Why is it that in our day to day life, we so rarely hear anyone speak of angels? As I think about those magnificent beings, I am deeply moved by their profound presence in my life.
For as long as I can remember, I have heard of angels. Mostly, that came from attending church, and hearing about them in different Bible stories. For the first three decades of my life, they were just characters in a story to me. I had not opened my heart to receive them. But, since that time, angels have been very much a part of my daily life.
I will never forget the day that my son, Jon, saw angels when he was two or three years old. It was in the late autumn, after the leaves had fallen from the trees. We were upstairs in our Victorian home, and suddenly Jon called to me. I heard him cry out, “Mommy, Mommy, come quick!” Not knowing what was happening, I rushed quickly to check on him.
Jon was standing, gazing out of the upstairs window with his face beaming. With eyes shining, and a radiant smile on his face, he looked at me and said, “Mommy do you see?” I looked out of the window and saw bare branches against a cloudy autumn sky.
“See what, Jon?” I asked.
“The angels — the angels in the trees! Do you see?”
In that moment, I wanted to see what he so clearly did see; but, as hard as I tried, I could not see the angels in the tree.
We stood there for quite some time, as he continued to tell me that the tops of the trees were filled with angels.
It was a sacred moment.
In the days, months and years that followed, angels entered my awareness, too. I came to welcome them as messengers and as protectors in my life.
Angels have saved me from serious injury.
On one occasion, as my wife, Nancy, and I headed-out for a day-trip, I prayed and asked that Archangel Michael to have traveling angels accompany us, allowing nothing that was not sent by Christ to come any closer to us than three feet.
After arriving at our destination, I had to cross the city street. In the crosswalk I watched carefully. Seeing that the way was clear, I stepped out into the street; suddenly, a car came rapidly around the corner, headed toward me.
And, just as rapidly as it was coming it suddenly stopped three feet from me! The driver appeared shocked, and quite shaken. I knew that the angels protected me that day.
On another occasion, a friend whose arm had been severely injured in an accident. She had been walking a large dog, and it severely wrenched her arm, “breaking something” within. She shared with me that she had totally lost use of that arm.
Her son lived in New York, and she went for a visit in New York City. She was walking down a street in NYC. She shared that a man suddenly appeared and came up to her, touched her injured arm, and asked, “What is your name?” She answered, “Pat.” He smiled and walked away. She looked back over her shoulder to see where he went. Just as suddenly as he had appeared, he now was gone. As she continued down the street, she suddenly realized that her arm was healed!
As she shared this story with me, She smiled and said, “I was healed by an angel on the streets of New York City!”
Angels are present in our lives. They assist us when we never expect it. There are times when we have “near misses” in our lives – times when we know it was not possible and yet it did happen. That is the work of angels.
Once when I was driving in rush hour traffic and passing through a busy intersection, a car ran through the stop sign headed directly toward the side of my car. I knew I could not escape the impending crash. Yet, suddenly I was on the other side of the intersection, the other car had sped through, and no accident occurred. I immediately lifted a prayer of thanksgiving to my guardian angels. I knew “I had been saved!” It is important to recognize those moments, rather than just saying it was an uncanny good luck.
Some years ago, I was attending local pastor classes at Duke University. My father had spent the last week of his life at Duke Hospital, before suddenly passing upon his arrival back home. I was fourteen years old. As I prepared to attend my course, staying on-campus, at Duke, I heard in my meditation time that I needed to visit the place where he had spent that last week of his life.
As my time at Duke neared its end, on a Sunday morning I ventured out to find that place. Research showed, that the hospital was now an academic building. I went there, thinking I would not have access on a Sunday morning. Yet, the security guard, hearing my reason for coming, opened the door and allowed me to wander the halls. There was nothing there.
I thanked the guard, and he told me there was a small garden behind the building, that I might go there. I did. I sat on a bench, closed my eyes and centered. Suddenly, I was a spectator in a hospital room that overlooked this garden. My father was the patient in the bed, and a doctor was telling him that he only had perhaps a year to live. The doctor left the room My father broke-down in tears and in prayer. He prayed to see his family and to be taken quickly.
On his final day of life, he was picked-up by his brother, taken to see his parents, and then delivered home where he saw my mother and his only child, me. I remember seeing him and knowing he was going to die. I hugged him, and told him I loved him. Then I ran from the house and to the school ground where I found my friends; I told them, in tears, that my father was going to die! A little later, my friends walked with me as I was heading home. I was met on the street by a neighbor who told me I had to come to his house. My mother met me on the street. In tears she cried out, “Your father is dead!”
My father’s prayer was answered on that day. I sat reflecting on these events as I came out of my meditation. I opened my eyes. A woman was walking up to me, smiling gently. She said, “Isn’t it interesting how things come around full circle.” I smiled. She turned and started down a walkway that was behind my bench. I looked over my shoulder to see where she was going. She was gone – no where in sight! In that moment, I knew I had just been visited by an Angel!!
I decided to go back to my car. As I was heading down the walk way, suddenly ravens appeared. Nine – a number of completion . . . Nine ravens, one by swooped down from the skies and flew in front of me. The Raven, my totem animal . . . As one who practices numerology, I knew 9 is a number of completion. Nine ravens, flying before me after the Angel appeared, after the vision of my father in the hospital . . . This was no accident. And me? I was in a state of deep peace and wonder. Our God is an Awesome God!
May we have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the wisdom to know!
Watch for the Angels in Your Life Today!