Sunday, October 12, 2014
ARE YOU AN ANGEL OF GOD?
Since this is the last Sunday we will be talking about angels, our theme for October, I wanted to share my favorite angel story with you. But first I want to share some thoughts about angels from children.
Gregory, age 5, says "I only know of two angels: Hark and Harold."
Olivia, age 9, says, "Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it."
Matthew, also age 9, tells us how easy it is to become an angel. "First, you die. Then you go to heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those dresses."
Jack, age 6, says, "Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!"
"Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven," says Daniel, age 9, "The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead."
Reagan, age 10, has a more scientific approach. "When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado."
Vicki, age 8 explains, "Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it."
And finally, Sara age 6 is very knowledgeable about angels. She says, "Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter."
This is my favorite angel story from Beth Moore. She was in the airport at Knoxville, TN, waiting to board her plane and had been reading her Bible, when something happened she will never forget. She says the Spirit of God started working through her. She says it's a very scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. She had felt it before. She was just sitting there reading when a man in a wheelchair was pushed into the waiting area and left there. She tried to keep from staring but he was such a strange sight. Mostly skin and bones, dressed in clothes that were too big for him and his hands looked so frail. The strangest part about him was his long, stringy gray hair that hung well over his shoulders and part way down his back.
Suddenly Beth felt "awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man." She said, "I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall." When she started feeling that way, she knew something dramatic was bound to happen. She began to resist and started arguing with God in her mind, looking up at the ceiling. "Oh, no, God, please, no. Don't make me witness to this man. Please, I'll do anything, put me on the plane, but don't make me witness to this man in front of all these gawking people."
God, of course, ignored her pleas and spoke to her saying, "I don't want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair." She said the words were so clear that her heart leapt into her throat and her head began to spin. She tried again to argue with God, but God was firm and said again, "I don't want you to witness to him, I want you to go brush his hair."
Now how often do you hear the word from God so clear? How often to you obey what your soul is telling you to do no matter how bizarre? Probably not too often.
So Beth tried one more time. "God, I don't have a hairbrush. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush? But God was not taking any excuses and Beth found herself walking toward the man. She stumbled over her feet on the way to the wheelchair and butterflies started flying around in her stomach. She says every time she thinks of this event, she can still feel those butterflies.
She knelt down in front of the man and said as demurely as possible under the circumstances, "Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?" He looked at her puzzled and said, "What did you say?" She repeated, "May I brush your hair?" He looked at her again and responded in a loud voice, "Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you're going to have to talk louder than that."
At this point, she took a deep breath and blurted out, "SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?" Every eye in the place darted right at her. Her face turned crimson and her forehead broke out in a sweat as she waited for his answer. He looked up at her with absolute shock on his face and answered haltingly, "If you really want to."
"Are you kidding?" she said to herself. Of course she didn't want to, but God didn't seem interested in her personal preference right about then. He pressed on her heart until she could utter the words, "Yes, sir, I would be pleased but I have one little problem. I don't have a hairbrush." He replied, "I have one in my bag." She stood up and went around the wheelchair, got on her hands and knees again and unzipped the stranger's old carry-on, hardly believing what she was doing. She stood up, took a deep breath, and started brushing the old man's hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was all tangled and matted. She started brushing from the bottom as she often did for her daughters.
And a miraculous thing happened to her as she started brushing that old man's hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. She said, "There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and brushed until every tangle was out that hair. I know this sounds so strange, but I've never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart—for that few minutes—I felt a portion of the very love of God and I knew the angels were supporting me. ';/God had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making himself at home for a short time. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God's."
When she finished, his hair was finally soft and smooth as an infant's. She slipped the brush back in his bag and went around the chair to face him. She got back down on her knees and put her hands on his knees. The man looked at her with grateful tears and said, "I'm on my way home. I haven't seen my bride in months. I've had open heart surgery and she has been too ill to come to me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride. Thank you so much."
The stewardess came at that moment and took the man to board his plane. She came back with tears streaming down her cheeks. She said to Beth, "That old man's sitting on that plane sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?" Beth rose to her feet and replied, "Oh, you know. God can be the bossiest thing." And she boarded her own plane.
Beth was one of God's angels that day. She says about her experience, "Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we're completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I'll never forget it. I was deeply ashamed of how I'd acted earlier. I learned something about God that day. God knows if you are exhausted, you're hungry, you're serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you are sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. He knows if you just need your hair brushed. I wondered how many opportunities just like that one I had missed along the way, all because I didn't want people to think I was strange. God didn't send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me."
Do you know when angels are working in your life or working as your life? Do you argue with the angels, with God because you don't want others to think you are strange? Do you ignore the subtle messages of the angels encouraging you to help someone or do you wait until God takes hold of your heart and you find yourself walking towards an old man? We are all angels in training. It is our responsibility to listen to our inner guidance and do God's work with our hands, expressing God's love through heartfelt service. Some day we won't need to be nudged or ordered, we will be full angels, knowing what to do without even being told. We are all angels.