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Recognizing the Angels Among Us

Every year you’ll find the following story, by Paul Crume, reprinted in The Dallas Morning News . He was a journalist with the newspaper from 1948 to 1975. The Dallas...

Every year you’ll find the following story, by Paul Crume, reprinted in The Dallas Morning News. He was a journalist with the newspaper from 1948 to 1975. The Dallas Morning News re-publishes this story every year because it is a delightful tribute to the meaning of Christmas and the angels among us.

So, hug your family a little tighter, pull up a comfy chair and read the wonderful words of Paul Crume written forty-six years ago.

A man wrote me not long ago and asked me what I thought of the theory of angels. I immediately told him that I am highly in favor of angels. As a matter of fact, I am scared to death of them.

Any adult human being with half sense, and some with more, knows that there are angels. If he has ever spent any period in loneliness, when the senses are forced in upon themselves, he has felt the wind from their beating wings and been overwhelmed with the sudden realization of the endless and gigantic dark that exists outside the little candle flame of human knowledge. He has prayed, not in the sense that he asked for something, but that he yielded himself.

Angels live daily at our very elbows, and so do demons, and most men at one time or another in their lives have yielded themselves to both and have lived to rejoice and rue their impulses.

But the man who has once felt the beat of an angel’s wing finds it easy to rejoice at the universe and at his fellow man. It does not happen to any man often, and too many of us dismiss it when it happens.

I remember a time in my final days in college when the chinaberry trees were abloom and the air was sweet with spring blossoms and I stood still on the street, suddenly struck with the feeling of something that was an enormous promise and yet was no tangible promise at all.

And there was another night in a small boat when the moon was full and the distant headlands were dark but beautiful, and we were lonely. The pull of a nameless emotion was so strong that it filled the atmosphere. The small boy within me cried.

Psychiatrists will say that the angel in all this was really within me, not outside, but it makes no difference. There are angels inside us and angels outside, and the one inside is usually the quickest choked.

Francis Thompson said it better. He was a late-19th-century English poet who would put the current crop of hippies to shame. He was on pot all his life. His pad was always mean and was sometimes a park bench. He was a mental case and tubercular besides. He carried a fishing creel into which he dropped the poetry that was later to become immortal.

“The angels keep their ancient places,” wrote Francis Thompson in protest. “Turn but a stone, and start a wing.” He was lonely enough to be the constant associate of angels.

There is an angel close to you this day. Merry Christmas, and I wish you well.

From our Kid’s Dr family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas!

Source: Paul Crume, The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20131224-paul-crume-s-angels-among-us.ece

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About Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award winning pediatrician and medical editor for www.kidsdr.com.  She is a native of Washington, D.C. who travelled south to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left.Read More

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