Sunday, June 5, 2011
Touched by a Real Angel
My younger sister has allowed me to share this recent personal experience - so I thank her.
My sister had planned a fun Saturday afternoon outing with our mom. It had been a while since they had spent some time together because my sister was going through some small personal trials. Because of her trials she was easily irritated by my mom and had found it best to just avoid her rather than hurt her feelings or get in a spat. Because of this she did not answer her phone when my mom called or return any of her messages for weeks at a time.
So, when my mom was able to finally schedule a visit with her she was ecstatic. My sister however was very hesitant and apprehensive. They started by having lunch at a quaint and popular soup eatery not too far from my sister's home. Already uneasy about spending time with our mom, my sister had her guard up. When it came time to order at the counter my sister knew what she wanted but my mom didn't have a clue. My sister noticed a gentleman who just walked in the door and was waiting behind them. She told him that if he knew what he wanted he could go ahead of them because they weren't ready. My mom however turned to him and said, "No, we are almost ready just give us another minute." So the man waited.
My sister feeling embarrassed but trying to hide it told our mom that there was no need to make this man wait when he knew what he wanted. My mom blew it off and told her that the man could wait as she was almost ready to decide. A few minutes later she made her decision and they ordered.
As they sat and ate, my mom began to tell my sister about all of her weekly frustrations. My sister asked her to tone down her voice as it was very loud and people were looking over. The man who was in line behind them came and sat one table over and quietly ate his meal and read his newspaper. He faced my sister but never once seemed to look at her. My sister was becoming a bit annoyed by my mom's conversation but kept quiet and let my mom do all the talking. She began to wonder if she should cut their visit short.
When they were finished, my mom went to go use the restroom and my sister waited by the door. Just then the man sitting by them approached her. This is her account of what happened next;
"He was a very tall man. He surprised me by taking my hands in his. His hands were very large and encompassed both of my hands. Normally I would have pulled away feeling socially violated however something about this man felt good and right. His eyes were very piercing and he looked right into mine as he began to speak. It's not normal for me to engage in full eye contact without occasionally looking away but for some reason it felt natural to just look at him the entire time he spoke. Our eyes never looked away.
As he spoke he began to tell me that he was a very wealthy man. However upon obtaining his wealth he learned a great lesson. He learned that the things of this world are not why we are here. He told me that this life is all about family. We are here to love, support and help our family. He then began to lovingly tell me that I need to love mom and appreciate her more. That we are put on this earth in our families for a certain reason and we need to embrace that reason. He said that mom needed my love and that she is a very special and amazing person. Then he told me that I shouldn't be embarrassed by her at all.
He said other amazing and wonderful things that for some reason I can't remember. In fact, he used such high vocabulary that some of things he was talking about seemed to be on a plane not of my understanding. Regardless, what he said pierced right through my soul and warmed my heart. I could feel a warm power coming through his hands into mine and it softened my soul. I suddenly had a greater understanding of things and I wanted to love my mom."
She went on to tell me that when he was done he walked away and cleared off his table. My mom came out and she and my sister went out to the car. They sat in the car and talked for quite a while and the man never came out. My sister's eyes had been opened and she wanted to spend the rest of the day with my mom. They went to a little antique shop and had the best time together. Instead of being embarrassed by our mom's silliness she joined in and soon the store manager was laughing with them and having a great time. They all broke out in song and dance right there in the sore and had a fun time.
Afterward my sister planned to take my mom back to her place and give her a pedicure but my mom got a phone call and was summoned to babysit her grand kids. My sister found herself feeling very sad that my mom had to leave.
That next weekend was Mother's Day and my sister did not want to miss this opportunity to show her love for our mom. Before meeting the man at the soup eatery she had decided that she was not going to see my mom on Mother's Day. She would send her a card instead. Now, she couldn't wait to get to my mom's house and see her again. She left hours early to help my mom clean her home and prepare the dinner. She also stayed hours after everyone had left and helped clean up and visit with my mom, who lives alone. This was a big step for my sister and our mom had a wonderful Mother's Day.
After hearing about this experience I told my sister that the weeks leading up to their experience at the soup eatery, my mom was heartbroken about not seeing my sister. She was praying each day and going to the temple pleading with the Lord to help soften my sister's heart so that they could have a better relationship and spend more time together. My mom had cried herself to sleep many nights over it. My sister had no idea.
When my sister realized how intriguing it was that this stranger knew the thoughts and feelings of her heart as well as our mom's she knew he couldn't have been just anyone. Based on her description of him, and how loving and powerful his words were and the fact that he broke social norms and boundaries yet it did not bother my sister one bit, we concluded he was an angel sent from God. Whether living on the Earth at this time and inspired by the Lord or sent from heaven above - it was clear that this was a work of God. It was an answer to my mom's prayer.
In a talk written by Bruce C. Hafen in the April 1992 Ensign he stated;
"When do the angels come? If we seek to be worthy, they are near us when we need them most. The mountain might even be full with the horsemen of Israel and their chariots of fire."
My mom had faithfully pleaded with the Lord and exercised her righteous faith through continuous temple service. When we ask something of the Lord and exercise faith while doing our part in return, He will bless us. The powers of heaven are easily conjured through righteous prayer and faith.
I know that the Lord is aware of us all and that we are a part of a greater plan. The Lord's kingdom is in heaven and being built on Earth. Angels administer in this great work, daily. The Lord hears our prayers and desires to bless us. By the powers of Heaven all things are possible, even softening the hearts of men.
I testify this is true, in the name of Jesus Christ amen.