In the Eyes of an Angel

“If you’re a messenger when you travel,

if you’re delivering something to someone,

then you won’t get hurt – you’re protected.

Whoever gives you the message is

who’s energy makes the good luck charm.”

– Manuel, tour guide, San Antonio de Areco, Argentina, JJJ’s angel winner 4.14.15

Throughout our 4+ week South American journey, we delivered daily a JJJ’s angel to an unexpecting person or place.

Is this person or place worthy?

Has his or her presence or this place

impacted us in a positive, moving way?

The angel “winner,” usually confirmed with only a head nod and smile between LCP and me, happened in the following way.

I’d get into my Fort Knox backpack and pull out my Ziplock full of JJJ’s angels. I’d try to find the most fitting angel – red, yellow, teal, orange – male, female – hands in prayer, hands reaching up in joy, or arms flexing in strength. I’d then hand the chosen angel to LCP who’d deliver the angel to our day’s recipient or if it was a place, we’d, together, try to figure out how to secretly leave the angel in its new home. We never spoke about our angel delivery service – it just evolved.  I carried the angels in their protective bags, and LCP delivered the angels since she could translate in Spanish.

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During our journey, we found that each person or place had significance, yet one angel-giving really stood out.

4.18.2015

Midway through our South American journey, on a Saturday morning, we decided to take a walk to a local flea market by the El Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a last minute decision, since we didn’t have any definite plans for the day. We entered the park-like area, bought a Coke and walked the sidewalks under make-shift sun tarps and along side rough-sewn plywood tables. We did a hot-lap through the market. Fairly disappointed with the flea market’s goods, we sat down on a park bench in the sun and people-watched.

A man, setting up his booth for the day’s business, worked directly in front of us. He assembled his plywood table, covering it with a blue fabric.  He put up a shade screen to protect his booth from the sun’s glare. He carefully removed his silver jewelry from his display cases and polished each piece as he found a place for each on his booth’s tabletop. He worked meticulously, and as he polished and placed his merchandise, cupping his elbows were arm braces attached to crutches. I could see under his table that his legs were deformed, causing his body to tilt dramatically sideways. Yet, there he stood, so steadily, working in the direct sunlight and taking such care.

After getting his table set, the man motioned to the vendor manning the booth next to him. It appeared the man asked if the adjoining table’s vendor would keep an eye on his table. I watched the crippled man leave his booth and cross the hillside where he had set-up shop. He hobbled slowly, and with his every movement, I could feel his struggle – his apparent struggle to walk, to simply move, and to freely journey. He turned and traversed the hillside. His arm crutches holding his body back from tumbling forward on the incline. He waited at the pedestrian walkway, crossing six lanes of Buenos Aires traffic – exceeding the walk time limit and causing oncoming traffic to pause. He used his crutch to lift himself onto the curb. His legs followed his arms’ lead. The man hobbled half way down the city block to a bank of porta-poddies set up along the street for the day’s market. He waited for someone to exit and then he climbed inside, struggling as he used his upper body to lift the rest of his body into the green, plastic mobile unit. He struggled silently – not complaining, not grimacing, and all the while, smiling. The door closed on the porta-poddy, and I looked over at LCP on our shared bench.

She’d been watching, too.

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We did the approving nod, and I reached into my bags.  I chose an angel. Working quickly, before the door opened on the Porta-Poddy, we approached the man’s stand. The neighboring vendor, who had been watchful, had looked away from the table to speak to a customer, so we were free to place our angel.

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We set the angel next to the man’s polishing tools and turned into the flea market’s crowd. We didn’t speak. We didn’t look back. We moved quickly, without any struggle, disappearing and continuing on our journey. We had left our message for the unsuspecting man at his Buenos Aires flea market booth. We don’t know when he returned, what he thought about his discovery or where he would later keep his angel, but hopefully, upon discovering his angel, he knows he is a powerful messenger.

Go freely, despite struggles, and be a messenger – give positive energy without reservation for the benefit of others – and trust that angels are all around us, watching – looking out for us.

Go be a messenger in the eyes of an angel.

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