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As we continue to read the Acts of the Apostles during these days of earth’s awakening from winter, it’s easy to find appropriate metaphors to explain events chronicled in the early Christian community of which we have little concrete experience in the present. Today, in chapter 5, we have the story of God’s angel opening the doors of the prison and leading the apostles out with the directive to preach the “Good News” in the temple area. Additionally, in one translation of Psalm 34:7 we have mention of “angelic forms” as follows: Know too that heaven surrounds you with angelic forms, those messengers sent out by God to guard and guide you through the many storms of life.

Although we have probably all seen magicians at one time or another who are able to escape impossible confinements, we generally do not assume angelic assistance from other realms to explain their release. Rather, they use long-practiced skills or sleight of hand to accomplish their freedom. Put God in the mix, however, and all things seem possible.

My thoughts today are somewhat more mundane and easier to conjecture. I simply wonder what my answer would be to the following question: Who are the angels in my life: those people who have broken down barriers for me and led me out to a deeper freedom than I could have achieved on my own? In small and great ways, I know God has gifted me with friends and teachers who, perhaps with just a word – or maybe for the “long haul” – have caused me to be a better and happier person.

And so I ask: who are the angels in your life?