Monday, October 10, 2011

Do You Believe In Angels?

I've been fascinated with the idea of angels for a long time. The Bible is full of them.
Angelic beings that come down from Heaven to give a message, a warning or an announcement of the greatest importance. I wonder what they looked like, really. Various accounts describe them as 'shining' or 'glowing'. Do they take the form of a deceased relative or friend? I don't know.
Obviously, according to biblical account, they can be seen by the human eye, and can be understood when they speak. We can be pretty sure they live in Heaven, but do they still pop down to earth today to do God's will? That would seem to have been the case in biblical times, but you really don't hear a lot about angels today.
Maybe it's because the whole concept of the spiritual realm beyond what we know on earth is just too difficult to imagine. Maybe it's even a little scary. Unbelievable even.
When we encounter things we don't understand or can't comprehend, our instinct is to shy away. Don't talk about it because someone might start asking questions. And then we'd have to explain...and how to explain the things we can't?
There is so much of God we will never come close to experiencing. Partly by choice, partly by geographical limitations. I am often reminded of something Beth Moore said in one of her studies:
"We see little because we believe little. We believe little because we see little."
There are two times in my life that I'm pretty sure I was in the presence of angelic beings.
Once when I was around ten years old, my parents had left me in the care of friends in England, while they took a holiday by themselves. They were delayed in their return and I was afraid. I was often afraid growing up, afraid of being abandoned again. It's one of the perks of being an adopted child. You can never quite believe anybody actually wants you. I'd convinced myself that my parents weren't coming back. I cried myself to sleep.
And sometime during that long dark night, I woke. To this day I wonder if I dreamed it, but there were three 'people' in the room with me. Ghosts, angels, I don't really know. Two men who looked like my deceased grandfathers, and then standing between them, what my child's mind identified as someone who looked like the Jesus in my bible stories. At first I was afraid, but then I remember a very peaceful feeling coming over me. No words were spoken. None were needed I suppose, and I went back to sleep. My parents returned the next day.
I don't think I was dreaming because that image has stayed with me all these years.
It has come back to me in moments of extreme despair, during times of serious doubt. And I know what I believe. Who I believe in.
Another time, a year or so later, I was with a group of mentally challenged children that my godparents worked with. We'd been to the sea and we were waiting to cross the road to go back to our mini-bus. A big boy suddenly lunged forward into oncoming traffic.
And out of nowhere, he was somehow suddenly deposited back on the sidewalk. Safe and sound.
I can't explain that.
I can't explain why I saw my two grandfathers in a moment of deep sorrow. I can't explain why I thought Jesus was there too. I can't explain why I heard my mother's voice tell me goodnight the day she died. Or how my husband suddenly looked toward the pool on the day our two year-old son decided he could swim without his armbands.
But you know, I don't need to. I accept the fact that God works in mysterious ways.
I love that.
I love knowing that maybe there are things unseen, things we may never understand, things at work behind the scenes to help us, guide and protect us as we live our lives here on earth.
So yes, I do believe in angels. And I'm looking forward to seeing them in all their glory one day. That's going to be one choir I'll enjoy.

What do you think? Do you believe in angels? Have you had any experiences with things you just can't explain?


Julie Jarnagin said...

I definitely believe in angels, and I love hearing stories about encounters with them. I think it's fascinating!

Catherine West said...

Thanks, Julie, me too!!