He was conspicuously humble, yet possessed a regal countenance I can’t put to words. His hands were battered from working hard. His wrinkled, sunburned skin made him seem older than he surely was. As he spoke, I could tell he was a wise yet uneducated man. He seemed awkwardly uncomfortable with small talk (we had something in common) yet couldn’t get too deep with his conversation, but tried. He had these huge eyes that sparkled and grinned every time he talked about his dying wife. All the while he was grieving inside.
He restored my faith in humanity.
This is a man I met not long ago who came to my house to repair my broken oven. He told me his wife had recently had a double mastectomy and was trying to recover, but her life expectancy was shaky. His teen daughter came to my place to wait for her dad, we had a very brief encounter, me and her, yet I got a glimpse of her demeanor while she was watching her dad work that caught my eye and made me realize that my intuition about this man was true. I regarded his way of carrying himself as atypical considering his strenuous life. People where I live seem so consumed with their everyday lives (specially those with such a low level of education) that very rarely one sees a character so happy about life and himself, with such a positive vibe, that one can’t help but notice and enjoy. I want a double scoop of whatever he’s having, I thought. He’s an everyman with a privileged disposition towards life.
He told me a little bit about his life trying not to emphasize his hardships, yet I could infer they were many. While I walked him to his car he saw my guanabana tree and asked me if he could have some leaves to make his wife a concoction with them. Just some leaves! I thought, at this point I would’ve wanted him to have the whole tree. I felt so blessed by his presence. If only he knew. I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth are there so many people who can’t get a grip and waste no time complaining for every damn thing around them. How this negative disposition offends my soul knows no bounds. Yet, I can’t throw rocks at anybody ’cause I too have fallen victim, at one point in my life, of this unnerving act. Of course being aware of a limiting attitude is the first step towards changing it. I try to constantly remind myself of all the good in my life so I don’t have the need to complain every time something doesn’t go my way. He was sent to remind me once more. He was an angel in disguise, not so much by what he said but by how he made me feel & what I understood just by taking notice.
Angels disguised as common people are everywhere. We just have to be aware of their existence and learn what they’re trying to teach us, usually without them knowing. They have many things in common, such as: they’re never self-promoting, they don’t have the need to prove themselves to anyone, they don’t need to adulate anybody in order for people to feel loved in their presence, they seldom speak ill, they know themselves very well and embrace who they are, yet carry an uncanny aura of humility. They’re selfless beings who have a natural zest for life, yet carry themselves with such dignity and humble pride (if such term exists) that you can’t help but admire and strive to emulate them. They are highly emotional mature people who, in essence, have an attitude that speaks louder than words.
These people use their pain as a catapult to further understand compassion and love. Their character is a natural flow of their values. They know that good channeled pain can do so much good in the world whereas badly channeled pain can do so much evil. How much time one spends with them is unimportant. It can be from a fleeting encounter to a lifetime. What matters is the lifelong (usually subconscious) impact they leave whosoever crosses their path and is appreciative of their ways. I’ve been blessed to have met quite a few.
“Pride is spiritual blindness. It’s a delusional view of self. It’s unreality on steroids. It’s the thing to which we are most blind in ourselves, but can clearly see in others. We cannot see pride though it is our most grievous, disabling sin because its very nature is blindness and the first thing to which it is blind is its own existence”- excerpt from the book Gospel-Powered Humility