"You are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie...
In the arms of the angel,
may you find some comfort here..."
- Sarah Maclachlan
I know I've used Sarah's "Angel" as the keynote for another post...but I can't argue with my own angels when they suggest a song in connection with a recalled spirtual experience.
Mary Baker Eddy defines "angels" in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as:
ANGELS. God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality.
So, here's another angel-based true story, exactly the right companion for this very special song.
It was a perfectly cloudless, early autumn Colorado day. Standing ankle-deep in soft September grass, just under the shadow of the Collegiates, I was awash in wonder. The voice of the Arkansas River...whispering her song through the air with a sweetness that swirled and pooled around me like a diaphanous, silken scarf...was so close I could almost feel the spray gathering, like dewdrops along a blade of grass, on each strand of hair.
The day couldn't have been more wonderful. Long-held hopes were on the verge of being realized, our children were all happily engaged in activities and interests they loved, and each challenge faced only turned us more quickly to that inward "kingdom of heaven," where the only peace worth pursuing was imminently, and infinitely, available every moment.
I turned my face upwards to soak the long, hot rays of the sunlight into the depths of my being. This was a good day...a very, very good day.
With that thought, my cell phone started ringing and I excused myself from the company of a guide I was exploring new mountain terrain with. We didn't know eachother well, but in the course of our conversations, I'd already explained that in my work, I provided spiritual support to people who were in need. And, that if a call came in I would need to step aside and take it...no matter where we were, in conversation or in navigating the landscape.
She was gracious in moving, well out of hearing range, as soon as she heard the phone begin to ring, and after taking the call I returned to where she was standing. She could tell immediately that the call had not been the kind I'd expected. I was on the verge of tears. The call had been about a loved one in crisis. And rather than being the one to offer support, I was the one who longed for a strong spiritual "shoring up."
She asked me if I needed anything, and I blurted out, "I need to pray..." Her response was instant. She asked me if I would like for her to pray with me. I said, "yes." And before I could even take in another deeply drawn breath, this "angel," whose religious-affiliation, philosophy of life, and/or take on the relationship between Jesus and God were completely unbeknownst, and unimportant to me, took my hands in hers and began to pray aloud. I was immediately comforted, grateful, and humbled.
She didn't ask about my religious leanings, whether I loved Jesus, or if I wanted her to pray silently or audibly...she just prayed. There was no priestliness, or hierarchy in her response. It was clear, in her heart we were both obedient children, humble servants of a loving God. Her words were filled with innocence and grace, and they flowed as effortlessly, and as purely, as the waters of the Arkansas River.
Her courage, in offering to pray with me, was full of the kind of primitive spiritual fellowship I longed for in my sense of community. I was deeply touched. I wanted to know this woman...forever. I hope I will.
The urgency of the caller's situation was quickly down-graded. But this story isn't about that. It is about the courage of an angel who didn't hesitate...for one second...in offering to meet me where I was and walk me out of a dark moment into the light of Love.
I pray each day for this kind of boldness in Christ. Thank you, dear "stranger" for your fellowship and compassion...for binding up my wounds and pouring in the oil of your gentleness, your consecration to what you know and believe, and your charity towards a fellow traveler.
Kate Robertson, CS