A few months ago I was reintroduced to the television series Touched by an Angel. My neighbor had picked up the complete first season on DVD from a thrift shop and asked if I was interested in watching it.
I had a faint recollection of it being a popular TV show a couple of decades ago. So, for old times’ sake I popped it in the player. By the time I popped it back out, I was completely hooked!
When the series premiered in 1994, I guess I wasn’t in the right place emotionally or spiritually to appreciate it. Oh sure, I had seen a few episodes here and there, but that’s about it. Since I doubted angels went around infiltrating people’s lives, revealing their celestial identities at key moments (and always in sync with an ethereal glow to substantiate their claim), I probably thought the show was unrealistic and trite.
It took 23 more years of me living through incredibly difficult realities of my own, before I understood its appeal. It was entertainment, yes. But its true appeal was in the uplifting messages of hope, coupled with sound wisdom for navigating the trials of life.
Unwilling to stop at season one, I was thrilled to discover I could view more episodes online. All I had to do was fork over a mere $5.99 per month for a CBS Online account. That was three months ago, and I just finished watching them today.
The value I received from my $17.97 investment was beyond my expectations. It was incredibly therapeutic to be reassured my Creator loves me, He is always working behind the scenes on my behalf, and there is always a reason to hope. I knew these things, of course. But there’s something about hearing it over and over again that drives those messages deeper into the soul.
Yet, it isn’t just about the messages. It’s about the messengers! The trio of angels are fun and funny, sassy and sweet, plucky and endearing. They are heavenly, yet marvelously relatable in their humanness.
Monica, played by the incredibly gorgeous Roma Downey, is sweetness and innocence personified. Her Irish accent enhances her heavenly form, as does her feminine wardrobe. She is beautiful inside and out, and I find myself wanting to emulate her goodness.
Della Reese plays Tess, her tough but kind supervisor, who is everything a mentor should be. If she’d have me, I would adopt Tess as my mother from another brother. In fact, I already did, she just doesn’t know it yet!
To complete the threesome, is John Dye. He plays Andrew, the Angel of Death, whose primary role is to escort souls into heaven. Even though he’s an angel, Andrew is everything a real man should be. I have a bit of a crush on him now. Not only that, but I’ll likely measure all men against the standard he set for unconditional compassion, for knowing exactly what to say in a person’s last moments on Earth, and for looking utterly charming in a cream-colored suit.
I know Touched by an Angel is just a TV show, but it is also a picture of the heart of God for humanity. In my opinion, the writers did a fantastic job dealing with the difficult issues we encounter in life. They never depicted God as a genie who swoops in and solves all our problems, because he isn’t a genie. He’s God.
I’m no theologian, but I was surprisingly impressed with the show’s theology. I found it spot on with my own understanding of the character of God, as limited as it is.
As I was watching the last of the 68 episodes available on CBS, I realized how difficult it was going to be to say goodbye to the characters I had come to know and love. I feared I might go through withdrawal, not knowing how to go on without Monica, Tess and Andrew by my side.
Luckily (or perhaps providentially), I discovered MeTV started airing Touched by an Angel just this week – on Sunday evenings. I find comfort knowing it’ll be there if I need a reminder to trust God’s goodness. Or if I need a little assurance I haven’t been forgotten and am not alone.
If life’s challenges are weighing you down, or you’re looking for encouragement to fuel you forward, give Touched by an Angel a try. I don’t normally advocate watching television, but in this case I’m confident you’ll get 45 minutes of free therapy-for-the-soul that just might be an answer to prayer.
And one more thing . . . for the full therapeutic effect, make sure to sing along with the theme song!
P.S. If anyone knows how to get access to all 211 episodes, please leave a comment!