Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
Angels need not sport wings or play the harp. Those things don’t define angels. Rather, angels are messengers from God.
In scripture, they take a special shine to barren women like aged Sarah who, upon overhearing their promise of a son, got busted for snorting a laugh she couldn’t hold back. Nine months later, she named the boy, Laughter.
They deliver more than news. They raise the room temperature with the heat of God’s glory. When an angel visited Manoah and his wife to announce that she would give birth to Samson, Manoah flew into a panic when he realized they just hosted an angel for dinner because they came dangerously close to seeing God, the appearance of whom kills. But his unnamed wife proved an angel herself and consoled him with the observation that divinity would not worship and dine with them unless God was essentially kind.
I will remember her wise counsel this Sunday when I marry an angel.
Wanda and I would not have this opportunity for a new chance at marriage without suffering in earlier marriages. This should terrify us. But desolating as the divine can be, God is essentially kind and suffered with us, perhaps more than us, in our previous trials.
This same God loves widely and recklessly and liberates the beloved. Meanwhile, this angel, Wanda, delivers daily a message of kindness. So despite the daunting odds against the remarried, we take the delights and consolations of our love as signs of God’s plans to prosper us.
On her birthday last September, I posted a tribute to Wanda, offering her as an exemplar of meekness. Over nine months later – more time to see each other stumble and fumble things, more time to see the blind spots and irritating habits – the meekness shines all the brighter.
She is meek because she lives with integrity centered on a loving heart.
She is meek because she lives in a way that always opens a window to what and whom she loves, not to herself. She succeeds, but it also backfires. Her selfless intentions expose her beauty all the more.
Early in our relationship, as we mustered the courage to love again, she wrote me a letter confiding her struggles but concluding with these words: “If thinking of you causes me to turn toward God, to search for the presence of God’s spirit in my life, I am certainly more inclined to trust you than I otherwise would be.“ That is now our creed.
Pray for us. Pray for me that I may grow in meekness that draws from God love beyond my invention and points beyond me. She does that so well. And may I, like Manoah, always heed my wife’s witness that God is kind.