Did you ever wonder how the mothers of angel babies are chosen? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a angel baby."
God's angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a one of my precious angels to a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."
"But does she have the patience to endure such hardship?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in the mother of an angel. You see, the child I'm going to give her lives in a world of its own. She will have to realize it lives in another world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even can live through this."
God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from her angel baby occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with an angel less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word from anyone. She will never consider a minor step ordinary. She will never hear her angel says 'mama' for the first time, she will never be a witness to that miracle. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."