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Angel Escort

During my seven years as a hospice volunteer, I had only one truly unexplainable encounter with what I believe to be an angel. On Valentines day, 1997, I was in the home of dear friends whose son—I will call him Bill—was dying of AIDS. The care he needed took the efforts of his mom, dad, sister, a nurse and me. While taking a break in the living room that day, I was surprised to hear a knock at the front door. This startled me because the house was in a rural part of Mississippi, and there was a long gravel driveway which sounded the approach of any car rolling in over the loose gravel. From inside the house, you could clearly hear the crunch of tires on the rocks. Well I had not heard this sound, so I went to the door wondering what was up. There stood a lady stranger, and behind her in the driveway was parked a large customized van. I couldn't imagine how it had gotten there without my hearing it.

I asked, "May I help you?" She replied, "God sent me here to pray for Bill." Not knowing this woman, I asked Bill's mother if this stranger could come in and pray for Bill? She said, "Please, let her in!" I did.

Bill was in a bad way on this day. Since morning he'd had his eyes open and arms raised off the bed toward the ceiling as if he were fixed on an object he was reaching for.

The stranger came in and walked directly toward the room where Bill was without any indication from me where he was. She carried two large Bibles, one in each arm. My first thought was that she looked like Moses from the movie, "The Ten Commandments," carrying the tablets on which the Commandments had been written. I followed behind her.

She entered Bill's room and immediately began to pray in a very charismatic way which made me a little uncomfortable having been raised Catholic. To me prayer was less animated and a lot more quiet than this woman prayed. I thought it best to wait in the living room.

I sat near the baby monitor receiver we kept there and listened to the stranger pray and to the sobs of Bill's grieving mother. Moments later, I heard his mother cry out, "Oh, God, no.... He's gone. No, please God, no!" Had Bill's time come?

I rushed in to check his vital signs. The stranger continued praying. She seemed to pray louder than before, almost rejoicing. It was true, Bill had passed on. The others in the house came in, and we all began to cry and hug each other.

My job was to call the hospice nurse who in turn would call the police and coroner to come and remove Bill's body. I made the call, and we mourned together while we waited and the stranger prayed.

The hospice nurse arrived first, but we were all crying and did not hear her drive up the gravel driveway. When she came into Bill's room, the stranger abruptly closed her Bibles and prepared to leave. She came to me and asked if I had seen her keys? I said no, but offered to help her find them.

I don't know why, but I began to search in rooms that the woman had not even entered. In my state of grief, I wasn't thinking clearly. After searching, I could not find the keys, and I went to tell her. But she was already gone. I looked outside. Her van was gone from the driveway. I saw only the nurse's car, and I knew the nurse had to be parked behind this large van and must have moved her car to let the stranger leave. I asked the nurse about the lady, and she replied, "What lady?" I said, "The woman in the van parked in front of you." But the nurse had not seen a van in the driveway. "You didn't see the woman with two large Bibles leave the house?" She had not seen the stranger at all. Only Bill's family and I had seen her.

The nurse commented that this was not the first time a story like this had surfaced in her profession, and she concluded: "The stranger you saw was an Angel Escort." She had no doubt.

And neither do I.

Bruce Breauxam

 

 

 
   
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