Do you believe in Angels?
Not the chubby winged cartoon characters that are totally impotent in stature.
No, I'm speaking of the powerful celestial beings that are keenly interwoven throughout our daily lives, working for our good while we are unaware! Beings that carry out the orders of an Almighty God and execute His will to guide and protect His people.
As a matter of fact, I always have.
Did you also know that some angels are not celestial beings at all? Yep. The definition of an angel is a ministering spirit or messenger of God. Therefore a human can also be an angel as he or she is guided by God for the good and protection of His people.
Today I saw both at work in saving the life of my two year old son. Instead of morning his tragic loss, I witnessed the most incredible act of divine intervention as well as the perfectly timed selflessness of a good samaritan. And as a result, I will forever see the supernatural realm with greater acuity, humility and a heart flooded with bursting gratitude.
I was, and I am still, a believer.
Today was the day we set aside to celebrate our 4 year old son's birthday. It was a blistery day, a bit overcast and cool. We, being some of the few to brave the outdoors, found ourselves with the pick of the park. We unloaded the kids and set out with cooler, blankets, games and covered canopy in tow. My plan was to help my husband with the task of setting up the canopy, then heading to the store for the balloons, more snacks and drinks. But this was a new canopy and proved to be a real bugger to get up. What should have been a pull, flip and click sequence, was instead a tug, yank, and wait sequence. We were stuck at the halfway mark. The current holding spot was just below eye level, so I could not see anything behind my husband and he could not see anything behind me. While going back and forth between tugging and rereading instructions, we kept looking over at the playground right next to us and counting kids,
one... two... three... four.
Feeling overwhelmed, I realized that the canopy was stronger then I was, so I stepped back to let my husband pull and try to set my side in place. At that point I scouted again at the adjacent play structor for my kids,
one... two... three...
Looking around and under the structure I asked, "Aaron, where's the baby?"
"I don't know. He was right here!"
Instantly the chorus began, "August!"... "August!".... "August... August!!" All five of us were walking in different directions looking anywhere we thought he might go to play.
There was no answer.
My heart started to pound within me and my walking turned to running! Since we were on the southwest side of the playground, we searched our immediate area first, thinking, "He's only two, he could not get that far." A nearby residential street butted the back end of the park, and we were concerned he might be heading in that direction. My husband darted for the street to make sure.
Little did we know we were about to come face to face with our greatest fear.
"August!!!" my voice cracked, the tears welled up in my eyes. No sign of him anywhere!!! "Aaaaaugust!!" He still was not answering our calls!! "Why isn't he responding??" I started to panic now thinking that someone had grabbed him and taken him from me. Why else would he not hear our cries for him??!! Where could he be??!! I wanted to stay calm, especially in front of my other children, but I started to unravel fast. With each passing second, I feared he was further and further out of my reach. I instantly knew we were in a race against time.
We started running out further, to the other side of the park. So much further then we thought his little legs could have traveled in such a short amount of time. But there was no where else left to look! Spreading out away from the playground in the northeast direction, we were moving closer and closer to a very busy 6 lane highway that bordered the park. No gate!! No fence!!
Oh God, no!! Please God, noooooooo!!!
I ran faster now, up the hillside, hearing the cars racing by in the nearing distance. I looked everywhere I could for him. And as I got closer, I saw a woman, standing on the edge of the curb, quiet, holding a blond haired boy. I ran faster. Passing two women who scolded me as I went,
"Is that your son??"
"How could you let him go to the street??!!"
"What kind of mother are you??!"
Like a plunged finger in an open wound, the pain of those words erupted a bleeding in me that they could not have imagined. I yelled without any restraint...
"I was looking for him in the opposite direction!!!"
Not stopping, I kept my eye on the woman holding the boy. It had to be August but I couldn't see him yet. I ran closer. His face now taking shape. I slowed my gate. Sure enough it was him. With my hand over my mouth I began to weep and walk slowly toward them. They were both standing still, without a sound, on the edge of the grass by the street's curb looking my way.
From playground to curb.
It would have been sufficient to know that a woman from the park cared enough to intercept a running two year old that was heading for the busy street. But this is not what happened. After hearing her story, I could stood in awe, shaking and thanking God for those he has placed to watch over my son, both seen and unseen.
The good samaritan was Kim. A true Angel by definition. And what is amazing is that she was not at the park at all. As a matter of fact she was one of the cars driving by on that same busy 6 lane road that bordered that park. While driving she was arrested at the most peculiar and haunting sight. There on the edge of the curb of this busy highway, with cars racing by inches from his feet, was a baby boy, sitting very still, waiting, alone. She pulled her car over. She ran out of her car, approached the boy carefully and reached for him. He let her pick him up as if he was almost waiting for her to come.
There was something at work here that was divinely orchestrated without a doubt. No one could shake that. What would have caused a newly-turned two-year-old boy, who had already ventured across an entire park alone, to stop and sit, inches away from fatal danger? Nothing short of the hand of God, directed through a celestial being.
I pictured an Angel, like those described in the bible that are 9 feet tall with wings that expand almost to his very height. I envisioned him close behind my baby boy, across the hilly grass with his wings around him like an orb carefully guiding his way. And as he got to the highway, he gently whispered to August, telling him to sit down and to wait for the messenger he would send. August, with a child like faith heard and listened.
Some will reason this away as anything else, but for the years that I've been a mother there is too much evidence to know that things could have EASILY ended differently. Kim mentioned that August was pointing at something clear on the other side of that 6 lane highway that was of great interest to him. So why did he stop?
I am a believer.
I can't count how many times I thanked and hugged Kim. I even wept on her shoulder for a moment or two. She was an empathetic mother with two sons of her own. She knew what I was feeling. She was calm and poised. She held no judgement. Shaking like a leaf, I took August into my arms and held him as if for the first time. So very grateful.
Tonight when I put him to sleep, he had an awareness within him that was almost astonishing. "I love you Dad. I love you Mom. Nite, nite. " Reaching for us, blowing kisses, his face so focused, his eyes so bright. I was at a loss for words. You could see the meaning in his eyes like something inside of him had been awakened. It was almost to suggest that he too knew, he was part of something today that was much bigger than any of us could have imagined.
And now my bedtime prayer takes on new meaning like never before...
"Dear Lord, please place a hedge of protection around my son from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. Direct his way and keep him from danger. Let him not suffer at the hand of another or be used in like a pawn to hurt any of his loved ones. But instead let him be set apart for your glory to shine brightly the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Selfies with August later that night.