The Unlikely Angel

As we have now reached mid-October it makes perfect sense that the Christmas movie channel is now showing at chez Black on a 24 hour loop. Personally I’ve always been a ‘Christmas begins on 1st December’ kind of guy but, as with most matters in our house, I am heavily outnumbered. Yes, Christmas has officially begun.

Heavy hints have already been dropped that I am due a visit to the attic to bring down the Christmas decorations; Santa lists have been drawn up with FIFA 18 featuring heavily; and I’m convinced I saw a packet of mince pies in the cupboard the other day. Fionnuala is already plotting and planning the highlight of her year and has brainwashed (I mean) encouraged the girls to join her in loving all things festive.


99% of the aforementioned Christmas movies are American produced. In fact it strikes me that somewhere in the United States a Christmas movie is always being filmed. They always feature actors I have never heard of who appear to make a perfectly good living starring in movies that nobody has ever heard of. They invariably are romantic comedies set in small town mid-America. Everybody has good teeth. They always have happy endings and Santa never gets stuck up the chimney.

Today was a little different. I was ‘treated’ to ‘An Unlikely Angel’ starring Dolly Parton, one of Fionnuala’s childhood heroes. My wife was in Heaven which, oddly enough, is where Dolly ends up in the movie after a car crash featuring a deer and some decidedly dodgy stunt work. Next scene she’s walking through the pearly gates which just about accommodate her NFL-esque shoulder pads and a hairstyle which must have taken scaffolding and a gallon of hairspray to construct.

Dolly hooks up with a rather odd looking man in a white suit who may have been St. Peter or, at the very least, a pretty senior angel. Michael. Or possibly Gabriel. He basically rips up millennia of theological doctrines by explaining to an understandably bewildered Dolly that in order to remain a permanent fixture amongst the clouds she needed to make amends for her decidedly unsaintly existence by returning to earth as a trainee angel in order to perform good deeds and earn her season ticket to the afterlife.

It was at this point that I gave up and decided to go for my morning run. But the title got me thinking. Some of you may believe in angels and are convinced that they walk unseen amongst us; that they are permanently engaged in spiritual warfare against demonic forces in the battle between good and evil. Others might think this the stuff of fairy tales and place angels in the same box along with leprechauns and The Abominable Snowman.

Whatever your beliefs there is nothing stopping you displaying angelic qualities today to someone in need of help. It can be the smallest of acts. A little kindness goes a long way. Just open your eyes and look around. There is someone right now close to you who will benefit from your angelic intervention. It will brighten up their day and, guess what, you will feel a whole lot better about yourself afterwards as well. It might not get you into Heaven but it is sprinkling a little heavenly love on the life of someone desperately in need of a little love and grace. 

The best bit is that doing the above doesn’t require any specialist training. You don’t need qualifications in low level flying or advanced harp playing. Allergy to feathers? No problem. White isn’t your colour? We can work around that. Feel you’re not good enough and that your chequered past doesn’t make you eligible for the position? Worry not. God isn’t bothered so why should you? No matter what your past you can turn your back on it and do good today. 

Become an unlikely angel today. Backcombed hair, huge shoulder pads and rhinestone sequins entirely optional.

When does Christmas officially start in your house?

What are the best/worst Christmas movies you have ever watched?

Do you believe in angels?

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38 thoughts on “The Unlikely Angel

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  1. I really liked your post today. If more people were “angels” then our world would be a much better place!
    To answer your questions, we traditionally get down the decorations on the week of Thanksgiving (which we take off from school) and spend that week putting up the decorations all over the house. But, my mom has started listening to Christmas music already. I have reserved my Christmas music indulging to start Nov. 1. The worst Christmas movie I have ever seen is probably one of the Hallmark movies (Hallmark is a low-budget channel with tons of made-for-tv movies. Bad acting, lame plot… You get the idea 😂!) And yes, I most definitely believe in angels.

