Our neighbors are not always who we think they are. We know we see some of them. The people who live across the street who we meet momentarily as we run through life. The college student who works in the local coffee shop. We know them by sight. Maybe we even know them by name. In towns and smaller cities we may actually socialize with them. In metropolitan areas they are most often someone we see and never really know or care to know.
The neighbors can actually turn out to be very different from what we imagine. You see your neighbors. Very few people can see all of mine. Yes, there are the people next door and the people across the street. There are also the angels and spirits in this and other neighborhoods. Travelling through the countryside there are entirely different angels and spirits. There are the angels who belong to that place. There are spirits who sometimes should be there and sometimes should return Home.
Some of my neighbors are the work of a local artist. These neighbors are painted on stucco walls. They are the gods of ancient tribes who inhabited the Americas. To most Americans these are Native American gods. To me they are representations of Asian gods as transmuted over time in the Americas.
They don't look at all like the unseen neighbors I see. While I try, like others, to describe what angels look like, the best we can do in many cases is anthropomorphize them. Describe what they look like when they take human shape—only lots better. Or we can describe them as pure energy that can appear as balls of light. Much as any of us might, our languages simply do not contain the words to describe angels or God as they truly are. Writers and prophets from diverse cultures have attempted to describe what they see in mystical ecstasies.
If only we could!
It's far easier to describe John the evangelist being taken up to heaven or Teresa of Avila floating midair while cooking omelets. I have described how in Catholic Masses I have seen Mary and Jesus stand beside the altar while angels filled sanctuaries. I have talked about all of the times since childhood that I have seen a consecrated host dripping with deep red blood. There have been times when I have known priests well enough to pull them aside afterward and tell them what I saw. I remember telling one Jesuit priest and watching his otherwise calm face turn beet red. The man literally broke out sweating and shook. I told him to relax. Keep on doing whatever it was he did in his daily life.
He apparently—and unexpectedly—must have listened. Every time after that when he said Mass Jesus, Mary and the angels showed up.
This is far from a Catholic phenomenon.
I have seen God show up in Jewish synagogues, Protestant churches and in chats with Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, among others. My personal favorites are when God and our neighborly angels show up in conversations with atheists and agnostics telling me God does not exist.
For all of the spiritual work I am allowed to do, getting to have the occasional chuckle is a real treat.
There are times when I am speaking with someone who is spiritually tuned in and the angels appear. There have been times when I have been speaking with someone on the phone who is on the opposite side of the world and that person has appeared before me. Other times people thousands of miles away speak on the phone of a loved one who has gone Home. The physically deceased person appears before me and tells me to give the person on the phone a message. I have yet to get a negative word from those spirits. They invariably give me a message of hope and peace to pass on.
Your loved ones, your relatives and neighbors who have returned Home to God, want you to be happy! Be at peace with yourself.
Go have a spiritual ice cream cone.
With extra topping and sprinkles.