In 1991 the filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan released a movie entitled “Grand Canyon.” The film is about alienation and connection between various characters who live in the Los Angeles area. In one scene the actor Kevin Klein is waiting to traverse a busy downtown intersection on foot and being distracted he attempts to cross the dangerous street before it is safe. As he steps off the curb someone from behind grabs his jacket and pulls him back just as an enormous city bus whooshes across and would have killed him. He is dazed and as the light changes and the crowd begins to swarm past him to the other side he realizes he has no idea who saved him so he shouts out “thank you.” And a young woman dressed in work clothes and baseball cap turns and with a smile and a wave says “a pleasure,” before disappearing into the throng. There is something about that scene that delights me – the idea that there are angels among us who protect us as we face the dangers of the world.
I am reminded of the real world angels who come to the rescue everyday in catastrophes. The people who ran into the blast zone in Boston last week to assist the wounded, the community in East Texas who opened their houses to families newly homeless after the explosion of the Fertilizer Plant. The courage and hope demonstrated by adults who adopt small children already addicted to cocaine and the countless numbers of individuals who volunteer in soup kitchens, nursing and maternity homes and prisons. I believe God will send angels to us when we find ourselves shattered and frightened. And I pray that we will be those angels of mercy to those in need when the unimaginable happens and our world is exploding around us.