I think there are heavenly angels among us, and at times we walk right by them without knowing it. Sometimes they help us in subtle ways that we are unaware of. We are not alone in our struggles.
I had one such experience, and it didn’t even dawn on me until years later that one particular person in a challenging situation was most likely heaven sent. It was when I was 22 years old, and my college roommate talked me into taking a summer sales job selling childrens books. We were sent to work in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I went was a door-to-door salesman. My roommate had a car, but I only had a bicycle. So, I rode my bike around different neighborhoods in Tulsa. After being there for a week or so, I visited a home where there were two young children, around ages 5 and 8. The mother didn’t buy any books, but the 8 year old girl was very friendly and as I walked to the next home, she chatted happily with me. When I went up to their door she waited on the sidewalk. I did not sell anything at that house, and this little girl chatted with me as I walked to the next house. This continued as I made my way up the street. I also noticed that her little brother (who had down syndrome) was now tagging along as well. They followed me for maybe a half an hour or so. I was starting to be a little bit concerned about this little down syndrome boy and suggested that the older girl get her brother back home. She agreed, and I watched for a few minutes as they walked down the sidewalk. Once I was certain they were close enough to their home that there would be no problem I went on my way.
I think it was the next day (maybe two) I was riding my bike in a nearby neighborhood, and a man in a minivan pulled in front of me and stopped in such a way that caused me to stop my bike. He got out of his minivan and asked if I knew the family with these two little kids. As he described them I knew who he was talking about. He said to me, “They think you tried to kidnap their daughter. You should go over there and set the record straight.” I thanked him and headed straight over there on my bike.
Once I got there I met with the mother and father of the two children. They were very skeptical of my story that she followed me down the street. I showed the father the sample books I had with me. They were not yelling at me, but I could see they doubted me. After about five minutes the little girl came out of the house and stood next to her mother. I pointed at her and said, “Just ask her, she was there.” She then quickly hid behind her mother, and I could see that she was terrified of me, and she wouldn’t say a thing. I was really surprised, because the day before she had been so friendly and bubbly as she chatted with me. I realized that her parents fears that I had tried to kidnap her had poisoned her perception of what had happened, and she now believed I had tried to kidnap her. That was alarming to me, so I continued talking with her parents. After about 15 minutes I had them persuaded that I was OK, and that their fears were not based on the truth. I gave them my phone number and told them where I was staying if they wanted to contact me. The father did in fact call me about later that evening, and he seemed a little surprised but also pleased that I had actually given him my correct phone number.
I think it was the next day, or maybe even later the same day, as I was riding my bike in the area, a police car stopped me. The parents of the girls had reported me to the police before I returned to their home to clear things up. I told the officer all that had happened, he asked me to wait while he radioed in. After a few minutes he told me that they had withdrawn their charges and I was free to go.
I did not think much more about it for a few years, it was just one of those things that happened. And then one day as I recalled this memory, it suddenly dawned on me that if the guy in the minivan hadn’t warned me and persuaded to go “set the record straight,” it might have turned out very differently. It dawned on me that he played a significant role, and I wondered who he was. At the time it happened I somehow assumed he was a neighbor of theirs, but he never said that. As he spoke with me I sensed that he was on my side, he wasn’t accusing me or questioning me, he didn’t seem to doubt that I was innocent at all. If he had been their neighbor, and they told him about it, he most likely would have called the police when he saw me. But he just encouraged me to get over there and “set the record straight.” Who was he? If he hadn’t done that the police would have found me, and I would have had to defend myself against attempted kidnapping charges. The little girl would not have spoken in my defence, she was now terrified of me. Things could have gone very badly for me. But since I went to their home before the police found me, it all worked out just fine.
I again asked myself, “Who was the guy in the minivan?” I have come to the conclusion he must have been a heavenly messenger, perhaps a translated being like John the Beloved. He did a good job of speaking with a southern accent, but I am confident he was sent to prevent problems that could have potentially sent my life into a horrible mess. Someday I will know exactly who he was, and when I see him I will give him a hug with sincere “Thank you!” It is also comforting to know that God is mindful of me, he is aware of the details of my life, he can see the beginning to the end. And if there is something that would keep me from accomplishing my life purpose, help has been and will be sent to aid me in my time of need. I am not in this alone, all of heaven is pulling for me… and you!