Human angels among us
You will not see them with angelic wings or chubby hands and feet, nor do they fly about between heaven; neither are they celestial beings.
But they are ‘angels’ nevertheless in the practical sense of the word.
These angels notice people in need and pay attention to them, while regular people ignore the needy or even molest them. The angels among us provide water for the thirsty, food for the hungry, and clothes and shelter for the destitute.
Society would be the poorer without such angelic souls who see the vulnerable in need and reach out to them.
The vulnerable in our midst include orphans, widows, patients, prisoners, the homeless, street families and the deprived. Full of compassion, the angelic caregivers notice these vulnerable persons and do whatever they can to provide for their needs.
We laud such humanitarian actions demonstrated by Ghanaians and foreigners. They include award-winning personalities, radio and television presenters, celebrities and workers of non-governmental organisations. By choosing to make charitable outreaches to the needy in society, they endear themselves to the beneficiaries.
I met one such human angel recently who has taken upon herself the tedious and often thankless task of scouting for support for the vulnerable.
During the recent Basic Education Certificate Examination, another human angel, a basic school teacher, called me with the plea to pep-talk a discouraged candidate who needed to be encouraged to continue writing the examination.
This teacher brought a maternity dress for one of the students whose pregnancy was bursting through the school uniform she wore. The angel’s maternity dress relieved the student and enabled her to write the BECE in comfort.
Angels at “Dubai”
One day, while driving under the “Dubai” overhead bridge at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, I saw a couple who had parked their van close by. The homeless people under the bridge rushed towards the van and formed a queue.
Apparently, they knew the couple who, from time to time, loaded their van with packs of food for free distribution. The couple had angelic hearts.
As the people were served, I remembered an angelic chef who went from restaurant to restaurant harvesting left-over food for street families.
These human angels are unsung heroes who put smiles on the faces of beneficiaries. Their efforts must be recognised, appreciated and emulated.
And, by far, the best gratitude is to imitate their examples and thus multiply their efforts by extending a helping hand to the disadvantaged among us.
Socially and within the extended family system, nobody is strictly an orphan, for, as an Akan proverb states, “When one father dies, another father is alive.” It doesn’t speak well of a family if those who are well to do refuse to help those in need.
King David alluded to this helpful attitude in Psalm 37:25 when he wrote: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.”
The “children of the righteous” refers to believers in the church. If we obey God’s call to share our resources, and take care of the vulnerable, nobody should go hungry or beg for bread.
God has provided enough for everybody to be catered for. The resources in our country or in the church are sufficient for everybody to have their needs met. But while some people are living in abject poverty, others are living in abundant riches but fail to share their resources.
It is an indictment on the church if the children of deprived believers are not supported. The general principle is that we help one another and so show that we are true believers.
Writing about human angels, I am reminded that there were celestial angels who were thrown out of heaven and whose status changed from being angels to being demons. That should tell us something!
It should tell us that our kindness and generosity must always be put in the right perspective in the light of God’s sovereign will and ultimate plan for our life; which is that “Christ in you is the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Presumably, it is this hope of glory that propels us to want to be like Christ, showing compassion and making ourselves available to be used by him to reach others. How contradictory, however, if all we want to do is reach out to the vulnerable but fail to reach out to Christ who is our hope of glory!
Anything we do as an end in itself and not a means to an end can be short-lived and devoid of eternal values.
Reaching out to the needy in society, helping people, and being compassionate towards others is welcome greatness. Yet, greater still is to establish a relationship with the God of all compassion.
The writer is a publisher, author, writer-trainer and CEO of Step Publishers.