God Takes Care of Little Ones with Guardian Angels

Over the past day, we’ve had a crisis in our home, a crisis of epic dimensions with which anyone with a school-aged child is familiar: our son lost his homework.

Now, this wasn’t just any piece of homework. It was a book project in 12 sections. Our 10-year-old read a biography of Hank Aaron, not a kids’ book, but  a book for adults that he found on my husband Greg’s bookshelves.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve guided him step by step through the project, setting up deadlines for this bear of an assignment to make sure he met today’s deadline. And last night, as he was going to put the finishing touches on the project, he discovered he’d lost it. I knew, I just knew, there had to be a life lesson in this one. I told him so. But it took me a while to figure out what it was.

After our son discovered the project was missing from his school folder, all four of us searched our entire home for it without success. He was apopleptic. He was so upset with himself he could not finish the remaining pieces of the project, including putting a face on his bust of Hank Aaron, and copying over a small thesaurus he had written. He was so angry he could not study for today’s history test. Off to bed he went, in tears and with our prayers following him up the stairs. Before Greg went to bed, he went into our son’s room, gave him a big hug and told him how proud we are he works so hard in school. I prayed myself to sleep.

When I awoke at 6:30 this morning, our son was already awake and downstairs, putting the face on his Hank Aaron bust. (pictured above). He called upstairs and asked me to come downstairs as soon as I could to help him redo the thesaurus. When he finished, he asked me to prep him for the history test.

As I drove our son to school I told him I understood his frustration. I had lost important work myself. I told him  rewriting the project would be easier than writing it the first  time. “There is a life lesson in this,” I told him. “What is it?’ he asked. I was going to respond that perhaps next time he would figure out a way to keep track of his work better. But then I thought, making mistakes is an inevitable part of living. Surely that cannot be the life lesson.

As I pulled up to the school, I realized what I needed to say. “The life lesson is that God will take care of you, no matter what happens.” “Okay,” he said, nodding.

I watched our son walking through the school yard, his massive backpack hanging from his small frame. I imagined an angel walking beside him. I remembered how I learned as a child that each of us has a guardian angel.. I used to pray to mine before I went to sleep each night. As our catechism teaches: “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God.”

I’ve never told our son about his angel, or how to pray to him. Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen.

I could tell you whether our son found the project at school in his desk or locker or if I found it under a sofa at home. I could tell you whether the due date he cited was the actual one, or whether the project was already overdue or not due until next week. But none of that would be the point. I have come to believe that our son lost his project so that God could introduce him to His angels.

  • Webster Bull

    Lovely post, A. Some of my most painful memories are times when I was too quick to answer my children in cases like this. What a beautiful witness!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02064673794877417232 Sarah Harkins

    That was a great story, Allison! I especially liked your advice you gave to your son. I taught Liam how to say the Guardian Angel prayer when he was two and we say every night before he goes to bed. I'm not sure he understands the whole Angel thing yet, but whenever he is scared, we always remind him about his Guardian Angel.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05040495946170037805 Julie Cragon

    Might well have been yours watching over you to help with just the right guidance. Beautiful post.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16021781602272064901 Allison

    @Julie: That never occurred to me. I wonder if many adults still consider/talk to their guardian angels? While I pray plenty, I had forgotten about mine.

  • Maria

    Allison: You are, no doubt, a wonderful Mother, and most wise. I am made to think of something that my sister found in my Mother's bible, after her death. Karl Rahner SJ, kooky, dissident theologian/Jesuit who scarcrely belirved in any fundamental teaching of the magisterium, had this wise observation:[God to man]–" When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly, I am the unsolved remainder. And I know that this remainder, which makes you so frantic, is in reality my love that you do not understand. I am present in your needs". The adult lost book report lesson, huh? I don't know what made me think of this. Ask him in a bit what HE thinks the lesson is…He'll tell you…His metal is strong–up and at em with Hank's head and prepping for the test. God bless him and his perserverance.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Nicely done Allison!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12442813565745123497 MUJERLATINA

    We drove through that horrific Nor'easter with winds up to 60 miles/hour and the local river lapping on the side of country roads a couple of weeks ago. I almost slammed into a 200 foot tree that had fallen on the highway as I attempted to merge into traffic. The puppy was shaking and my two little girls were mute with fright. All of a sudden my 2nd grader began to pray "Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen." She repeated that prayer for twenty minutes followed by many Aves and Paters. Then she said "Let's pray all the prayers we pray at the end of school each day." So we all prayed the Act of Contrition and a short Litany of Saints. By then we had managed to skirt around closed main roads winding our way through the back country. As we turned into our little stone driveway my daughter exclaimed "We are safe mommy! We need to thank God and our Angels…"

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02064673794877417232 Sarah Harkins

    Wow, Mujer Latina, children really are saints among us! Thanks for sharing that beautiful story!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16021781602272064901 Allison

    @Maria: Thanks and what a great suggestion.

  • Christine

    Faith is the answer to everything, always.

  • Anonymous

    I have just lost my school work and looked everywhere for it as you did. I am praying to God right now to see that it will show up. Now I know (by you) though, God will make everything alright.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16021781602272064901 Allison

    Yes, God will. Even if you don't find it, God will make everything all right.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00403184829256955768 Victoria

    I am of the "Angel of God…" generation. I still pray to my guardian angel but the idea of a guardian angel is probably the one thing in Church teaching that I have a problem with. I can accept that there are angels because they are in the bible but if they are guardians, where are/were they when little children are being sexually abused? I would really like an answer to this one.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria, I think what you question comes down to is, "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" And I'm not very good at explaining that. But I know there are answers out there. Hopefully someone else can suggest a good resource with a good answer to this question.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria, there are two main jobs of the Guardian Angel, to protect you against evil spirits that roam the world looking to ruin souls and to take you to Heaven when you die. Wondering why your Guardian Angel did not protect you from abuse is also wondering why God did not. The Guardian Angel does not necessarily protect you from physical harm as much as it does from spiritual harm. The fact that you did not turn into a monster like the one that abused you should give you comfort that your Guardian Angel battled for and protected your soul. It sounds like you have been conscious of your abuse through most of your life. I suppressed the memory of mine until I began to discover what was at the root of my anger that was helping to destroy a second marriage. I have forgiven my abusers and the enablers of the abuse. And I am an ardent and protective guardian of my children's innocence. I pray that you have forgiven the person(s) that harmed you; it will help to relieve the pain that still scars your soul.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14664864341946607447 Terry Fenwick

    Allison! I ate every word and my Angel loved it, too. They get so little attention and it is good to remind others to check in with their own as they are a gift from God!Great story, true story and told with so much feart! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16021781602272064901 Allison

    @Terry: Thanks for reading. It's good to hear from you, too. How are you doing?