Sunday 15 December 2013

Pause In Advent #3

Pause in Advent Logo from Floss

My third Willow Tree Angel is one I received as a gift from my sister in law Marion – The Angel of Caring

angel of caring - always there, listening with a willing ear and an open heart

Her tagline is “Always there, listening with a willing ear and an open heart”

As I type this, I am listening to a news bulletin about the treatment people receive in hospitals. People keep trotting out the same phrases “quality of care” and “care packages”. I do not want to debate the hospital issue here- but it strikes me that when we reduce “care” to a commodity which can be assessed with a series of tick boxes  - like bottles of pills, or boxes of sterile dressings or frequency and length of time of a patient's appointments with the consultant, we lose something.

The great thing about this little angel is that she is sitting down. Her elbows on her knees, turned to face the speaker, she is clearly giving her full attention to the other person. Her whole body language shows that she cares. She has made the time to stop, and sit, and listen – to take seriously the concern of her friend. Maybe she is in the middle of a frantically busy day [for we all know that angels are extremely busy at this time of year!] but she has stopped, and taken a seat so she can engage in real conversation.

peanuts- dr lucyI have encountered many ‘angels of caring’ throughout my life. I thank God for them. Some have been “professionals”, like pastors, teachers, medical personnel, social workers etc., and some “amateurs” [from the Latin – those who do it for love] like parents, relations, friends. And the best ones are those who truly made me feel they were listening and genuinely wanted to help. [not like Dr Lucy on the left]

Having heard my side of the problem, they did not judge, but asked the right, incisive questions to help me work towards an answer, and offered their support as I did so. Caring for people may include

  • just listening to them as they talk
  • praying with and for them
  • helping them to accomplish a task
  • doing something practical for them
  • making them feel loved and wanted and special

I want to be that sort of angel for people. May God give us all the grace to be willing to find space and time to care for others – even when we think we are too busy.

After all, Jesus was never too busy or too tired to care, was he?


  1. Great post. Your first paragraph struck a chord, I've long thought that education is now being reduced to a tick box mentality - measuring the things that are easy to measure rather than the things that are hard to quantify but so much more important for a child, such as the ability to learn, enthusiasm for learning and the desire to find out more. Attitude to learning and the ability to learn will stand someone in good stead for the rest of their life, whereas a list of facts will not remain constant in its importance but will be viewed differently in time, and may eventually be relegated to the scrap heap of history. Rant over!!
    Have a great day, keep posting, it's always thought provoking, Vee xx

  2. No, he certainly wasn't too busy! This post is so true, so beautiful and full of heart. I have tried this week, to listen to those who needed care but will try harder, to do that for those closer to me too. X

  3. Good words, Angela! I love that angel's pose. Listening is such a kindness, such a generous gift. I imagine that you offer this to many and you offer it often. Bless you.

  4. We all need a listening angle in our lives don't we!
    Jane x


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