP's humiliation. He wouldn't play much. He shut down for the most part.
I didn't know what to do. In quiet desperation to be able to help JP the only way I could, I began praying to his guardian angel - "please help him stand up and play his best - please help him not take this boy too seriously - please protect his sense of sportsmanship and his love for the game."
I didn't know what to pray for exactly. I have never really prayed so fervently for something seemingly not urgent.
After a few minutes I saw the fire light up in JP's eyes and he decided he had had enough and he was going to play soccer hell or high water. He began to play his best. The rest of practice I watched him ignore the other boy and play. He ended by getting praised by the coaches for hitting 3 goals.
Walking back to the van afterwards I told him he looked good out there. He said, "I decided to show myself that I don't stink at kicking. And I guess I don't."
Way to go kiddo.
Thank you dear angel.
Way to go kiddo.
Thank you dear angel.