Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)
TITLE: Angels Present
By Kathleen Langridge
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Friday afternoon had been fun, roller-skating with my new friend from university. We were both mature students, in our 40’s, hoping to finally finish our degrees and impact our sphere’s for Jesus. That afternoon ended my first week at CCU with a ride in an ambulance, a ride that went from a discouraging disruption to a dance with death.
In the newly acquired state of too tired to live, my brain made a feeble attempt at connecting with my heart, desiring to focus on my best friend, Jesus. My scrambled brain could only hold onto one thought, his name, Jesus. I may have whispered it or only held it in my heart but his name became one with my breath, breathing in and breathing out, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. All around me in that room, packed tighter than books on a library shelf, were angels. From floor to ceiling, from wall to wall, and they kept coming. They didn’t appear but I knew they were there, I could see them with the eyes of my heart as I breathed ‘Jesus’ in and breathed ‘Jesus’ out. Much later I wondered if they had come to take me to heaven or were they there to minister, as Hebrews tell us? I wanted to see them but all I heard was, “peace be still.” Then as I drifted away again the word “peace” settled over me like a soft blanket and the scent of roses filled the room.
Time passed, with no help on my part, as I lay in my machine-dependent realm. A few times after the original angelic visit a few would hover in a corner, near the room’s ceiling and the blanket of peace would descend. However, the scent of roses, though present, was never as pervasive as it had been the first time. It seemed as though days and days passed but in the real world it was only a week and then they began to take the machines away. They talked in cheery tones of moving me to my own room, out of ICU. I wanted to question their wisdom but I was too tired, too tired to think, too tired to question, too tired to understand.
One morning a team arrived to move me, bed and all, to that promised room of my own. I had enough energy to request that they keep all my things that friends had brought to me, together. I never remembered my friends visiting, but I saw some of my personal things and was told friends had brought them. My Bible was there even though I was too tired to hold it, let alone read it, and my face cleanser with cream. Vanity dies hard sometimes, even in cloudy realms of nearby death. I had one whole day in my new room when in the middle of the night another team came to take me back to ICU. This time my articles of vanity were lost; I didn’t have energy to ask that everything be kept together. My vitals were disappearing again but I wasn’t worried, no angels were waiting. The familiar blanket of peace enveloped me as sleep claimed my body, with healing as its purpose.
When the team came again to move me out of ICU, I felt hope that I might remain in a normal room. At least now I could hold my Bible even if reading it proved too tiring. Friends came to see me and I remembered their visits.
The CCU Dean of Students came to visit and told me I had been withdrawn from school, so no monies would be owed for the week I attended. Thanks to the stroke I was a dropout at age 44. The doctors had told him my future was uncertain and they left it to him to tell me this life changing news. But God . . . Almost 22 years later with 2 additional strokes I am still a college dropout yet a qualified servant of God, no diploma needed.
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