November 7, 2020
Soft, white feathery wings, a long white robe, a glowing gold halo. When thinking about angels, most people would likely imagine these qualities and not the slightly disheveled man in the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. I must be honest; when I think about angels or read stories in the bible involving angels, it’s difficult not to picture beautiful beings dressed in long white robes and hovering slightly above the ground by the work of their stunning wings. Far beyond how incredibly beautiful I may imagine these biblical creatures to be is the truly spectacular jobs they are called by God to perform. Exodus 23:20 says, “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared”. And Psalm 34:7 tells us “the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them”. In Revelation12, the archangel Michael leads his army of angels into battle with the devil, and the devil and his angels “prevailed not” (8a).
Amazing, yes. But also, quite comforting. Every day I pray for guardian angels to surround my daughter and protect her because God’s Word assures us that “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11-12). As children of God, we have the gift of these angels to work on our behalf. When I think about my pattern of reckless choices in my past and where I am now, I think about how awfully hard my guardian angel had to work. And I know that was the result of my parents and their persistent prayers. For that, my parents’ faith in Almighty God and their prayers, I am truly thankful. Now I have the opportunity to pray for my sweet little girl; that God will send His guardian angels to guard her in all her ways.
In the past few years, though, my thoughts on angels have leaned more towards the Clarence type, George Bailey’s guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life. A couple years ago, in my bible study group, one of the women told a story about how a disheveled, shoeless homeless man helped her move her broken-down car on the off ramp of a highway with her baby inside to safety. She thanked him and offered to give him something, but he declined. When she turned around to thank him again, he was nowhere to be found. A friend of ours told us a story about a young girl who was volunteering her time at a nursing home. While talking to two female residents, these ladies made a comment to her that was concerning. After expressing her worries to her mom multiple times, her mom took her to get the appropriate medical work-up. As a result, this young girl’s life was saved. Her mom, being incredibly grateful, returned to the nursing home to tell those ladies and thank them. She arrived at the nursing home only to find out that there were never any residents by those names. More recently, a close friend told me that her daughter was in a playground accident and a maintenance guy appeared out of nowhere to help.
I have my own personal story as well. After heading home from grocery shopping, I was in a terrible car accident with my daughter, who was 9 months at the time, in the car. I never lost consciousness, but I had no idea what happened. A man riding his bike stopped to help me. He made sure I was not hurt and moved my car out of the street so I could attend to my daughter. He and another man who claimed to see what happened waited patiently with me for the police to arrive. These men told me they would wait as long as they had to in order to speak to the police officers. Because of these two kind men, I was able to find out that the accident was not my fault and a woman had run a red light. Although I was told it was not my fault, the guilt I felt was tremendous and I struggled emotionally for a long time after the accident. Reminding myself of what these two men saw has helped me significantly in the healing process. I am so grateful for their help.
I am convinced that at least one of those men who helped me after my accident was an angel. And those people in the three former stories, they also believe that the individuals they encountered were angels as well. When thinking about these stories Hebrews 13:2 comes to my mind: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Reading this scripture gives me chills (the good kind). What a truly amazing thing to ponder; there are angels among us. Maybe they are beautiful and ethereal, but I also think that they are a lot like Clarence too.