By Paula Hamilton


In Praise of Angels

If there is anything we want more than ever, in our age of technology and science, it’s a mystery. Something that harkens back to the wonder and awesomeness of this world. Something we often lose among the concrete and billboards. It seems like nothing else fills the bill quite like the subject of Angels. Their very name, “angel” means “messenger”. Finite beings possessing intelligence and will, yet unlike us, unhampered by a physical body and the limitations of them. Beings who converse with God as spirit to spirit, never having to struggle with doubt or misunderstanding. Who, when they will to do His will, do it with complete understanding. Beings whom God has generously sent to assist and guide us, with each of us possessing our own personal Guardian Angel. (Some, I’m sure, whose assignment causes them to work much harder than others.)

I have named my own Guardian Angel, Clarence. Perhaps out of love for Jimmy Stewart’s angel, in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. But, before you think I’m just being a bit quixotic, let me assure you, I have had more than a few encounters with him, and have seen him visually on two occasions. The first time I had an experience with my guardian angel, I didn’t know who it was. I was driving (I think home from work) and remember feeling extremely tired, but it was the middle of the day, and I really didn’t attach much importance to it.

Well, I must have fallen asleep at the wheel because the next thing I knew I was jerked awake by the wheel violently turning. I saw the car veering off towards the guardrail on my right. The steering wheel was moving to the left, taking my hands with it, and to my astonishment there was a small, curly blond haired angel in a white robe (sorry, no wings) pushing the right front end of my car back onto the road. I was so shocked. First from the realization that I had actually fallen asleep while driving, then from the horror of coming that close to death, and last (but definitely not least) that God was so truly watching over me! I drove all the way home (wide awake) in shock and gratitude.

I did not realize who he was, until I saw him again, years later. It seems I am always aware of him these days, much of that can probably be attributed to my children. But my most recent encounter with what I believe was an angel, came during the birth of my daughter, Lydia, this past August. The experience in the hospital was a general nightmare, thanks to managed care and short-sighted budgeting. Yet, I never expected the problems would be potentially life threatening. I went through the usual routine of answering questions on my health and allergy status, stressing my allergy to codeine, as it is pretty severe. The push to get me out the door one day sooner, resulted in the quick discontinuance of the IV pain med and my being switched to oral pain pills. What was unknown to me, was the med they were giving me had synthetic codeine in it. I was taking it every four hours, and after taking the third dose at midnight I tried fitfully to get to sleep. I remember waking up several times during the night to scratch, and feeling dizzy and disoriented. At one point I felt my throat closing up, but I was too disoriented to make anything of it.

Thankfully, the nurse was late in giving me another dose, because I am sure I would have died from an anaphylactic reaction. The next thing I knew a very tall doctor came in my room. I had never seen him before, and I remember noticing his eyes were an unusual color blue. He asked how I was feeling and quickly set about examining me. He told me I was having an allergic reaction to the medication they were giving me, and he was going out to the nurses’ station to discontinue it.

After a harrowing day and night spent trying to get that stuff out of my system, the terrible feeling lifted enough for me to go out to the nurses’ station and ask for the name of the doctor who saved my life. The nurse looked up the note he had written, but could not read the doctor’s name. Nobody seemed to know who he was. I asked her why he came into my room so early in the morning. She looked at the note he wrote, and said “It says here that you called for him because you were having an allergic reaction to the Percocet.” I stared at her, incredulous, and told her “I didn’t call him. I didn’t even know I was having an allergic reaction until he told me.” I slowly walked back to my room, sure that he had been an angel.

Now, two months later I cannot look at my daughter, Lydia, without thinking about God’s angels. Not only because she is so similar to one; but because just like the birth of a child, the mystery and awesomeness of angels is reflective of the mystery and awesomeness of God. Think about it. But, remember it’s just my onion pi.

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