I’ll just tell you what happened and you can decide what to do with it.
Doctor Jim is my dentist, but he looks like a weight lifter. He married the campus beauty, Celeste, right out of college, and they are the parents of two outstanding children. Their youngest, Eve, will turn four in a couple of days. This story is about her.
A couple of weeks ago, Celeste’s grandmother died at the age of 86. A photo of her on Celeste’s office desk shows a lovely white-haired lady with the two grandchildren adoring and being adored. Prior to her death, Celeste spent a lot of time ministering to her, and Dr. Jim was back and forth across the state with the children. A few days after the funeral, the three-year-old Eve said something that stunned Celeste.
“Mommy, I saw Aunt Barbara.”
“No, honey,” said the mother. “You saw Aunt Wanda, grandmother’s sister.”
“No, I saw Aunt Barbara. Bar-BRA!” As only a small child can emphasize it.
Celeste’s aunt Barbara, one of her favorite people, died when Celeste was twelve. She has never mentioned her to her child. So, this was puzzling.
“When did you see Aunt Barbara, honey?”
“I saw her in Grandmother’s room, standing by the bed.”
“What was she doing?”
“She wasn’t doing anything. Just holding her hand.”
Then Celeste said, “What did Aunt Barbara look like?”
“She had long blonde hair.”
Not only had Celeste never mentioned her aunt to the child, Dr. Jim says she had never even told him the beloved relative had long blonde hair.
“Honey, how did you know it was Aunt Barbara?”
As only a three-year-old can do, Eve said, “I don’t want to talk about it any more.” And that was that.
My longtime friend Ann Allen tells me this one. Recently, our mutual friend Holly and her husband and three children went to Mobile to visit her inlaws. While there, grandpa wanted to take them all sailing. Holly thought it was too windy, but the men assured her everything was fine. Grandma kept the one-year-old, but the other two (twin boys, age four) excitedly went along.
At the dock, Holly’s husband asked his father if there were not too many people for the small boat–a sister and her boyfriend were also along. “Everything is fine,” he said.
On the river, before they made it to the bay, the person at the wheel turned the boat sharply and it capsized, flipping everyone into the water. Fortunately, the four-year-olds were wearing life jackets, but the adults were not.
The whole group was in the water a half hour before another boat happened by. They took the party to shore and from there, they rushed to the hospital. In the emergency room, the twins each had body temperatures of 85 degrees. The boys were not traumatized, and Holly thinks the cold water might have helped with that. It was she who was scared, particularly that little Caroline might be orphaned. She prayed fervently the whole time.
Several days later, Ian, one of the twins, said, “Mama, do you remember the angels?” She asked what he was talking about. “The angels in the boat.” Again, she asked what in the world he meant. He said, “Mama, don’t you remember the angels on the boat that came to get us when we were in the water? They were right there, Mama, on the boat.”
Ann adds, “Guess that boat didn’t just ‘happen along’ after all.”
Is it only small children who see angels?
Ron Satterwhite is the new pastor of a church outside Jayess, Mississippi. He and his wife have a daughter, Amber, who was featured in the Florida Baptist Witness a couple of years ago, and that’s how we came to know each other. I wrote to them, and later they moved to New Orleans where Ron finished his seminary degree.
Amber had had convulsions all her life, but at that time, she had one that would not turn her loose. In the Intensive Care Unit at the Spartanburg hospital, where they were living and pastoring at the time, the doctors prepared the family either for her death or for a Terry-Shiavo-type existence. Ron, his wife, and their son Jason lived at the hospital for many days.
One day when Jason was staying in the ICU room with Amber, he decided to walk down the hall for a coke. That’s where he met Joy, a volunteer with the hospital who noticed he seemed burdened and asked what was troubling him. After hearing about his sister, Joy said, “Would you like me to go with you and pray for her?”
In the room, Joy and Jason held hands and she offered up a prayer for Amber. Before she left, she handed Jason a ten dollar bill.
A little while later, as Amber began to stir, the parents arrived. Jason told them about the lady named Joy who had come in and prayed and given him ten dollars. As Amber continued improving, they began to seek out this marvelous hospital volunteer whose prayer God was surely answering.
“We have no volunteer by that name,” the hospital told them. Even after searching their files, the officials could find no hospital worker or volunteer by that name. And they never saw her again.
Somehow, it sure seems fitting for an angel to be named Joy, doesn’t it.
I have drawn no conclusions from any of these stories, but leave it for you. Those who read this article on our website (www.joemckeever.com) will be interested to read your thoughts and conclusions and I hope you will feel free to leave them there.
I will say this: there is more that goes on in this world–seen and unseen–than any of us realize. And the spirit world is not “way out yonder somewhere,” but right next to us.
My standard for interpreting these and other similar angel-appearance-events is always the Word of God. As Paul said in Galatians 1, “Even though an angel of the Lord (says something other than what is in the word)…let him be accursed.”
If you have a similar story, please leave it with us at the end of this article on our website.