My Christmas Angel
By Joseph J. Mazzella • December 24, 2021
Growing up as a boy I am sure that I gave my guardian angel premature gray hair. He probably had to take early retirement too. There is no other way to explain how I cheated death and injury so many times. I was often reckless, sometimes hurt, and had more near misses than I can remember.
One near miss that I do remember happened one year on the last day of school before Christmas break. We lived next to a river in my Nana’s old house. An old, rickety, wooden swinging bridge had to be crossed to get there from the road. We’d had several days of cold, winter rain before this so the river was up and roaring. On that last day of school, though, the temperatures had dropped, and snow had started to fall. When I got home there was a few inches on the bridge already but I didn’t care. I had my “bridge legs” from years of walking on it, so I started running across it, happy to be home. What I didn’t realize was that water spots on the wood had turned to black ice before the snow covered it. I slipped on one and fell. The bridge swayed and I started to slide toward a hole in the rusted wiring along the sides. It looked like I was going to go through it into the freezing water raging below. I started to scream, but just as my feet reached the hole I felt something grab my coat, pull me back, and keep me from falling into the river.
I looked back and wondered if my coat had caught on a lose nail, but it hadn’t. There was no one there either and no footprints in the snow but my own. I got up slowly, wiped the snow off my clothes, and carefully walked the rest of the way home. I was puzzled about what happened in my child’s mind. I soon put it all out of my head, however, and enjoyed my Christmas with my presents and loving family. Yet, looking back now I wonder if there was someone else there too, smiling but unseen, loving and protecting me without me knowing it.
God loves us so much and God sends us protectors both seen and unseen. Give thanks to God today then for all the miracles and angels in your own life. And have a very Merry Christmas.
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