The angel went in and said to her, ‘Greetings, most favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was deeply troubled by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for God has been gracious to you’ (Luke 1:28-30)
Outside in the pedestrianised heart of the city the chilly air and failing light of a winter’s afternoon are turning shoppers thoughts to home, but in the cosy warmth of a top floor coffee shop two young women are engrossed in their conversation. What does this candid photo reveal? Could this be a moment of annunciation; a precious time of unexpected blessing and affirmation, or is the texture of their dialogue altogether different? Is one of these two an ‘everyday angel’, the bearer of uplifting, encouraging or soul-soothing words? It seems to me to be perfectly reasonable that we should expect God to be speaking to us within our everyday conversations and encounters. When the angel tells Mary that God is with her I rather think that this is a reminder of a continuing truth. God’s graciousness is for sharing freely and often. We can be agents of everyday annunciation and channels of God’s blessing too.
To be truly seen, heard and appreciated with kindness and care is to be enveloped in the warmth of divine love. To be encouraged, guided and challenged by others to fulfil our own individual life vocation as the unique person we are is to discover godly intention running through the complexities of our lives together. In the weaving of meaning and hope in dark times we are all capable of being everyday angels. As Mary discovered, God’s love is for sharing; it is purposeful and demanding, yet liberating and profoundly authentic. Everyday annunciation is about accepting and offering, receiving and sharing love as gift. And equally we can all expect to be surprised by the blessings God has in store. Perhaps annunciation is not the exception after all but rather the everyday norm of how God operates. Because God is always wanting to birth kindness, justice and peace where they are most needed.