10.01.2007

ANGELS AMONG US

Hey Ya'll. Today is the feast of the Guardian Angels. October 2nd. I always loved this special day.

They's so much angel lore out there, but I thought I might make note of jes' a few thangs, then invite ya'll ter share any angel stories ya might have.

Of the named angels in scripture they's only three: The Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Michael means "Who is like God?". Gabriel means "power of God" and Raphael means "God has healed."


St. Michael the Archangel is called the "prince of the heavenly host" and is known fer throwin' Lucifer out of heaven. St. Gabriel is the one heaven sends ter us'uns wif' astoundin' messages, an' he was the one ter announce the birth of Jesus. Raphael healed Tobit, and safely married Sarah ter young Tobias (Tobit's boy). An' ter this very day theys is still ladies whose desire is ter find they own true love, so, they invoke St. Raphael ter bring forth the right fella!

We's told that there are seven Archangels, but only three names is given in scripture, though some traditional texts from ancient times mention the Archangels Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel. (cf Book of Enoch) .Uriel means "God is Light." The early fathers say Uriel brings the "Wisdom of God." But the Coptic Church has a tradition that Uriel means "God's purifying fire."

I'se admittin' right up front that St. Michael is mah most favorite of all--an' I done seen his image in a few of the more famous spots in this world.

Other than, "In the beginning..." mah all time favorite opening line of any book is:

"The archangel loved heights." This is from Henry Adams' Mont St. Michel and Chartres, a fine volume iffin' youse interested in architecture and some history.

It woan be news ter ya'll that I ain't into no channeling and new-age -ish stuff on angels.

But I does, fer real dern sure, believe that each of us has a guardian angel (Since Jesus tole us so). An' on mor'n one occasion, I think an angel yanked me back from a precipice or two.

Onc't I had mah chillens playing out on the mud flats at Sanibel Island, while Uncle were off Snook fishin'. I were a real young young'un meself, and not too bright.

A lady totin' a sack of shells on the beach done tole me it were the season when --onc't in awhile-- the tide went out nearly a mile ter reveal the flats whar' we was now happy watchin' live shells "fight" (mate).

She said, "Missy, ya' know that this tide comes in faster than a horse can run? So when ya feels the water seeping back up yore ankles git'cha self on in ter the shore."

I jes' said, "Yes mam" and thought no more of it, her being an elderly woman of 40 or so.

Soon I noticed all sorts of folks was movin' steadily toward the beach, and I wondered if iffin' a dinner bell done rung or somethin'. Me and the chillen's was entranced wif bein' out so far on the sea bed, seein' all the shells in they natural live state.

Next, folks was hustlin' right along, but heck, the water was barely on mah ankles and the chillen were havin' a heap o' fun...so when a fella said "Better move along, honey," I jes' nodded at him.

We was out about a 1/4 mile from the beach and the mud was now suckin' at our feet pretty good.

But oh! The shells! So rare ter see them big old fightin' whelks an such! All alive and active. I did look around, an seen that we had the place ter ourselves, "not another soul left out heah wif' us" I thought...which is why I was tempted ter break the law--ya' ain't supposed ter take them live shells, but nobody was heah ter see. (I din't DO it, jes' thought I could have) ...so thas' why I noted thar' warn't nobody around.

The sun began ter dip, its rays all slanty orange and gold.

Then the sea come up. The ocean roared in wif sound and fury. The oldest baby were jes' able ter swim a bit, the next one down, frail and tiny, was no swimmer and the baby was not walkin' yet, me hippin' this one all day.

...an' the ocean heaved up walls of water at the horizon, the waves surged forth like steeds at a gallop, flooding the mile of flats in the blink of an eye. A metallic burn in the back of the throat, a frantic search of the land ahead. Aunty was strainin' ter walk-swim in hip high water, wif a baby on her shoulders, an' the frail toddler holdin' onto mah arm, bouncin' on tippy toes under the water then my arm liftin' the chile out of water fer a gasp o' breath. The older young'un was sputterin, jes' tryin' ter do what had been learned at far away placid city pool, arms flailing and chubby legs churnin'.

The sea was hungry that day. Its roarin' fury din't drown out all them warnin's folks had given me, now screechin' in mah brain, "You foolish, foolish girl, yore babies will drown on account of yore foolishness!"

Ahead, the white sand of salvation shimmered in the heat, a mirage a quarter mile away. Even a fool could see that only wings would get us thar'. Was that a prayer?

From behind us, "I'll take these two, mam'. But you'll have to swim to shore."

He were ordinary lookin'. Sunburned ears, flakin' skin on his nose. Wrinkled brow, no smile, but his eyes were all assurance. "We'll all make it."

He hoisted the toddler onto his shoulders, "Let me take the baby, now. You help the older one."

By the time Aunty got ter the hot, blessed sand, them littlest ones was playing happily on a blanket that warn't ours, wif a pail of toys that warn't ours. There was nobody else. Down the beach a stretch a dog frolicked wif a couple of boys tossin' a ball...thas' all that was on that strip of terra firma that afternoon. Over mah shoulder the sun was kissin' the sparkly sea whar' nary a boat could be seen. Not even a gull.