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  2. interesting post.. although I have my reservations… I prefer not to be the good person during seasons and holidays… I would prefer to think that we should all strive to be the best that we can be everyday… SO yeah… me and the wife usually end u in fights during Christmas, mother’s day, birthdays (esp. hers) etc. You get the picture

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  3. I absolutely cannot stand A Christmas Story! I am probably one of very few people who hate that movie. LOL. And then they play it 24/7 on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Argh! 🙂

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  4. Helping someone is a 10 fold deal isn’t it. Like you said the person in need is blessed, we get blessed by being the helper, and God is pleased and will multiply those blessings. I do believe in angels. I believe they can walk among us seen, and unseen. It is whatever God’s will is for them to be, they are. With Him all things are possible 😉 Pretty fitting that you choose Dolly as the start of this helping others, and angel post. Dolly is quite the giver. She doesn’t do it in the spotlight. She does it for the sake of doing it. The wildfires that destroyed Gatlinburg last year. She raised millions, and pledged something like $1,000 per month, personally, to all the families that were affected! Then she donated an additional 3 million of her own money 6 months later She also gives the children born in that area, a book ever month. Can you imagine, each child. Illiteracy was a big issue for families in that area when she was growing up. These are just a couple. A little Divine intervention on your post this morning ;):) God is good :):)

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  5. We start Christmas either Thanksgiving night once it dark and leftovers are eaten….or the following day. I like to fully embrace fall/thanksgiving before it all turns into Christmas. I spend the month of December reading cheesy Christmas books and watching cheesy a Christmas movies!

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  6. I think when you have faith in whatever that is whether it be angels, religion, karma it helps you live your life wanting to help others and that can never be a bad thing. And if you can look like Dolly Parton while doing it then all the better!!

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  7. I laughed my way through this. It is true that many want Christmas to start again the day after Christmas. My two favorite authors have talked about angels. Madeleine LEngle who wrote A Wrinkle in Time says that we should notice that when angels appear in the Bible they first say FEAR NOT. I guess that shows us what they look like. At least if we are supposed to see them. C.S. Lewis acknowledges them in his space trilogy that begins with Out of The Silent Planet. Both authors and wonderful reads.

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  8. This post made me laugh 🙂 I love the Christmastime of the year: the snow, the cheesy movies, the carols I know by heart, and the feeling of relief in the air. One of my favorite Christmas stories is about the famous Christmas Eve during WWI when a night of peace broke out with the song Silent Night and enemies came out of the trenches to celebrate together. That being said, much like Scrooge at the end of a Chrismas Carol, I carry the Christmas Spirit with me year round, whenever it strikes I drink hot chocolate and enjoy Home Alone or What A Wonderful Life 🙂 I honestly can’t even think of a “worst” Christmas movie ever right now lol. I do believe in angels, but I think they’re quite a bit different from the ones we think of in pop culture: the first one we see in the Bible bars us from the garden flaming sword in hand, another comes to tell Mary that she is going to have baby Jesus, and Jesus himself tells us to be kind to strangers and the needy because they might be angels in disguise!

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      1. It’s interesting though, I wonder where we ever got that image. The only times I think of angels even remotely close to the playing a harp image would be the heavenly chorus that appeared to the shepherds when Christ was born or the heavenly hosts that worship around the throne. Everywhere else they’re engaged in warfare against the evil one, like when the heavenly armies stand with Joshua and Israel as they march against their vast enemies into the promised land. Or when Gabriel fights his way to, I think it was Daniel, in order to give him God’s message.

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  9. Christmas starts Dec 26 in my house!! I start planning gifts and shopping around during the year to find good bargains (and I have been known to misplace items throughout the year!!). And sometimes make my gifts. But I will tell you a deep dark secret….I love the Hallmark Christmas movies and can’t wait for the Countdown till Christmas…there I said it. I love those sappy movies!! lol I do believe in angels because God tells us He created them, I just don’t believe in them the Hollywood does – my belief comes from scripture. But it doesn’t stop me from watching a feel good Christmas movie after a busy day at work, even though I can tell you the plot and ending even if I never seen it before. They are mindless yet entertaining, no thinking in involved as I crochet or do my needlework – I good way to end my day. Another secret, started years ago I break out the Christmas music in Sept although this year I could not wait and started with all the Christmas in July frenzy and never stopped listening. Why do we only listen to such beautiful music praising our Lord’s birth for 30 days? We should sing all year long. And on a hot July day when you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, singing about jingling bells on a sleigh is perfect to get through the humidity that plaques this part of the world. Now you know my deep rooted secret – I love Christmas!! 🙂

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