August 10, 2010

Entertaining Angels #1

There have been a few times in my life where I was certain that the person to whom I was speaking wasn't really a person. Well, he was a person, but not human. No, I'm not talking about vampires, werewolves, or any of those mythological creatures that are so en vogue right now. I'm a spiritual person; I adhere to the Judeo-Christian outlook on life, and, due to four-years' worth of corruption at a conservative Bible college, I tend to be a bit suspicious about these "paranormal" situations. But, there have been times in my life when even I can't deny this...mystical experience. I have met, entertained angels, and didn't know it until after the fact.

There's a passage in the Bible that says, "Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby, some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2)." Whether or not these men were actually angels remains to be seen...probably on the day I stand before God when all of eternity will be laid out. For now, though, since I have no other explanation for it, I will believe them to be angels.

Did they have wings? Nope. A halo? Not even close. That white robe and glow that every depiction of them tends to have? Not a chance. They were as far from that image as possible, yet I truly believe that was part of the design; to be so cleverly disguised that they blend in with the world around them, yet being part of God's ultimate game plan.

My first experience, that I can distinctly remember, I was twenty-two. I had just come home from leading a mission's trip to Mexico, was beyond shattered emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and was trying to figure out how to process what I had seen and experienced in some of the most destitute areas of that country. How, also, do I help my students (whom I had taken with me) process those images and feelings when I was still trying to figure it out?

I had traveled to the beach for the day. I hadn't told anyone where I was going, just climbed in the car and started driving. I don't think even I knew where I was going until I got there. There's a promenade at this one stretch of coastline; it runs the length of the waterfront and has benches so you can sit and watch the waves. I had purchased a cup of coffee and was sitting, watching the water. People walked past me, laughing and sharing their lives, oblivious to the internal struggle going on inside the blonde woman sitting on the bench, feet propped up on the retaining wall.

That's when the rose appeared. Over my right shoulder, a perfect, red bloom was being handed to me. Looking up, I saw the biggest black man I had ever encountered. He was almost seven feet tall, had a scar across his left cheekbone, and to describe him as muscular would be an understatement. He smiled, which was both sweet and kind AND quite frightful at the same time, since it stretched the scar across his face in an almost grotesque way.

"For you." The voice was rough, hard, but his smile remained gentle, so I took the flower.

I sniffed it, then looked up to say, "Thank you," but he was gone. Completely vanished. I stood up on the bench to find him, but he was nowhere to be found. How a man THAT big, THAT noticeable could disappear in two seconds was completely unfathomable.

I actually asked the lady who was on the bench next to me if she had seen where he went. "Which man?" was her answer. When I explained that he was the one who gave me the rose, she responded with, "There was no man; I thought you had the flower when you sat down!"

It could've creeped me out...and, I'm sure that under any other circumstances, I would've been. Instead, I just let the smell of the rose seep into my battered, exhausted soul, and I pressed the flower when I got home. I still have it today...

"Angel" story #2 to come later...


Anonymous said...

Honestly? I could hear this story a hundred times over and never get tired of it.
One of my all-time favourite stories of yours, too. ;o)


Becky said...

Wow. This gave me chills. The kinda good, kinda scared kind.

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