I admire real journalists and documentarians. Now, I do think that they are a very rare breed among news-people, the rest of whom are too driven by their corporate sponsors’ and their own biases by a long shot, no matter where on the spectrum of politics, religion, personal philosophy or other conviction they fall, but there are those honest characters who, if they do consistently let their beliefs steer their messages, at least recognize those prejudices and are quite open about them and still manage to give air time to opposing or differing points of view.

Still, the ones I really find compelling are a different sort of message bearers. They are harder to recognize, because they can be quite ordinary seeming mortals or wholly incorporeal, quotidian or fantastical, intentional or entirely, serendipitously accidental in their delivery of important news in our lives. Are they strangers we meet by happenstance and happy crossing of paths, like the townspeople in Germany who saw my older sister and me debarking a train after dark and looking around to orient ourselves? The kind couple approached us, told us that Celle (however lovely) was a very small town indeed and that there were few places for visitors to stop overnight but they’d help us find one, gave us directions and set us on the path to a very cozy little bed and breakfast before disappearing into the dark like a mist.

Are the messengers those outstanding teachers who have acted not only as educators in our lives but also as inspiration, as mentors, counselors, guides and friends? Mrs. Willis, Mr. Cunningham, Prof. Keyes: I salute you! Teachers have done as much to bring light to my life as to the dim corners of my mind over the years, and I am grateful for the news and stories and messages they bring. Are there other beings among us able to protect and direct us without our even being aware of it? Of course there are. Some of them are simply gracious fellow humans whose good deeds and kindness will never be seen or fully known and recognized in our lifetimes, either because we are too dim-witted and self-involved to notice as we should or because they merely do their mitzvahs without fanfare, without expecting or needing any recognition and recompense. These we should imitate and their message should be spread further by our going out in turn to do kindnesses for others and requiring no attention or glory.

And I think that–given how beautiful and rich life can be when we do pay attention–there must be others in our midst too; angels or aliens, I don’t much care what we name them, but there must be Love looking out for us to make even the tiniest good possible, let alone the many graces that fill our days if we only look. Their message, I suspect, is nothing more or less than that we are being well looked after, and our little lives recorded no matter how small they may seem to us.pen and ink

9 thoughts on “Messengers

  1. I do agree with you that people from different spectra of life do teach us goodness and leave everlasting impressions on our lives. They could be good journalists not looking for glory, or simply good people who help us and guide us in our everyday lives without making it a big thing out of it. Our teachers certainly leave their mark in our impressionable time of life. Great and different idea of a post. I love the theme of your post. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing it with us Kathryn. Take care and God bless.

    • Seems to me that there might not be such a wide margin of difference between my potential definitions of the two, after all: malevolent or benevolent, foreign yet familiar somehow, either might have quite the transformative effect on me–and by aliens, I would include not just the extraterrestrial sort but also anyone from outside my sphere of experience and understanding. And I thank you for calling the phrase felicitous, which is a grand word too seldom brought out for an airing!

  2. A beautiful praise to all those messengers that bring love and joy into our lives without the need to be recognized or honoured. They are driven by pure humanity and empathy for fellow human beings.

  3. Pingback: Friendly Dragons | kiwsparks

  4. Yes, there are messengers all around us … and paying attention (not to what is forced upon us, i.e. through the media, but to what whispers or approaches or assists or just carresses over us) is so crucial to us knowing what we need to. Another lovely post, Kathryn! XO

    • Attention is surely one of the things we all need to learn and employ more, but it’s mighty hard to keep that kind of focus in this messy, loud world. Helping each other stop, be still and listen seems to me to be one of the real gifts of friendship. Thank you for that!

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