I met my guardian angel during one of the first of my regular walks at Swan Creek metropark. As I approached him on the path, I offered a smile and my “Good morning!” greeting. But this dark, burly and surly stranger only scowled at me and barked, “I have to get out of here before somebody pisses me off!” Little did I suspect that this was the beginning of a treasured friendship with a new guardian angel!
Over some time and several encounters, we eventually began to chat and joke with each other. I learned that he’s on a mission to ‘find a woman.’ He always asks that I let him know if I find a naughty woman who may be a possibility for him. He also likes to try out his pick-up lines with me, asking my opinion as to whether I think they are worthy to use in his quest. One day his line was, “Is your name God? Because I’m sure I’ve died and gone to heaven!” (I’m a combination of quite relieved and a little disappointed that he finds me a safe sounding board for this matter.)
One day as we talked, I introduced myself- but he simply told me to call him ‘The Black Guy.’ Maybe this is what true guardian angels do. They come into our lives unexpectedly, improve our lives in wonderful ways, but have no need to be named or recognized for doing so.
A few months ago we walked past each other, exchanging the usual greetings and jokes. But on this day he suddenly stopped to turn around and ask, “How are YOU?” I walked closer to him and shared that I had just learned I had cancer. And my guardian angel revealed himself in a new way. The Black Guy told me that he too, had once had cancer, as he lifted his shirt to show his many long scars. He went on to say that he “wasn’t religious but did believe in a higher power,” and surprised me by saying that his prayers are what helped him through his illness. He then told me that he prayed for me and the others who walk this park- every day! The Black Guy instructed me to stay strong and stay faithful, and all would be well. I believe him. Under this tough and burly exterior was the deep goodness of a caring angel.
Since then, whenever I see my friend, my guardian angel, he always reminds me to “Stay strong!” I may never know his name, and I may never know more than his quest for a woman, his faithful recovery, and his deep abiding prayers for everyone, including me. But he serves as a reminder that God is always sending us love, even in the form of unexpected guardian angels who encourage us on our path. Angels who remind us to “stay strong and faithful.” Angels who pray for us every day. Anonymous angels who serve only for the love of God, in unique and diverse ways.