Tag Archives: It’s a Wonderful Life


“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
Acts 12:15 (NIV)

Just over a decade ago there was an original series that premiered on the TNT network. It was called Saving Grace. Wendy and I absolutely loved it. The show centered around a very hard, broken, and flawed police detective named Grace who was expertly played by Holly Hunter. Grace’s life was all sorts of messed up, and in the opening episode we find her on the verge of suicide. That’s when Earl shows up. The scraggly, dumpy-looking Earl is actually an angel sent to help save Grace from herself, hence the title of the show. The show ran for four seasons.

Across the Great Story there are numerous times that angels enter the narrative. Certainly in the life of Jesus and throughout the book of Acts angels play an active role, as in today’s chapter. Dr. Luke describes Peter’s imprisonment by Herod and his being shackled continually between four armed guards. In the middle of the night an angel arrives to arrange for Peter’s “Great Escape.” Peter is rescued and returns to where the fellow believers are staying.

I love that Luke adds the detail about a servant girl named Rhoda who comes to the door when Peter arrives and knocks. The servant girl is so excited to see Peter that she runs to tell the household forgetting to actually unlock the door and let Peter inside. Upon telling the believers that Peter is outside at the door, they insist she is out of her mind, saying “It must be his angel.”

The Greek word Luke used in describing the event was atou which is correctly translated as a personal, possessive pronoun. It is clear that the believers understood that Peter had a personal angel assigned to him, and this verse is among the passages that have led to the popular belief that each of us has a “guardian angel.” (Matt 8:10 and Heb 1:14 are two others).

For the record, I do believe in angels even though I don’t have a great story like Peter’s (which I’m okay with, btw). I find it interesting that Hollywood regularly uses the humorous device of choosing a very  unangelic presence when depicting angels. I think both of the scraggly Earl in Saving Grace and the elderly, diminutive Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life.

This morning in the quiet I’m thinking about angels. When writing about “fallen angels,” otherwise known as demons, C.S. Lewis wisely wrote that we can make one of two foolish mistakes. One is to waste time thinking too much about them. The second, Lewis said, is to be dismissive of them altogether. I’ve always agreed with Lewis on this, and so I don’t think too much about angels and demons except when I encounter a chapter like today’s. So, this morning I’m allowing myself some creative fun with the notion that every one does have a guardian angel and how my angel might be personified.

I think his name is probably Walter.

By the way, Saving Grace is available to rent through Amazon Prime.

Have a great day, everyone.

photo: by Frank Okenfels; Leon Rippy as Earl

Companions for the Journey

Chapter-a-Day Genesis 2

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18 (NLT)

I love the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. I know I’ve mentioned it on this blog before (probably multiple times). It’s one of the movies I could watch over and over again. No matter how many times I see it I can’t get through the ending without the tears welling up in my eyes and dripping down my cheeks. I love simple truths powerfully communicated, and I love when George Bailey opens up the copy of Tom Sawyer to find the inscription:

Dear George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends.

Alone-ness is not a good thing. We need companionship. We need fellowship. We need relationship. We need others walking beside us on our life’s journey. It is the way we were designed and wired by our Creator. We were created to know and be known and even God recognized that our life on this Earth would not be right without other human beings to share the experience. It is one of the first things we learn about humanity in God’s Message.

I am and have been blessed with good companions throughout my life’s journey, but my experience is that these relationships typically don’t just happen by chance.  The fruit of good relationship follows seasons of cultivating, plowing, planting, watering, feeding, weeding, and pruning. If we want authentic relationships then we have to prepare ourselves for it, we have to pursue it, and we have to be willing to give time for relationship to grow.

This morning I’m doing a little introspection. I’m thinking about and asking God to reveal to me the ways I can be better at relationships. The further I get in this journey the more I treasure and need meaningful relationships. It starts with me.

It’s a Wonderful Snow

This is the view outside my home office window. Yesterday it was snowing in huge white flakes. I call it an “It’s a Wonderful Life” snow like when George Bailey is running down Main Street in Bedford Falls at the end of the movie.

By the afternoon the snow had completely melted and the beautiful snow felt like a dream.