#4 - Angels Among Us

So I'll say right away that I believe in a higher power, but I'm not enthused about the dogma of religion. I was raised in various churches, but I've found my own spiritual path as I've gotten older.

I also believe in angels, because I believe I've had several encounters with them, and something I can't explain has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. So if I'd had one, even two, strange occurrences I would've thought nothing of it because - while deeply spiritual - I am also stubbornly logical and tend to look for an ordinary explanation for things first.

The first encounter I had was when I was around five years old. My younger brother and I were up early one morning, and stepped outside to play in the back yard. I vividly remember standing on the back porch and closing the door behind us because the door knob was just below my face. It was a cloudy, cool morning.

When I turned around, I saw a human-shaped being standing in the yard, next to the fence on the left. It was very tall, and appeared to have golden flames all around it. It looked like the kaleidoscope of colors you see in a prism, only poured over gold.

It either had arms that were stretched upwards toward the sky, or wings. The flame effect made that part unclear. I stared at it for several seconds, unafraid, just trying to sort out what I was looking at. I finally looked at my brother to see if he was seeing it, too, and he clearly was, as he was staring that way.

When I looked back, it was gone.

I've wondered over the years if I really saw what I saw because I was so young and time has a way of warping memories. My brother doesn't remember it, but he was maybe only 4 at the time. We both remember, however, that we made up an imaginative little game to play in the yard about the "ghost" we saw. We played the game many times, and that was what it was based on, so I don't know.

The second occurrence happened when I was a teenager and worked at the local hospital. It was New Years Day, and I worked a long shift that morning. When I was driving home, my car died just as I drove up and over a railroad track on a back road. There were houses along the road, but it was a pretty bad neighborhood and I was a young girl in a somewhat short skirt (that was in the late 80s).

I managed to coast to the side of the road, out of the way, and remember sending up a little prayer as I did so. That was before there were cell phones and I was pretty shaken up about what to do.

I sat there for less than a minute before a church van pulled up and parked in front of me. An old man got out and came to the window. I cracked the window and he smiled and asked if I needed a ride. He looked small and very non-threatening so I asked if he could take me back to the hospital so I could call my parents. He said 'of course' so I got in the van with him. I know that'll cause some alarm amongst some reading this, but he looked old and a bit frail, and I was young, strong, and nearly six feet tall. So there's that.

It only took a few minutes to get back to the hospital, and I remember that we talked about cooking black-eyed peas since it was New Year's Day. He dropped me at the front of the building, which had a huge wall of windows.

I thanked him, hopped out, and walked the short distance to the doors. As I grabbed the handle, I thought to look at the name of the church on his van so I could mention it to my parents. But when I turned to look, the van was gone.

Now, when I say gone, it was gone. The driveway leading up to the front was a very long semi-circular driveway that had parking all along one side. There were only a few cars since it was a holiday so the lot was clearly visible. He would've had to have floored it and get all the way to the street (which was also visible from my vantage point), and then tear down the street to have disappeared that way.

To say I was surprised is an understatement. I have no explanation for that, but I sure am thankful that whoever - or whatever - he was, he got me out of that neighborhood and gave me a ride.

My third occurrence came several years later in my early 20s. I was married and lived in apartments that had open parking out in a lot. I used to like to go to the gym in the evenings, when there were less people, so I often left my place after dark.

My routine was to stop at the edge of the breezeway of the building, do a quick scan of the parking lot, then proceed to the car if there wasn't any sign of danger. That's what I did this particular Saturday evening, and since it was the weekend, there was not a lot of cars out there and I could see well.

My husband's truck was parked right next to the breezeway so it was a short walk to it. I was standing next to the door, digging around for the right key, when I heard a very distinct voice in my head say, "Get in the truck." It meant business and suddenly alarm bells went off in my head, too.

Flustered, I jammed the key in the door (no remote), hopped in, and slammed and locked the door behind me. I wondered what the heck was going on and that's when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a man standing at the back of the truck. He was looking at me in the mirror and our eyes met for just a minute. He was scowling.

I was so shocked that I just sat there. I hadn't seen him in the parking lot when I looked around before. He quickly walked away and it didn't take long for my shock to turn to anger. I started the truck and drove slowly through the parking lot, looking for him. I'm not sure what I thought I was going to do or say, maybe nothing, but it didn't matter because he had melted into the shadows and was gone.

I've thought about that voice a lot over the years. It was neither male nor female, that I can recall, but it was very loud and very firm. I've often wondered if it was the same being I saw when I was five...a guardian angel, perhaps.

I've had other nudges that have kept me safe while driving. Once, I was behind a pickup truck hauling some furniture on the freeway, and we were both in the fast lane doing about 70 miles per hour. A voice - not as loud as the one I just mentioned - told me to change lanes. As soon as I did, a dresser flew out of the back and landed on the road where I had just been.

Another nudge told me to get out of the left lane on the highway and get in the far right lane just before my tire blew on my car and went rolling down the road, leaving me on my rim. And then another nudge years later when the same thing happened to a BMW that was in front of me. I changed lanes in time to avoid its tire rolling off the rim.

There have been numerous moments like that, where something has kept me safe.

Why, I don't know. I take it to mean there's something important I still need to do here. And maybe I'm just more open to seeing things like that, and giving credit where credit is due. Maybe that sort of thing happens to everyone, but most people just blow it off.

What about you? Do you believe in angels? Leave me a message if you'd like to share your own story of an angelic encounter with us!