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So what’s a real Guardian Angel look like?

The recent story of the Portland, Oregon dad who was separated from his 3 year old son while trying to get off of a MAX light rail train has been making national news. The “guardian angel” who stayed with the boy until the dad returned to the spot where they were separated was interviewed on morning talk shows and evening television. 

The father is the one who first used the term “guardian angel”  GUARDIAN018-main_Fullregarding this woman and his comment got me thinking about character and how our actions speak so much about our lives, indeed about our faith, if we are truly living it out.

Here’s what the father said after the incident: “We’re not people of faith. . . but I’m starting to think she was some kind of guardian angel. I expected to see her the following morning. I haven’t seen her since.  . . . All I remember is that her name was Oriander.”

Wow, would that not be so nice if people said that about us. If people were looking for us, to thank us for what we do for them. If we do it out of the goodness of our hearts, hearts filled with the love of God.

And, what really stood out with this dad’s words is his comment about how he is not a man of faith, but that the actions of the woman helping his son made him think of a person of faith. Is that not how the character of  a true person of faith should be thought of? As a guardian angel?

Our character is showing. As people of faith, our values are being watched and revealed in the day in and day out of how we carry ourselves around others. Others are judging our faith and the God we serve by how we treat the least of these.  It is what we do and don’t do that people notice. And it is when we least expect it, that someone is noticing. Are we being a guardian angel, Good Samaritan, or something we would rather not be remembered for?

Like this man looking everywhere for this guardian angel Oriander.

Turns out that her name was actually Orianne and she saw the whole situation of the man being separated from his son and she sat there and comforted the 3-year-old until the father returned. Interestingly, Orianne is a student hoping to become a nurse. Her true character is showing. GUARDIAN-NURSE-GU03920_VisorClip_NW_med

We might think that this is no big deal. Of course, most people would wait with the little boy. But, the father looked at it as a big deal. Some stranger was watching over his own son. Some stranger took time out of her day. Some stranger was willing to get involved, to be involved in the life of another person, in the culture, to be nosy really.

It takes that. It takes people willing to step out of their own lives, their own struggles and schedules and time-frames, to be willing to have their lives interrupted by the lives of others. To be the guardian angel, even when their names might get forgotten. Or mis-spelled.

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Posted in Community Service, Culture, Faith, Family Life, Gratitude, Justice, Kids, Life, Live the Questions, Outreach, The Extraordinary Ordinary.

8 Responses

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  1. Mr. M says

    Well written! This inspiring incident in our hometown goes so well with the “Advent Conspiracy” and our “Life Interrupted” message in church. Are we willing to interrupt our lives for the least of these during this holiday season? Sometimes are greatest gift is our character!

    “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” ~Albert Einstein

  2. Dana says

    Cornelia, This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing and illuminating our community with the light of Christ.

  3. berneita hansen says

    This is so true that we are to be the light of the world. We get busy in our own little world and forget to look around and ask God, What would you have me do or see today. Thanks for the reminder. I am wondering if the angel with jewels was something from the Tuesday night event? A writer an organizer of events you are a wonderful woman that lives for the Lord. I love you Cornelia. Wish I could of been there.

  4. bettejo lowe says

    Thank you Cornelia for writing this heart-warming piece. To me, it is a “God” reminder to be mindful of others, not always in my own little world, especially during this time of the year.

  5. Gail says

    Real life gives us some great stories! Thanks for taking the time to write this piece that challenges us to think about our own actions.

  6. Martin Becker says

    very true, well put

  7. Cornelia Seigneur says

    so true! our character is showing –

  8. Beth Strand says

    Terrific! And a timely reminder as Christmas approaches that it is the small acts that often become big in the lives of the recipients. I’m sure that father may forget what he got wrapped under the tree this year but he’ll never forget the kindness of a stranger in a time of need.

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