The wind whistled through buildings, snaked around
street corners and invaded even the
warmest of coats. Mac pulled
the collar of his jacket tighter around
his neck in an attempt to
block out the January cold. It wasn’t helping
much so he picked
up his step a little and hurried towards
He hadn’t been there in years; not since his grammar school
days when he and his best buddy Jeff
spent most of their time in
Father Mulligan’s office. They
hadn’t been bad, just mischievous,
and the good Father had tried his best
to curb their adventurous
natures by making them altar boys.
Mac reached the steps leading up to the church and took them
two at a time, much as he had done
in his youth. He didn’t know
why he felt he had to come here today,
he just knew this is
where he wanted to be. He pulled on
the handle of the big, wooden
door and cringed when the squeaking
hinges beckoned him inside.
Mac stepped through the entrance and
shrugged out of his coat. He
started down the center aisle, leaving
an ice trail to melt
He found the pew that he and his family had shared all those
years ago, the third one on the left,
right in front of the
angel. She hadn’t lost her beauty
over time. He sat down, and out
of habit, slid off the edge of the
seat to his knees. He didn’t pray, not now and not when he had been
a small boy. Mac just stared with boyish fascination at the statue in
front of him.
How many times had the angel saved him. When he lost his
father at the age of eight, he’d
cried out his sorrow at her
feet. Whenever he’d needed to
make a decision in his youth, he’d
come to her. Mac had always felt uncomfortable
praying to God,
but the angel had been his listening
board and in his little
boy’s way of thinking, she delivered
his prayers straight up to heaven.
As a child he had dreamed she would one day take him in
her arms, wrap her wings around him
and make everything okay.
Hadn’t he been told all his life
that we all have a Guardian
Angel? Well, he was still waiting to
Life had definitely not turned out the way he had planned.
His career was over, he had lost most
of his money to gambling debts and his wife had finally had enough
and left him, taking his daughter with her. That had been the final blow. He was alone now and
couldn’t find a reason to go on living. Mac supposed this was his
final act of desperation; his last ditch effort to find salvation. It
was silly he knew, but now more than ever he needed his angel to enfold
him in her snow, white wings.
“Hey mister, why ya crying?” whispered a small voice to
“What?” Mac questioned, looking over his shoulder to find a
small boy sitting there.
Reaching out his finger, the boy ran it over Mac’s cheek
then held it up for him to see the
Mac looked at the grubby little hand that was attached to
the finger. It was hooked to a skinny,
little arm in a shabby,
torn jacket. On further inspection
he also saw that it belonged
to a dirty, little face with a gap
toothed grin. The boy couldn’t
have been more than seven, but he looked
at Mac with green eyes
that spoke of experience beyond his
Mac looked around for someone who would have accompanied the
child there, but he saw no one.
“You here by yourself?” asked Mac.
“Aren’t you kind of little to be out by yourself?”
The child grinned from ear to ear and lifted a hand up to
his runny nose. He rubbed back and
forth then wiped his hand on
his jeans near the hole in the knee.
“Why does my angel make you sad?” he asked, kneeling down
next to Mac.
“Yep, she’s my best friend. When I come in here to get warm,
I always talk to her. Aren’t
her wings pretty?”
“Yes they are.”
“So why you crying? Ain’t nothing that bad that you got to
cry in church about it.”
“Well my life’s pretty bad right now. I don’t have a job, I
owe a lot of money and my wife and
daughter are gone.”
“Are they dead?”
“Oh No, just left me to live somewhere else.”
“Your lucky then, my daddy died last year. Mommy has to work
now, so I’m alone a lot, but
I spend time here at St. Anthony’s
so she’ll know I’m safe.
I wouldn’t want her to have to
worry about me,” the boy said
as he sniffled and wiped his nose
“Well, I guess we all have our problems huh?” asked Mac, his
throat getting tight.
“Not me, I’m okay. You’ll be okay too mister, you just can’t
give up,” he declared as he reached
over and patted Mac on the
He only left his arm there for the smallest moment, but to
Mac it felt like he had been enveloped
in angel’s wings. Looking
up to the statue, his heart felt lighter
than it had in weeks. He
looked around to talk to the boy, but
he was nowhere to
Mac let the tears fall; healing tears that would cleanse his
soul. He’d waited his whole life
and it had finally happened.
True, it wasn’t what he had expected.
He hadn’t realized that
angels were everywhere. That they sometimes
come wearing ragged
jeans and shabby jackets; with dirty
faces, runny noses and
skinny, little arms that feel like