He was a mentor of mine, a good man who hurt a lot of people. He went to jail for a time, and when he got out, I went to visit him. Because of the nature of his crime, his reputation was pretty much destroyed. I remember his eyes when he looked at me and said: “What I don’t understand, Mark, is why I didn’t stop until I got caught?”
There were angels who came into his life, loved him after his fall from grace and looked for ways to engage him and his gifts for the good of the community. He was grateful for them; but he was wondering: Where were the angels he needed that could have prevented the fall in the first place?
I’m sure there are angels who will emerge from the tragedy in Las Vegas. There will be tales of those who protected, who huddled with the dying so they wouldn’t die alone. There will be stories of heroes, every-day people who suddenly exploded with courage they didn’t know they had. And for the hundreds wounded, there will be angels of healing – gentle, skilled hands that carefully bring them back to health. I’ve no doubt that stories of angels will emerge of first responders and the ones who have to tarry for the kinds of healing that happen over the long haul.
We will celebrate them.
And isn’t it interesting … Today, October 2 is the “Memorial Feast of the Guardian Angels”.
My mother had me convinced as a child of two things relative to “guardian angels”. First, she convinced me that I had one. Second, by her frequent reference to that angel, she convinced me that I needed one.
I think a troubling, deeply religious question that has to be asked on a day like today is: Where were the angels who could have stopped this tragedy before it happened?
I hope that question isn’t lost amid the joy and gratitude – rightly deserved – we will see, read and hear about regarding the angels who are present now.