9 comments:

foam said...

that's some great story telling, belle..
funny too. i remember thinking 40 year olds were old biddies ... lol
but most of all it's an amazing story.
i don't know if i believe in guardian angels ... but last year when i attended a health fair which i didn't want to attend, but felt compelled to, when i stood in a looooooong line to get my blood pressure checked which i almost didn't do, but felt compelled to ...
the feeling compelled to do all this stuff which i really didn't wanna do saved me from a stroke...

Auntybelle Cracker said...

Ah, Foamy, uh-huh...when that "feelin' " of compellin' insistence comes, we'uns need ter pay attention, Thas' a real good story ter sahre--mayhap a few of us need ter hear it. Shure glad ya styaed in line--so youse able ter be here wif' us!

ArtfulSub said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtfulSub said...

Spooky story. Well written. Not sure where you're getting "Jesus tole us so" in reference to "each of us having a guardian angel".

Matthew 18: 10?

NLT has that as:

" Beware that you don't despise a single one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father."

With some manuscripts adding " And I, the Son of Man, have come to save the lost."

The other synoptic Gospels cover the same event with no emphasis on angels. One could argue they weren't central to the point Jesus was making in Matthew's version, as well.

Anyhay, that's the only verse that I can think of that even comes close to saying we have personal guardian angels.

7:32 AM

Auntybelle Cracker said...

Hey Artfulsub! Yep, honey, Matthew 18 is a good startin' point on Guardian Angels.

Does ya' know I'se one of them hated Katholiks? An' speakin' from that viewpoint I can say that it ain't an article of faith fer Katholiks--meanin' it ain't no requirement ter believe in Guardian Angels, even iffin' the Church sets up a date (Oct 2) ter celebrate the angels.

What is taught is that they's pretty good warrant in scripture fer thinkin' that ndividual angels is given ter each soul---but it ain't proof positive, so the belief ain't required.

The evidence is partly from seein' in the bible how angels is sent ter men in real tough spots--see Gen 18 on how them angels come ter Lot and his family ter warn 'em an' git them outa dodge, ya know? An' Exodus 32:34 God tells Moses that his angel will go ahead of him.

SO when Jesus said, "See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10), we have strong evidence that each soul is given an angel...
why, when I was a mite of thang in grade school, the Sister would say "Be a good girl, darlin' so yore guardian angel woan git in trouble fer what ya done".

Some of that good guilt followed me on into high school "Doan do nuthin' ter embarrass yore guardian angel".

Of course, we all knows yore angel cain't STOP ya iffin' youse determined ter be naughty--ya' still has free will...but like Foamy Lady said above, the angel mayhap is the one who gives ya that feelin' of compelling intensity. Some times we listen sometimes we ignores it.

ArtfulSub said...

AB,

Ah, I see what you mean. It was the "jesus tole us" line that confuzzled me. Certainly the Bible is replete with Angels helping out good folks. Daniel, for another.

It's certainly POSSIBLE we each have a Guardian Angel. It's just not something JESUS said with any clarity or emphasis.

Katholics shouldn't be hated or even disliked as a group. I think of them as the lovable but stubborn Grandparents of Christianity.

Here's a tough Bible Quiz question for y'all. Name the ONE New Testament reference to "scripture" that isn't citing what we Christians call the Old Testament!

Hint, it involves an Angel!

LADY LUXIE said...

I believe in angels Aunty...and your story is beautiful....

I think I'll buy a nice angel figurine to always remind me...

Infinitesimal said...

once, aunt, after waking from sleep, in that moment when you are both asleep and awake, i heard a name, and seen something like a different perspective of me in bed, a perspective from the ceiling, except the ceiling seemed vaulted, and then i was laid back in bed, as though i had been carried there from the ceiling, and woke up as i heard the name of the person who was in the room with me. sounded like small bells and golden breezes.

i have never heard a human voice like that before.

just a one syllable name.

but i don't tell it, because it is too special to me.

Preacher101 said...

Aunty Belle, maybe noone will read this, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

In December 2001, a week before Christmas, me, my 8-month pregnant wife, and 2-year-old were driving to a doctor's appointment. It was a 55 mph road, and I was doing the speed limit. I was in the far left lane. Right before getting to a big shopping plaza entrance with no stop light, I felt something telling me to slow down a bit. I looked and saw that I was going the speed limit, but took my foot off the gas. Two second later a big car came from the shopping center road and slammed into the right side of the car, where my pregnant wife was sitting. The impace whipped my head to the left and caused my hands to leave the wheel and my eyes to close. About 3 seconds later when I became oriented again, my car was safely off to the right side of the road! When we were hit, I felt our little car lift off the ground a bit. After I noticed we were safely parked off the side of the raod, I felt a presence, then it was gone. My toddler started crying, and my wife was sobbing. The other car hit the FRONT RIGHT of my car. Another few feet toward the rear, and it would have smashed my wife's car door and probably killed her and the baby. If I hadn't slowed down a split second before the crash, the car would've been farther forward and...

Witnesses said when we were hit, our car deftly weaved through other traffic and quickly got to the side of the road. I think it was an angel that helped us.

By the way, my wife's knees smashed into the center console and she was in a wheelchair the last month of her pregnancy, but her and the baby were eventually fine. God helped us that day, by sending an angel.