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December 2016: Rescue Angels

December 2016: Rescue Angels
Renee Poudrier - Tue Dec 27, 2016 @ 09:54PM
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During the Christmas season, you can find them gracing cards or the tops of holiday trees.

They spread their shining wings over simple church plays and beautiful nativity scenes.

With golden halos and rich flowing robes, they gaze from stained glass windows, storefront displays, and the window panes of homes. Everywhere we see radiant Christmas angels, the heralds of hope in December.

I love Christmas angels, but I also know angels who lack wings and halos. These angels come in all shapes and sizes. They may be young or old, rich or poor, male or female, but they, too, are heralds of hope. Often they pass unnoticed through towns, suburbs, and rural areas, quietly performing their acts of mercy. They embody the Christmas spirit all year round. I call them rescue angels.

Rescue angels wear practical clothes, except when they are in business suits or work gear. Somehow they can always find a dog or cat treat in their pocket, or a blanket and bowl in their car. Some of these angels help companion animals; others are licensed to help wildlife. All of them dedicate their time and resources to the sick, the injured, and the unwanted.

Rescue angels are determined and brave, even when they are tired and discouraged. For the sake of an animal in distress, they will slog through mud and underbrush, search behind filthy dumpsters, or navigate dangerous streets and forgotten areas. No matter how dire the situation or hopeless the case seems, the angels will minister, offering perhaps the only kindness a frightened creature has ever known.

Rescue angels shed many tears. Sometimes their tears fall on the inside, where other people can’t see. Sometimes their tears fall on the outside. They weep over the horrible scenes of animal cruelty and neglect they witness. They cry over every little creature they couldn’t save. There are times when they even say, “Enough, I can’t do this again.” Yet compassion wells from their hearts and they reach out to help one more.

Despite the difficulties, rescue angels know joy. Each time a sick creature is healed, a hungry creature is fed, a wild creature is freed, or an abused creature begins to trust, joy flows. These small miracles are their own reward, and rescue angels treasure them. A soft purr, a wagging tail, or a mended wing makes it all worthwhile.

Rescue angels share a bond with herald angels. The Christ Child of Christmas could have been born anywhere, but he chose to enter the world in a stable, surrounded by the beasts. It was there the heavenly angels sang their song of peace and it is here that rescue angels carry on, in their own way, the same message. Angels, messengers of hope.

Merry Christmas rescue angels.

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