The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

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By Patti Dobson
Religion columnist 

Faith: Glad for the angels who popped into my life in 2021


Last updated 1/4/2022 at 3:09pm

So long, 2021.

You went out with a bang, literally. The cacophony of fireworks and gunshots began about 8:30 and continued until well after midnight, sending the dogs into an hours-long tizzy. Not even a downpour could dampen the enthusiasm for shooting things off.

So much for quiet reflection and taking care of the business of wrapping up the old year before welcoming the new.

I don’t make resolutions but do gather up the lessons learned and special moments to carry into the new year. And as my less-than-quiet reflection reminded me, there were plenty.

Looking back on 2021, I’m glad for the angels who popped into my life, even for a moment.

Angels are disguised as “regular people” who leave baggies of cookies on your desk, or text to see if you’re doing OK, or drop off a coffee lovers self-care package, or send funny memes to jumpstart the day or send a coffee mug with books from their private stash. They’re the gentle souls who listen to your heartbreaks, or let you rant and then make you laugh, or they’re the ones who pick up a signed poster from a favorite chef “man-crush.”

Then, there are the angels we don’t know who show up right when we need them (whether we know it or not).

During a last-minute grocery trip last week, I had the usual fight with plastic produce bags. I was juggling my haul of Cosmic Crisp apples while trying to open the bag with fingers that refused to work. I felt the apples slipping and then a gentleman appeared and asked if he could help open the bag for me. After a quick “sure,” he had the bag open, and my apples were saved. We chatted briefly, and that interaction saved more than just the apples. His simple act of kindness and funny conversation brightened my morning and lessened my anxiety. (I don’t do well in crowds.)

Sometimes, the smallest gesture reaches a corner of our soul.

Shortly before Christmas, we lost two of our senior pups, Duffy and Bandit, within hours of each other. It was devastating. I walked out of the vet’s and headed to the Jeep. I just sat there, overwhelmed by the silence. I heard a soft knock on the window and opened the door. A lady I didn’t know asked if I was OK. I couldn’t speak. Without a word, she hugged me and said how sorry she was. And as quickly as she appeared, she disappeared. I don’t know where she came from, and I don’t know where she went.

We don’t always know where, even when, such an angel will show up. What an incredible gift … the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Marching into 2022, I carry gratitude for them (known and unknown) with me. May we find those angels, and may we be those angels.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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