(Please read this disclaimer before you read this post!
Disclaimer: I don't blame people for calling her or any other person who's passed "an angel". I know they mean "angelic", as in: the visual picture they get of a pure spirit, no longer in need of a body. I know that they say this to bring comfort to the grieving family because maybe it would bring comfort to THEM if someone would try to reassure them in this way. I know that it's said in love and concern and empathy! PLEASE know that the post below was written in honesty and love for my baby niece and that her passing is a fresh wound on my heart. It's not mean to hurt anyone, just an expression of hope in the eternal for her and for all of us!)
Laurencia is on my mind today.
We moved pictures to a different file and so had to review all of the pictures I took from that day.
We have GREAT HOPE that she's in Heaven, playing with her cousins and Jesus and doing all of the things that are way more fun and great and joyful than anything we could imagine on this fallen earth...but she's not an angel.
Oh, I know so many people have visions of flying babies in Heaven, all white garments and light, and reflecting God's face and eternally happy and flying back and forth between Heaven and earth, or sitting on fluffy clouds and watching over or visiting us in our every day lives...but that's not what we believe. I hope I NEVER see her again, here on earth, because that would mean that she's not in Heaven and that would be awful (unless it's the end of time and she's coming to get me to go back with her!). I hope she's looking down on us and praying for us from her Heavenly post (and likely doing a fair amount of chuckling over some of the ridiculous things her family says and does) but, as a child of God in Heaven, it's not HER job to fly back and forth...that's the ANGELS' JOB!
Angels are created beings, separate creatures that are not, nor have they ever been of this earth. Angels are creatures of God who didn't get earthly parents to aid in their creation.
OH! I believe she's angelic, in that she's a creature of God and has a message for us (angel MEANS "messenger") but she's something altogether unique! The thing is, I understand why people say that she's an "angel now" but I don't believe it...she's SO MUCH MORE! She is Laurencia: named, created by God and her parents, a true victor over disease and death on this earth, a GRAND and VISIBLE message of God's love for us (though in the tiniest of mortal shells), and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS pure of spirit, never having the chance to commit Actual Sin.
SHE was granted the mercy of never having the chance to say "no" to Jesus. Earthly life has a sort of "two edged sword" effect: we are fallen and need God's mercy and baptism to gain Heaven...but we have a "second chance" built into our fallen natures through baptism in His Holy Name!
When I hear "she's an angel now", I think about how Lucifer was an angel! Yikes. Even ANGELS have the chance to turn away from God, and disobey Him, and end up...well, you know! BUT, they don't have the advantage of all of the loving, biological family of man! Laurencia had so many people aware of her existence and praying her into hope of Heaven. How many angels do you know have that? What a grace and what a gift her life is to us, stuck here on earth, trying to figure it all out, waiting until the day when she can usher us in and show us everything she's been up to and helped to prepare for us while SHE was waiting for US!
For now, though, we honor her earthly body by praying for her spirit and showing her body the respect it deserves, as it once held a true soul. She was a tabernacle of Glory for the Lord to exist inside, even for just a small amount of time here on earth, born here in life and born into Heaven on the very same day.
God bless my family and may God send his ANGELS to usher Laurencia into His loving arms without pause.