This article, “An Open Letter to Clarence The Angel” caught my eye as a diehard fan of It’s a Wonderful Life. I had to comment though, and you’ll find my addition as you scroll down the page. Here it is below with some additional thoughts:
Perhaps we need to remember that the unsung hero in this story of redemption is the aptly named Mary, George Bailey’s wife, whose devotion to him is unquestioning despite, at times, his sometimes selfish cruelty to her and others. She stays by him even when he appears to reject all she ends up representing in his life–obligation, responsibility, staying at home instead of his dreamed-for exciting travels to far off lands.
She is the one who willingly offers up their honeymoon money to bail out the Savings and Loan, she is willing to live without amenities or luxury so that George can do the right thing for his greater community. She organizes their community to come to George’s assistance when he is desperate and suicidal as it is clear she cannot do it alone.
Her sacrifice and indeed her own personal suffering for something bigger than herself turns to joy and is the background story here. She is the servant angel on earth that we should aim to emulate. She already has her wings.