I don't believe in angels, but am slowly being convinced.
It had been a long week. Very often I'll reward myself for making it to Friday by going out to a big, late lunch, but it was very hot; I didn't have much of an appetite, and ate a little sandwich instead. A friend and I planned to have dinner, but she wasn't feeling well and cancelled later in the afternoon. So I looked forward to coming home by myself to some great Shabbat-style takeout Chinese. I knew I'd be starving by then.
On my way out of the synagogue, I ran into an acquaintance in the crowd. We usually exchange little more than a hello. But this time she stopped me:
"You're going to have a great feast now, right?'
"Well, hopefully somewhere," I said. She looked surprised.
"Aren't you going to L.s' for dinner?" she said. "I plan to stop by a little later."
"Um, I don't think so?" I answered... and then remembered. I was invited a month ago. I forgot to put it in my book.
"Oh my god," I said, "Thank you for reminding me. I totally spaced that it was tonight." She gave me a look that I was certain screamed, are you crazy? how could you DO such a thing, forget a Shabbat invitation? (But I'm sure that was just my conscience yelling back.)
I continued to thank her profusely (and this time I'm certain I sounded a little nuts), and then remembered to ask for L'.s address--I had forgotten that, as well.
If I hadn't eaten a light lunch... if my friend hadn't cancelled our dinner plans... if I hadn't run into this acquaintance by chance in the middle of hundreds of people milling outside... I would have missed out on enjoying a delicious, home-cooked dinner filled with warmth, the spirit of Shabbat, and new friends, and my rudeness would no doubt have cause at least one of them to think much less of me. I suspect there was some sort of an angel, a malach, directing all those little decisions and chance meetings, and making sure I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be.