4 Steps To Spot an Angel: Christmas tree hunting gives new meaning to snow angel

We used to have a dog that liked to eat pine needles. However, he got impatient waiting for them to drop to the floor, and he started gnawing on the low-hanging branches. We feared that he would topple the tree, so we stopped bringing home a live tree and bought an artificial one instead.

After fourteen years, our dog grew old and passed away, so we reinstated the tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree. 

Last week, I bundled up for the cold weather while my husband loaded up the chainsaw, shovel, and tire chains. We planned to drive to forest land about an hour from our house. The highway led through a small canyon, and a few miles later, we turned onto a snowy mountain road. 

The trip started out fine, but as we went on, the tracks left by snowmobiles and hunting trucks began to decrease.

And then the tracks were gone.

We stopped immediately, but not soon enough. Shawn pulled a little too far to the side of the road, and the truck was sucked into a snow bank.

We were stuck.

"At least we came prepared," I said as Shawn retrieved the shovel and chains from the back of the pickupI double checked my phone. No service, as expected. I tried to relax in the warm cab as I listened to my audio book and watched my husband work. 

He waded through deep snow with the shovel. He cleared the area around the tires and arranged the chains on the ground. But when he went to drive up on them, the chains and tires slipped. So he tried again. And again. And again.

I could see the frustration on his face.

After about ten minutes of silence through the unsuccessful attempts, I heard a voice in the distance behind me.

"Need some help?" I looked in the side mirror and saw a man with an orange hunting vest getting out of his truck and approaching our vehicle.

I knew then that we would get out.

Soon, Shawn was digging around in the back of the truck for the tow strap he always carries with him. When he located it, he attached it to the stranger's pickup, got behind the wheel of our truck, and put it in reverse.

The other truck pulled us and our tires spun. Then all of a sudden, the rope between us caught, and we jerked backward a couple of feet. Our dogs scrambled to stay on the seat, and I was grateful for my seatbelt.

When he pulled again, I was expecting the backward lurch, so I held the dogs on my lap and braced myself. Sure enough, our tires spun then the truck jolted. We had made it another two feet.

This routine repeated another five or six times until we finally broke out of the snow bank and were able to drive under our own power.

As Shawn gathered up the straps and said goodbye, I heard the man explaining that he had rescued another vehicle the day before, a car with a family of four, that wasn't prepared for the snowy weather.

I thought to myself, He's an angel.

I was grateful for this man's assistance. I marveled at the just-right timing of his arrival on a barely-trafficked road. He had sacrificed thirty minutes of his valuable hunting time (on the last day of the season, no less!), and his actions heightened my awareness of kindness. Truly angelic.

Here's how to spot your own angel:

1. You are in need, physically or emotionally.
2. They show up at the perfect time.
3. They offer to help or a speak a message.
4. They give you exactly what you need.

Angels don't have to be strangers, but they often are. Sometimes they show up in the most surprising ways and we have to pay close attention to receive their help or their message.

Few angels are supernatural, and they may not belong to a religion. However, they are sent by a Divine power to build connections among humanity.

When has an angel crossed your path?

What does an angel look like to you?

Some Doorways from this week:

  • We found another road that day on our hunt for a tree. Due to my limitations, we were looking for a tree close to the road (since I can't hike anywhere), but we weren't having any luck. Shawn stopped and walked into a grove of young trees, past my line of sight. When he came back ten minutes later he said, "I found the perfect tree. I'm going back to cut it down." I would have liked to see it first, but I trusted that Shawn knew what I wanted. That was a beautiful feeling.  

  • We planned to go to Home Depot to buy a snowblower, so Shawn hooked up the trailer behind the pickup. When he asked if I was ready to go, my face fell as I realized I couldn't go without my wheelchair. He said, "Let's see what I can do." A few minutes later he was helping me load my chair onto the trailer! It was Love in action.

  • There have been some beautiful winter skies this week, and the sunshine and clouds have brought me peace.


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