Spirit Daily Mailbag
An Angel Story
23 September 2003
It was a “coincidence” (a little voice within me) that prompted me to visit your website this morning. I was quickly skimming today’s main article (about having a spiritual approach to illness); and I was about to click away from your website when I saw (in red, bold type) the words, “ Trust in Me.”
It seemed like Jesus Himself was speaking that to me. I was startled because that is a message which Jesus has been giving me very powerfully, especially during the last week, through all sorts of little and not so little “coincidences.”
I scrolled down through the rest of the article more slowly then. I saw mention of angels and dead people appearing to the sick, and so on, and I decided all of a sudden (I felt prompted) to share with you my own angel story; it follows this paragraph. I had felt prompted to do so before, but I thought it would be immodest of me or just silly.
But after this experience, I felt that I should share my angel story with you, that it wasn’t just given for me. So, when I prepared to write this letter, I looked at the article again in order to get the exact context of the quote (in bold, red type) of “Trust in Me.” I found that there is no such quote in that article. Instead, I found this quote: “The focus is to become more Christ-like, and trust is a major, major issue. If you do not trust, you live in fear. When you have trust, something beautiful happens.” So, I took that as a cue that I am supposed to write this to you — as well as to trust in Him.
Here is the angel story I want to share with you.
It was about three years ago: early October of 2000. I was driving eastbound on US 24 in Colorado. I was approaching Wilkerson Pass, which is in Park County, Colorado, about halfway between the villages of Hartsel (to the west) and Lake George (to the east). It is a beautiful pass at 9,400 feet in elevation, with at least 1,000 feet of air all around it and with pristine, jaw-dropping views of spectacular beauty. I had driven that pass many times without incident, and I enjoyed it.
However, something bizarre happened that day. My old fear of heights came back to me. I had overcome it when I moved to Colorado for a few years by making myself drive through the mountains. The beauty of the mountains eventually cured me. So, I was surprised when my fear of heights came back — with a vengeance.
It was so bad and I was so scared (completely irrationally) that I had to pull over at the crest of the pass where there is a park in order to calm and steady myself. Eventually, I calmed down enough to get back into the pickup truck I was driving and to get back on the road. I calmly thought to myself, as I started to leave the parking lot, that I was just going home for dinner.
As soon as I turned onto the road, however, my fear of heights came roaring back. I had never felt it so badly! The sweat streamed on my skin. I could smell the scent of fear in my sweat. My heart was pounding like it was about to burst. And, worst of all, the muscles in my arms and legs began to freeze. My arms and legs were locked!
My mind commanded my limbs to move –to tap the brakes and to turn the wheel, in order to negotiate the curve of a cliff that was fast approaching– but my body did not respond. In front of me, and getting closer quickly, was a guardrail.
Behind the guardrail was at least 1000 feet of air. Beyond that was some of the most beautiful scenery on God’s good earth: fields and forest and lots of rocks. And there I was: the car steadily accelerating down the pass, toward the curve, of the cliff, to certain death below; and my body was frozen by fear.
I knew I was going to die.
And what was interesting was that I was not afraid. Oh, my body was racked by my irrational fear of heights. My mind was screaming at my body to do something, to respond, to turn the blasted wheel and tap the bleeping brakes. But in the core of my being, which I had never as clearly sensed before that day (I suppose it was my soul), I was not afraid.
I knew –I knew as certainly as the sun would rise tomorrow– that death is a door and on the other side would be exactly what I had chosen. My last thought before I was about to hit the guard rail was calm and almost comical: “OK, I guess this is how I’m going out…”
Then it happened. I felt someone slide into my body. I have never experienced anything like this. It felt like a bolt of silk entered my body at the crown of my head, proceeded down through my spinal column and the core of my body, and, basically, spread out and take over my body. I was still in my body, but it was like I had been pushed into the passenger seat of my own body. And this bolt that felt as smooth as silk was a person, and this person started to move my legs and tap the brakes and turn the wheel of my car.
As that was happening (and as I was too stunned to even think), I heard a powerful voice. It was like the voice was booming inside my consciousness; I didn’t hear it with my ears. And this voice said, “Fear not. The angel of the LORD is with you.” At that point, we were just making the curve of the cliff; and my eyes caught sight of the view.
It was stunning in its beauty. And the voice continued, “Marvel at His handiworks, and let any fear you feel make you humble before GOD.” Then, we completed making the curve. And then, I felt him –the angel– leave my body in the reverse of how he had entered my body. In an instant, I could feel him removing himself from my body, then from my core, then up through my spinal column, and out through the crown of my head.
I was then back in complete control of my body. My irrational fear of heights was gone for that moment. (However, it has been with me ever since that day, and I can no longer drive in mountainous places.) I could operate my arms and legs. I was shaken, and the muscles in my limbs ached from the strain of freezing up from a few moments before. But, I wasn’t sweating anymore, and my heart rate was returning to normal, and I could drive the car again.
And my life was saved: spiritually as well as physically. That day was the beginning of a spiritual adventure which has lasted for the last three years and which is ongoing.
At the time, I was a practitioner of the wiccan religion, and I was a sinner, and my life was a mess. Since that day, however, I was on a long road to Jesus. I did not know it at the time. However, I came back to Jesus, through the Catholic Church, in March of 2002.
Since then, I have been walking with Him, and He with me, in Eucharistic union, sinner that I am.
I’m not looking for publicity. I’m just sharing this because I felt inspired to do so; perhaps it will help somebody. I realize that some folks might say that I merely had a hallucination on that mountain pass, that some back-portion of my brain kicked in, that some kind of survival mechanism was triggered, etc.
I know because for months I wondered the same things and more, wondering and trying to figure out what happened to me. But, during all the time I was wondering, I also knew. I knew, and I still know, exactly what happened to me.
God sent an angel to save my physical life, in a dramatic way, so as to save my spiritual life too. And to Him, Jesus, the Eucharist, be glory forever. Amen. Alleluia.