Weekly Devotional

Angels Among Us

Do you believe in angels?

Written by GodLife on 30/01/2023
Tags: Hope, Prayer, Angels

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 13:2

Angels Among Us

Not all angels have wings.  Some have corduroy blazers.

At least that’s how the one I believe I met was dressed when I saw him in 2001. I was studying abroad that summer, in Madrid, Spain, and one particularly long weekend we traveled to Barcelona to stay with some Spanish friends.

On the last day of our trip, our friends had to leave town but said they would place a key under the doormat of their apartment so we could retrieve our backpacks before returning to Madrid.  After spending the day at the beach (lounging in the sun and feeling like the luckiest people on the planet) we headed back to the apartment, only a few hours to spare before our train departed.

When we got there, we discovered that the mat under which the key was supposed to be hidden was inside a locked foyer. There was no way to get in.  After a bit of panic, we decided we would wait until one of the residents arrived and have them open it for us. So we waited,  and waited, and waited. 

The apartment had a second story balcony facing the street, so I tried putting my roommate on my shoulders, but I wasn’t tall enough. She couldn’t reach it. Eventually the apartment manager came to see what we were up to. We explained in broken Spanish that we knew this couple who lived there and how they had left a key for us, but he didn’t buy a word of it.  He left us there on the sidewalk to wait in the heat, apparently hoping we would eventually leave. 

We did, at least temporarily, leave to make a phone call from a bar down the street.  We were hoping the fire department would be our heroes, arriving with a ladder to gain access to the balcony.  But it didn’t happen that way. They never showed.

With only an hour left until our departure time, and being a good 40 minutes away from the train station, we began getting desperate. Our tickets were expensive and non-refundable, and we had to be at work the following day.

It wasn’t a fancy prayer. Just a short one of desperation…

Neither one of us considered ourselves particularly spiritual, but we decided to pray. It wasn’t a fancy prayer. Just a short one of desperation. We waited another 10 minutes or so, wondering if this effort, too, would prove futile.

And then we saw him. At the far end of the street. He was easy to spot; very tall with dark skin, quite unlike the typical 5-foot, 9-inch lighter-skinned Spaniards we had grown accustomed to.

He walked calmly toward us with a slow, methodical stride. I remember he was wearing a corduroy blazer; for some reason that stuck in my head. He walked directly to us and stopped.  In Spanish, he asked if we needed some help. I immediately explained our situation, asking if he would be kind enough to give my roommate a boost so she could climb over the apartment balcony to get our key.  He kindly nodded, hoisting her up on his tall, broad shoulders, and I couldn’t help as I watched to feel almost giddy, the sense of relief washing over me, like the cool air pushing out of an air-conditioning vent on a scorching day.

It took her only a second to get the door open. My eyes were glued to her, looking up in anticipation. Once she got in, I turned to thank the kind man who had saved the day. But he was gone. I looked around the corner, but he was nowhere to be found, almost as if he’d been vaporized in the heat waves coming off the cobblestone streets. At the moment, I didn’t have time to ponder it further. My roommate handed me my backpack and we ran to the station just in time to hop on our train.

Later, I considered this mysterious stranger. Was he just a kind man, one of those who had been at the right place at the right time, a nice guy willing to help? Or had he been something more,  an angel, perhaps?  Certainly I wouldn’t be the first in history to believe they’d been visited by one of these supernatural Good Samaritans. There are countless examples of notable figures and regular folks alike who believed they had heavenly visits, or were helped along the way by some unknown person who later vanished without a trace. The famous English poet and painter, William Blake, for instance, claimed at a young age to have seen a tree filled with angels, only the first of many such visions that he would experience throughout his life.

In the Bible, angels are a regular part of the lives of those who follow God, and are most often described as heavenly messengers. In the Christmas nativity story, for example, angels announce to a group of shepherds gathered outside Bethlehem that the Savior of the world has been born (Luke 2:8-14). And in the Old Testament, there are numerous instances where angels provided physical sustenance through food and drink to God’s prophets (see Elijah in I Kings 19) and to those downcast by their hardships (see Hagar in Genesis 16). 

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11). 

It’s hard to know for certain whether the stranger who helped me in Barcelona was an angel. But I will never forget that look in his eyes – a sparkle of joy, a sense of peace, as if he knew things we didn’t know and had seen things we’d never see. On stressful days I think back to that afternoon in Spain and know that, sometimes in this life, help comes to us in unusual and unexpected ways. Oh, yeah, and a little prayer sure never hurts, either.

Pray this week:

Lord, Thank You for hearing my prayers and always being by my side.

Do you believe in angels? Do you think you have interacted with one? Please write to us and tell us about your experience. 

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