As a little girl, I pored over my picture Bible, sang Vacation Bible School songs around the house, and prayed earnestly that God would somehow be as real to me as he was to my mom.
“Mom! Come here!” I called out one night, long after bedtime. I was around 7 years old. My sister slept soundly in her twin bed next to mine. My mother opened the door to our darkened room and asked me what was wrong.
“An angel! I saw an angel on the ceiling, right by the door!”
I couldn’t really describe what I’d seen. It was more a shadowy, safe presence, than anything else. Angel is the word that came to me, even though I saw no wings, no halo, no face. Maybe I'd been sleeping and had dreamed it up.
“That’s great, Anna” my mom said, not making it sound all that great.
“Go back to sleep.”
So I did.
I felt dismissed and decided to keep any future angel sightings to myself. It wouldn’t be until I became a parent that I would fully understand that having a wakened child go back to sleep can feel more important to moms and dads than whatever heavenly visitors may have stopped by. I mean, I'd actually once crawled right into Margaret's crib, my boob in her mouth, just so she and I could get a little sleep.
I didn’t mind that no one else had seen what I had, and I didn't tell anyone else about it. Seeing an angel, a shadow, or whatever it had been, was odd. Sure, I’d asked God to become real to me, but I thought angels were limited to my picture Bible or their annual shout-out at Christmas. Later, they would become "in vogue" and could be seen on everything from lovely Christmas ornaments to cheesy plastic keepsakes. I decided I'd stick with my Bible verses and songs, thank you very much, and leave the matter of angels to others.
In fact, I wouldn't give angels another thought for the next 34 years...
What about you? Have you ever thought about angels?