Today’s God Calling message speaks about our loved ones. It speaks of loved ones alive and in the Spirit-our brothers and sisters in Christ, and of our dear ones who have gone ahead of us into the eternal kingdom. It also speaks of angels who are there and sent to minister to us.
Luke 16:19-31 tells the story of the rich man and the beggar, Lazarus. The rich man, being tormented in hell, asks Father Abraham to send someone to his brothers who are still alive to warn them. This is not a parable. Jesus uses Abraham’s name and calls the beggar by name, Lazarus. Nowhere, in any of the other parables, does Jesus name anyone. Remember when Jesus said that there would be some who would come to Him, calling Him “Lord”? And Jesus said, “I’ll say to them, ‘Depart from me you workers of iniquity; I never knew you.” The rich man’s name was not written in the Book of Life.
When my mother passed away, I was quite worried that she hadn’t passed in peace. She’d been afraid that God didn’t love her and that she was being punished. We kept assuring her that Jesus did love her. I wasn’t with her in her last moments; she passed before anyone could get to the hospital. About six weeks after her death, I had a dream of her. Her grave opened up like French doors and she stepped out wearing her favorite red formal gown. She was smiling as she walked into a house where there were other family members who had passed away. I found myself on the other side of the room, with other members of our family who were still living. She looked at me and smiled and nodded her head, as if to say that she knew I was worried, but that I needn’t worry because she was not only at peace, but very happy. I believe that was the Lord’s way of letting me know that she was indeed happily at home with Him and other loved ones.
I’ve had experiences that left no room for doubt about angels. Some angels are un-seen; some appear, for whatever reason, in human form. Perhaps, they appear to us as humans because we might be frightened by their size and their countenance.
Once, during a sledding party, my son was going downhill very fast on his little round toboggan. He hit quite a big enough bump at top speed. Suddenly, my son holding on to his toboggan did a barrel-roll in mid-air. Of course, as Mom, I was frightened out of my wits and jumped forward, ready to go downhill to him. I was sure he was going to crash. Miraculously, he didn’t. He landed upright and kept right on downhill to the bottom. I believe we both had the same stunned look of disbelief on our faces. As he was bringing his toboggan back uphill, I flashed on a “vision” of an angel sitting behind him on that toboggan, wide-eyed and hanging on for dear life. I had to smile. “Thanks, Lord”, I whispered. Someday, when our lives are replayed, I believe we’ll get to see a lot of moments such as that one. We may be able to see all those angels that were sent to us; angels that went before and behind to protect us, and all the others that were with us when we weren’t even aware.