The Bible gives us lots of information about angels:
- There are divine angels and fallen angels.
- They are created, heavenly beings.
- Angels are NOT men or women who were good on earth and therefore, BECOME angels. So no matter many good deeds you do here on earth, you will never become an angel and "get your wings". (Sorry Clarence)
- Every believer has a guardian angel.
- God uses angels in many ways.
Now...having said all that, the "angel" I encountered yesterday was NOT one of those. She was a "people angel". Let me explain.
I first learned about "people angels" back in the 1970's when I read an article written by Yvonne Nance. Yvonne worked for a publishing company and was at her wit's end with too much work, too much pressure and not enough time. She was ready to throw in the towel and yet, not being a quitter, she had cried out to God "Lord, Help me!" She had hardly gotten the words out of her mouth when her secretary announced she had a visitor...a good friend who she could not refuse to see...but an unwanted interruption and certainly not what she needed at that moment....or so she thought. Dr. Jim stopped by to ask a small favor and then began to tell her "about his brother-in-law who had been gloriously saved just the week before. My inner being began listening. Then he said "And to think this started when you introduced me to the Lord about three years ago!"
Yvonne did not even know that she had played a part in his salvation. She had just invested several hours helping him on a brochure and "planting a few seeds" and also gave him a small tract. In her words, "the thrill of the Holy Spirit just washed over me"! She told him that she had been ready to turn in her resignation just before he walked through the door. What he said next, just blew her away.
"I know", he said quietly, "I didn't come by to ask a favor. That was just an excuse. Really I was just a few blocks away from here when the Lord spoke to my heart saying "stop by Yvonne's office and tell her to keep up the good work....to keep on keeping on." Then he added, "Your work in this ministry is a blessing. Just keep up the good work." He prayed for her and left. But Yvonne's day and her perspective were totally changed.
"Suddenly, it hit me. God had sent an angel to meet me at the point of my greatest need that day! God cares about my cares. He loves me! Since that experience, I've come to believe that God uses "people-angels"....to give a word of encouragement, lend a helping hand, or just listen."
That message really impacted me and I've never forgotten it. I have been visited by people angels many times since then. Probably before, too, but just didn't recognize them. I can remember one of the first people angels I knowingly encountered....it was my mother! I had had a disagreement with my husband the night before and it was still lingering between us the next morning when I went to work. My mother and I worked for the same business, but she always arrived much earlier than I did. Just as I entered that morning, she met me in the hallway carrying the most beautiful bouquet of roses! She handed them to me and smiled and said "I brought these to you". I had been crying out to the Lord all the way to work that morning and although those words were coming out of her mouth, I knew in my heart, it was the Lord's way of saying to me, " I heard you...it's going to be ok". She had no idea that she had been a divine instrument that day, but she was....she was a people angel. Shortly after that, my husband called and asked me to meet him for lunch. All was well.
A few years later, I was a young stay-at-home mom. Money was tight in those days. I had looked forward so much to the time when I would be home and be able to attend the women's Bible studies that all of my friends talked about so much. However, the new study they were doing required you to buy the materials and I knew that we just didn't have the extra money. So I did not sign up. I never even mentioned it to my husband, because I did not want to make him feel bad that we could not afford it. But then there was a knock at the door, and there stood a lady from our church....the leader of the Bible study and a woman who had been one of my dearest teachers when I was a teenager. She had such a quiet demeanor about her. She didn't say a word...just handed me the curriculum. I looked at her questioningly and she said "Someone wanted you to have this." When I asked who, she just smiled and said "Someone who wants to remain anonymous." I don't KNOW for sure who that someone was, but I believe with all my heart, it was her. God knew the desire of my heart and he sent a "people angel" to respond. I was so blessed and so touched.
Sooooooooo, back to yesterday's encounter. My precious 92 year old mother-in-law has been experiencing some episodes of acting out dreams. The first came several months ago when she left home one night, drove around town, thinking she was looking for a church, and then "came to" and didn't realize where she was or how to get back to her house. For the most part, she is lucid and makes perfect sense. She is a go-getter who is still baking and canning and as spunky as ever. She has seen numerous doctors and been tested for Alzheimer's, scoring better than I probably would have. (I was with her and heard the questions, and I was not sure about some of the answers myself ..HA!) But the episodes had seemed to have lessened and we were hoping it was just medicine related. However, yesterday morning, she left home around 6:00 am in the dark and in the rain, thinking she was walking to a cemetary to carry flowers. She was looking for the group of friends who had been with her earlier (in her dream) and could no longer find. She walked almost 2 blocks from home before she realized something was wrong. Not having a fearful bone in her body, she chose the first house that had on a light. Her "people angel" came to the door and found a little 92 year old lady,dripping wet in a house dress with a hair net plastered to her head. Now many would not have opened the door, but this young woman did. She tried her best to get her to come inside, but she would not, afraid she would get her floor wet. So the young woman brought her a heavy bath towel and carefully wrapped it around her while allowing her to use the phone to call her daughter. Then she stood with her on the porch until I arrived to take her home. She was kind and compassionate and God used her to protect someone so dear and precious to us.
Yvonne Nance concluded with these words "I know I don't look like an angel; I don't act like one. But the Lord knows I'm available. I just blunder on to victory. And what a blessing! For I'm learning this: Troubled hearts are all around you, longing for a visit from a "people angel". And when the Lord impresses you to go to someone [or even when one appears on your doorstep!], He is preparing their heart to receive you."
Keep your eyes open. You may encounter a "people angel" today...or God may want YOU to be one yourself! Are you available???