How to know if you’ve seen an angel

Recently my wife and I were having a very interesting discussion. It was over whether we had just seen an angel. My wife being the more passionate one, expressed her fascination by repeating the same thing over and over” babe I think we just saw an angel, babe do you think that was angel? Babe, babe, angels are real. Do you think that was angel? ” Unable to respond to 20 questions at once my brain and mouth shut down for about 30 seconds until I gave my most eloquent answer ” I don’t know.”

So here’s what happened. My wife and I had just finished a day of ministry. We were returning home, tired and drained from a long weekend of activity. While driving home, my wife proceeded to put on her passenger seat drivers hat and encourage me to slow down. “Babe I’m going the same speed as traffic”. ‘I know but slow down our son is in the back’.  I told her to not worry, and go to sleep, to which she replied just slow down. I knew this would mean we would get home 1 minute and 43 seconds later but I had to give in. Eventually as we were changing lanes we heard a pop, my wife told me to pull over, luckily changing lanes was not too much of a hazard and we pull off to the side of the freeway.  As cars are whizzing by at over 70 miles per hour I look back at my little son still sleeping in his car seat. At least he’s sleep I thought, but having cars fly by while you have your wife and toddler in the car is never  comforting. I  got out the car to check the damage and yep the back tire was done. Tired and frustrated I popped the trunk and searched for the spare and jack. I was a little disturbed, because after a long weekend the last thing I wanted to do was get on my knees and prop up the jack and change a tire, especially with a bunch of lunatic drivers whizzing by.

As I was contemplating this thought amazingly I noticed a white metro truck pulling over. Wow what are the chances of that, just as I was getting putting on my pouty face this stranger appears, pops out of his Metro (County)tow truck and asks what happened. I pointed to the tire. Immediately after looking at the damage done he proceeded to get his jack, which is far better than the one I owned, removed the flat and efficiently and kindly takes care of the problem. I was amazed at the strangers kindness and servant hood. He didn’t talk much, just smiled, went in and began helping. Not to be insulting but superb customer service does not usually happen with government employees. This guy just seemed weird, different.  After replacing the tire he let us know that we would be able to make it home on the donut, but to drive slowly and carefully. After giving him a tip for his service we slowly pulled on to the Daytona 500, and watched his truck disappear into the background.

I believe in angels. I believe they are real. I don’t believe they are confined to Anaheim, and that they are summoned by flapping one’s arms like wings. A couple of weeks ago I thought that maybe one person had the ability to summon angels on demand, because there were times I didn’t know how his throws made it to his receivers.  Apparently they were called off duty in New England but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them. All kidding aside, angels do exist. Scripture speaks much about them. Many of the characters in the Bible have seen angels, unfortunately none of them wear diapers and carry bow and arrows.  I never understood the whole diapers on baby angels I mean do you really think there are bathrooms in heaven or trashcans to dispose of babie’s diapers.

All foolishness aside popular culture’s depiction of angels is often far different from the biblical descriptions. Most of the angels we come across in scriptures have the appearance of normal people. Often times their angelic qualities aren’t discovered until they leave, or do something extraordinary.

One of my favorite scriptures concerning angels is found in Hebrews 1:14

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

The other one is found in Psalms 91:11

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.

We learn alot from these scriptures about the nature of angels. The first is that angels do not operate on their own authority. In both scriptures angels are given specific commands to obey and enact. Angels are specifically sent to minister to those who will inherit salvation. The word serve can mean different things, but in the case of the second scripture in Psalms, the serving can come in the means of protection.

So was the stranger that helped my family an angel? I think so, but maybe not in the way we commonly understand angel.The english word Angel comes from the greek, ‘angelos’, which can be translated as messenger. Angels are God’s instruments or messengers for delivering specific announcements or interventions on behalf of God’s people. This stranger was used by God as an instrument to provide a service to my family in a time of need. Practically as I was pondering the other-worldliness of this messenger, I thought about this, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we served and loved our neighbors and communities in such a way that they would wonder if we were angels.” This is what the church should be, a touch of the other world. So whether the guy that changed my tire was from heaven or not, his grace and humility in serving made me glorify God because I know he ministered to my family in a time of need. This is what I want to be, and hope that you will be to, ministers who serve the world without wanting recognition or praise, but living and serving our lives to the glory of the father.

So to answer the question posted in the blog, how do you know if you’ve seen an angel? Don’t look for the wings, but look for a heart of love.

In Christ, The Herald

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1 Comment

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One response to “How to know if you’ve seen an angel

  1. Awesome post! I had a similar experience before we left California. You can read about it here: http://sheridanrichards.com/?p=1254

    God is awesome and His angels are real. I love the way you encourage us to BE that touch of heaven. I believe that is the gospel in action. Keep writing and preaching. Miss y’all.

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