Ever since I was a young girl, I have been fascinated by the concept of guardian angels. Probably because I have always been in dire need of one.
Every morning before school, my mom would instruct my three sisters and me to "take our guardian angels with us," and we would roll our eyes, of course. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's in the backpack."
But I can't help but wonder if that's why my twin sister walked home from a car accident that surely should have taken her life and how I managed not to get mugged all those nights I passed out cold in the off-campus housing area of the University of Dayton called "the ghetto."
The writings of bestselling author (and friend) Joan Wester Anderson, especially, have long inspired me. I get goose bumps every time I read her story about her son and a friend being saved by an angel in the middle of a snowstorm on an isolated country road in Indiana.
A tow truck appeared out of the blue, offered to pull the stalled car to a nearby friend's house. But as soon as the two boys turned around to pay the kind and generous man, he was gone. And there was just one set of tire tracks in the snow: that of the boy's car (not the tow truck).
Writes Anderson in "Where Angels Walk":
Angels don't submit to litmus tests, testify in court or slide under a microscope for examination. Thus their existence cannot be 'proved' by the guidelines we humans usually use. To know one, perhaps, requires a willingness to suspend judgment, to open ourselves to possibilities we've only dreamed about. Was it an angel? Our family will never know for sure. But on Christmas Eve in 1983, I heard the whisper of wings as a tow-truck driver answered a heavenly summons, and brought our son safely home.
Joan now has company because another believer, or translator, if I can use that term, has published a book of conversations with angels. In "Angels In My Hair," Irish mystic and author Lorna Fitzgerald Byrne describes her encounters and conversations with angels, and in doing so, offers readers a message of hope and love. She writes:
As you sit there reading this--whether you believe it or not--there is an angel by your side: it is your guardian angel, and it never leaves you. Each one of us have been given a gift, a shield made from the energy of light. It is a part of the guardian angel's task to put this shield around us.
To God and the angels we are all equal; we all deserve to be protected, to be cared for, and to be loved, regardless of what others might think of us--good or bad. When I look at someone I can physically see this shield around them; it's as if it's alive.
Your guardian angel is the gatekeeper of your body and your soul. He was assigned to you before you were even conceived; as you grew in your mother's womb he was there with you at every moment, protecting you. Once you were born and as you grow up your guardian angel never leaves your side for an instant; he is with you when you sleep, when you are in the bathroom, all the time--you are never alone. Then, when you die, your guardian angel is there beside you, helping you to pass over.
Byrne was brought up in poverty and suffered from learning disabilities, and has had her share of skeptics. Yet she's won over many who were not prepared her sense of serenity and innocence. The Irish mystic once told a reporter that she doesn't like to call herself a psychic, and is even afraid to say she is a healer even though she says she sees things about a person's life and helps the person to understand it.
She also refuses to "tell fortunes," explaining that she feels "that is too dangerous."
I confess that I am still a tad skeptical. My theological training has me questioning some of Byrne's simplicity. However, "Angels In My Hair" certainly proved to be an engrossing tale that managed to intrigue and inspire even this cynic.
I hope Lorna is right about an angel sitting with me as I write this. I could the company and protection.
What about you? Do you believe in angels?