Clarence had no need to earn his wings, there are no angels second class, no head angels, no angel who has the "IQ of a rabbit". But despite these anomalies I love the film It's a Wonderful Life.
Angels are an everyday part of my life. Strange as it may sound to you I have been seeing angels since I was a baby. I see them physically just as I would see you if you were sitting in front of me. I see a guardian angel with each and every person, regardless of their religion or whether they are good or bad. I see lots of other angels too.
When I sat down to watch It's a Wonderful Life several angels joined me. Angels can be very serious but they also have a great sense of humor and delight in mimicking people. The ones with me last night found a lot of the details of Clarence the angel amusing. Clarence looking up to Heaven seeking the approval of the head angels made them laugh. No angel, they told me, ever looks up to heaven, nor do they need to seek approval. Each and every angel always knows what it should do, and if there is a need for communication between angels then it happens automatically.
One of the angels found the idea of Clarence mulling over what he should drink in the pub hilarious. Angels have no concept of eating or drinking, they have no need of sustenance like this and never feel hungry or thirsty, so the angel with me thought this was really funny.
If the angels though were amused by some of the details, they loved others. They loved the way Clarence showed such love and tenderness to George Bailey; the way he helped George to recognize all the good things that were in his life -- things that we can all forget when times are tough.
Everyone has a guardian angel, regardless of religion or whether they are good or bad, but at times when things are tough, especially when people ask for help for themselves or another, God sends extra angels to be with us -- angels like Clarence -- to give us hope in our lives.
It's not an accident that this film is set at this time of the year when so many religions and traditions have celebrations. I see many more angels at this time than I do at any other time of the year. Every year around this time, I see thousands of angels flying over houses dropping balls of lights into each and every home. The balls explode in bursts, lighting up every nook and cranny of the house. These angels stream into our world helping to lighten the darkness, helping us to appreciate the important things in our lives -- our families and friends, helping us to see the joy that is in all of our lives. These angels help us to remember we are more than our bodies, that we are spiritual beings and that there is more to life than material things. It doesn't matter where in the world we live, what sort of home it is -- a house, a room in a cellar, a cardboard box, a tent in a refugee camp -- or even what religion we are. These Christmas angels drop their balls of light on each and every home, touching each and every one of us and helping us to see the joy and hope that is there in our own lives.
George Bailey doubts Clarence; he doubts both the existence of angels and the messages that the angel Clarence is giving him. Frequently, George rejects what Clarence tells him because it doesn't fit with the way he thinks the world is. Despite this, Clarence keeps trying to get his messages across that life is worth living, that George has made a real difference to so many people during his life and that despite the fact that he had financial problems -- he is in many ways rich. Clarence communicates this gently but persistently. When one form of communications fails to get a message across, he comes up with another. Clarence was not going to give up -- nor the angels tell me does any angel. The angels with me clapped when Clarence told George he needed George's help to get his wings. They told me that this was a great way of encouraging George to go along with what Clarence had asked. George thought he was helping Clarence (like the time he "rescued" Clarence from the river) but in reality it was the angel helping George. Angels can be very creative at times in getting us to listen. They need to be, as so often we don't recognize the answer to our prayers as it doesn't look the way we expect it to.
Remember this holiday that you have a guardian angel, an angel like Clarence who is there just to help you, and that yes, it is a wonderful life.
Watch Lorna describe the special angels that she sees at this time of the year.