“Miss Pudgy Angel – it’s time for you to come
and lift us out of the fear many are feeling these days.”
This night, I want to share a story
a true story about *Miss Pudgy Angel.*
Many are feeling fear these days
… fear of “what next” when people think of the present incumbent of the White House in the United States
… fear of terrorists
… fear of flying
… fear of a medical diagnosis
… fear of aging
… fear of an unknown future.
I wish I could say that I’ve never been fearful,
but I remember a terrifying plane ride
… when the plane heaved and starting falling
… luggage began to come out of overhead bins
… and people screamed.
My hands were in a death grip on the arms of the seat.
My breathing was shallow and swift as my mind raced through possible scenarios.
I was scared
… big time.
“God, help,” I heard myself whisper as the crying around me seemed to increase.
And then, *she* appeared.
… Miss Pudgy Angel.
Well, that’s what I called her when I was given her as a gift many years earlier.
She sat on my mantle for years and years
… and I delighted in her presence
… and in her sweet and gentle smile.
Why I thought of her at that moment, I didn’t know
… but I was grateful.
Her image brought a smile to my face
and for just an instant
my concentration was on her
… not on the fear.
I soon found myself imagining Miss Pudgy Angel with three of her pudgy angel friends
… Miss Pudgy Angel was underneath the nose of the plane
… two of her friends were under each wing of the plane
… and one was under the plane’s tail.
Each was working to stabilize the plane and help the plane climb back into its proper flying pattern.
The more I visualized Miss Pudgy Angel and her friends
it seemed that there was less and less space for the fear to take over my thoughts.
Slowly, I realized that my breathing had slowed down
my grip on the armrest had lightened
… and I was smiling!
Those four pudgy angels were ridiculously funny!
They huffed and puffed and pushed their pudgy arms into place.
nd as I continued to visualize the four of them under the plane
… lifting it
… stabilizing it
the more I became aware that the heaving of the plane had slowed
and my fear was dissipating.
Do I understand what happened in that moment in the sky?
Not for a second.
Of course, there was no Miss Pudgy Angel
… or her pudgy-angel-friends underneath the plane.
And yet … and yet …
As twenty-first century people living in a western culture
we’ve inherited a philosophy that says
“knowledge comes from a combination of our intellect plus our five senses.
If we can’t touch, taste, see, hear, smell or reason it,
then its existence is suspect.”
So it’s not surprising that giving serious attention to the existence of angels is difficult.
If angels are part of the realm of the Spirit
… that’s the realm of the unknown and the mysterious
and it’s not a world to which many can easily relate.
But in the Book of Job in the Old Testament
these words give rise to the possible reality:
“God does speak. Now, one way. Now another, though we may not perceive it”
To believe that there is a Holy Other, Creator, By-Whatever-Name
… to believe that such a Holy One speaks to us
… and to believe that such communication happens through the form of an angel
well, that takes an openness
… an openness to Mystery.
Do i believe in the possibility of angels?
I did then.
I do now.
And many times since that moment-in-the-sky
I have uttered/prayed/whispered/thought words of gratitude.
Were the pilot and co-pilot, crew, air traffic controllers, Miss Pudgy Angel and her friends
… angels that day?
I don’t know.
I just know that for that brief terrifying moment
… when I visualized Miss Pudgy Angel and her friends lifting the plane
… as the pilot, co-pilot, crew and air traffic controllers were working hard to stabilize the plane and get it back on its flight pattern
I was being lifted out of fear.
May all who experience fear of whatever form, in whatever way, for whatever reason
… some way
… some day
be lifted out of fear.
Text and Photo @ June Maffin
<An aside: Miss Pudgy Angel now rests on the top of a bureau my husband, Hans van der Werff build, beside the handcarved container which holds his cremains. And yes, she still beams that beatific smile and each time I pass her and Hans’ unique urn, I smile, remember, and give thanks.>