When my friend, Liz, was a child and very ill she says she awoke from a fevered sleep to find an angel seated at the edge of her bed. Its face was human-like but the features were more angular than ours and silvery. The rest of its body was luminous and seemed neither male nor female, but she remembers the eyes, green, and the reassuring feeling of being watched over. You may think this divine visitation was the figment of a child’s fevered mind, or you may believe that she saw an angel. I believe. Once when I was asleep I heard a beloved voice call my name, a voice as familiar as my mother’s or husband’s and yet it was neither of them. I think this was an angel and someday I will see and instantly recognize this being as though meeting with an old friend, and understand that he has always been with me.
Angels are messengers of God and bearers of his comfort in a hurting world. Sometimes they even intervene in our lives and lead us to safety, though not always. When my 16-year-old niece Kristy was killed in a car accident some people at the scene said they saw a great ray of sunshine stream down from the sky and spill over the mangled car in a kind of holy benediction. As though God wanted us to know that he saw and was winging Kristy’s spirit up to heaven in that wonderful light, enveloped in peace that passes anything we can imagine. Were there angels with her? I have no doubt of it. Still we ask why God didn’t send an angel to prevent this tragedy, and so many others. But it seems that why is not for us to know on this side of heaven. Anymore than we can know why our first grandbaby, Adam, so infinitely precious, was not somehow saved, but stillborn. Though I trust with all my heart that Adam is in heaven and we will see him again.
I have no answers to these tragedies, only the promise of God’s eternal love and presence. And I am watching for angels, tuned to the whispery touch of unseen wings and those in human form. God uses people, particularly those who have known grief, to minister to others. If your heart seeks the light, you are never really alone. If you yearn for comfort, keep watch, angels will come to you. Remember, they can look like anybody, be anybody, young or old, can even be you.
“Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help your angel has given you.” ~Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994