At dinner the other night an elderly friend I’ll call Lucy told us a touching story. A few years ago on her 65th wedding anniversary, she was sorely missing her deceased husband. She lived alone, and there was no one to share her sadness and console her. She figured that her children would not remember this date that was so special to her.
Lucy thought, If only I could get a hug. She sent a mental note to her angel: “Please send someone to give me a hug.” Then she remembered that when she went shopping, she usually met someone she knew. Surely that day she would find a friend and be able to share the news that it was her anniversary.
Hopefully, Lucy drove to the supermarket. She walked down one aisle after another with no luck. Disappointed, she made her way to the exit. As she left the store, a young man who had a blue worker’s kerchief hanging out of his back pocket approached the door. The kerchief fell to the ground, and the woman scooped it up. “Wait, she called after the man. “You dropped this.”
The man turned and smiled at Lucy. “Thank you,” he said as he retrieved his kerchief from her hand. “This was my favorite one. You need a hug for this.” And he gently embraced her.
Was this a coincidence or the work of an angel? Lucy believes it was an answer to her prayers.
Angels come to the rescue of several people in the Bible. Two angels warn Lot to leave Sodom because it will be destroyed. After three men with the strange names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace, a fourth “person” is seen with them, and they emerge unscathed. Tobias, on a quest to reclaim money for his father, is guided by the Archangel Raphael, who also helps him find a wife and heal his father’s blindness. Let’s not forget St. Joseph who was instructed by an angel repeatedly: when he was in the throes of considering divorcing Mary, when Herod sought to kill Baby Jesus, and when it was safe to return to Israel. St. Peter was released from prison and led out by an angel. Saints like Padre Pio have spoken to angels.
Several books are collections of angel stories. My book The Catholic Companion to Angels explains all we know about angels. Previously I wrote several other posts about angels. You might read the one at https://bit.ly/2OEZWmO:
Do you have your own angel story to share?
Black Bottle Man by Craig Russell
This book, part fantasy and part adventure, has to be the most unusual one I’ve ever read. For one thing, the devil and black magic play a prominent role. In addition, hoboes and their signs, fishing and outhouses, and a factory tragedy make appearances. Both family love and romantic love are woven through this tale that takes place mostly during the Depression.
The main characters are a man named Rembrandt, whom we follow from town to town on a quest from age ten to ninety, and a woman named Gail, whose reckless deed leaves her deranged. Their stories unfold not in chronological order but piecemeal. Reading the book is comparable to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. From the first paragraph, my curiosity was piqued, compelling me to keep reading. The chief question to be settled is will Rembrandt find a champion to defeat the devil and break the family curse. The theme connecting all of the scenes is the conflict between good and evil.
Black Bottle Man is classified as teen fiction, but adults too would be intrigued by it. The story has been presented on stage in Manitoba.
$14.95. 176 pp.