Many many years ago, the church I attended held an annual silent auction that benefitted missions. The overseas missionaries sent home items from the country they were working in and put them up for auction to raise money. It was a splendid international bazaar of sorts with all kinds of unique and fabulous things offered. A good amount of intrigue and whispering and strategizing took place among the brethren at this auction in the name of furthering the kingdom of God.
I bid on and won a mobile of straw angels from Africa. I ended up paying something like $60 for it, even though I probably could have gotten one at World Market for $10, which would be about $8 more than it was worth. Not to mention that no one else bid on it.
I didn’t really know what to do with the mobile as my décor is not African or straw, but I liked it, so I took it home and put it in a box for the next six or seven years.
When I was expecting Sean, I decided to do his room in Serengeti safari prints. As I was putting on the finishing touches, I remembered that I had this mobile and so before he was born, I dug it out and hung it from the light in his bedroom. When he was a little guy, I would put him up on my shoulders and let him reach up and fling the angels. It pleased him to send the angels spinning and flying and I’m sure it thrilled the angels as well.
I haven’t thought much about the straw angels for a long time because these days Sean is too big to hoist up to my shoulders. But the angels, they are still there, where they have been for the past four and a half years, floating quietly above my head and out of sight, as angels do.
The other night before bedtime, after we closed the last book, Sean and I sat in the rocking chair together and let what was left of the day drain away. He tucked his head under my chin and curled up into me as best he could and we rocked back and forth, back and forth, without speaking a word.
“Mom,” he said quietly, looking up at the mobile, “You know, if I stand on your shoulders I can reach the angels.”
“Oh Sean,” I whispered. “You have no idea.”
He has no idea that it is he who lifts me to the angels.