The first angel story I can remember outside of the Bible, was of a sick woman living alone in the woods who ran out of fire wood. She heard a knock on the door and a stranger brought her wood, stoked up her fire and left. When she got up to look out the window, there were no footsteps in the snow and it hadn’t snowed since the night before. The mysterious wonder of that story gave me chills and caused me to dream of my own angel sighting.
As I grew older I often studied strangers at the store or laundry mat, wondering if they could possibly be an angel. Sometimes I secretly prayed to see an angel, but most of my angel sightings seemed dubious at best. When I grew up, I still loved angels but the cares of adult life took over my fanciful dreams of angels and somewhere along the way I stopped searching for them behind every shrub and door. That didn’t mean angels weren’t around me, I just stopped paying attention to them. The truth is I probably needed them more than ever, but angels have the habit of appearing when you least expect them.
Angels Can be Dog Whisperers
When I was twelve, I was handing out books with my six year old sister door to door. We came to a house with a German Shepherd that didn’t make any sound– until we had entered the gate. Suddenly he snarled and ran toward us with bared teeth. I quickly grabbed my little sister’s hands and got in front of her to protect her. To protect myself, I held out one of the books we were giving away and prayed out loud with my eyes open, while the dog left tooth marks on it.
I had recently been baptized and had complete trust that Jesus would protect us. I asked Jesus to send an angel to stop the dog from biting us. I was not surprised when the dog whimpered, cowered and slunk over to the corner of the yard. For a moment I wondered if I had just imagined that he was a mean dog. He looked pretty calm lying there. I left the book with the tooth marks on the porch because no one was home.
As we left the yard, my mom drove by in a van to pick us up and she saw the dog lunge at us just as we shut the gate behind us. As I looked back over the fence at the angry dog, I knew that the only way we got in and out of that yard without getting hurt was because Jesus really did send His angel to protect us. It was a simple story and others may have doubted whether it was an angel, but it strengthened my faith.
Angels Sometimes Drive Pickups
The winter my grandpa died was a mild one. My husband and I lived in central Washington, a mountain range away from Portland, Oregon where most of the family lived. We had a nice drive over Satus Pass to his memorial service. Because there were blues skies and clear roads, it never occurred to us that we might be in danger on the way home.
After the service, we went out to pizza with some relatives. We talked for hours until we suddenly realized it would soon be getting dark. We knew that we would be running out of daylight before we got over the mountain. As soon as we entered the gorge, we found ourselves in a blinding snowstorm with nearly whiteout conditions. We could barely see the semi in front of us and it was a relief to leave the highway and turn toward Satus Pass.
Before we went up the mountain there was a cheap motel and although I hate cheap motels, I begged my husband to stop and spend the night. He felt responsible to get to work the next morning, so we drove on. There was hardly any traffic on the narrow mountain road and we soon caught up to a slow moving pickup with a bumper sticker on the back. Neither of us can remember what the bumper sticker said, but we both saw it. My husband had no tolerance for the slow moving truck and quickly passed it.
At first the conditions seemed much better than driving through the gorge, but after we had traveled a few miles in the heavy snowfall, the snow froze over our windshield wipers. We had lived in snowy places (including Michigan for three years) but this had never happened to us before and we had no idea what to do. Our windshield was soon covered with snow and we could no longer see out of it. My husband rolled down his window and drove with his head out side, craning his neck to see the road.
Meanwhile the white out conditions worsened so all he could see was the grade in middle of the road where the snow plow had been a few minutes before. It was pitch dark on that mountain. I knew we were beside a cliff because we’d driven over this mountain a couple days before. I silently panicked and stifled a scream in my heart because I knew it would only distract the driver. We couldn’t see anything. I begged him to stop the car, but he said another car might come from behind and hit us if he did that. All we could do was drive on hoping and guessing that we were on the road. It was the most stressful drive of my life.
Fighting back the tears, prayed for God to send His angels to guide us. I was afraid we would slide over the cliff to certain death and I thought of my mom who just buried her father. I couldn’t bear the thought of her having to bury us too. I prayed out loud over and over.
We continued to inch forward and as we neared the top of the pass, but the line in middle of the road was fading. Suddenly, tail lights appeared in front of us. No one had passed us going either direction all night. We figured we were catching up to someone else who was struggling to see as much as we were.
We were so nervous and on edge that we barely noticed that the car in front of us was the truck we had passed us hours before with the same bumper sticker. We casually wondered how he passed us. Was there a short cut? Our hearts filled with hope when we saw that he was driving confidently, so we just stayed on his tail and followed him down the mountain. When we reached the bottom, the truck turned in the opposite direction and we were never so relieved to finally be driving in clear conditions.
The trip over Satus Pass usually took an hour and a half in good weather, but that night it took us four hours to go eighty miles. When we got to Toppenish, we decided to stop at a hotel and get some rest. It wasn’t until we woke up the next morning that we actually thought about that truck with the bumper sticker. We marveled that no one had passed us all night. We both recognized the truck and the bumper sticker and we were certain it was the same truck.
Even in broad daylight, the harrowing adventure of the night before was still on our minds. We felt thrilled and lucky to be alive. We were convinced that the only way we survived that drive was because holy angels had been guiding our car all night long. We could find no other explanation for how that pickup got in front of us so we decided that the driver of the pickup must have been an angel.
Do you have an angel story?
(Feel free to share it at the bottom of this post.)