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Encounters with Angels

Angels are increasingly in the news, and were featured most recently in a UK television documentary, Entertaining Angels Unawares, shown by ITV Carlton on 19 December 1995, where the subject was treated in a sensitive and factual way. Since Biblical times, when angels heralded the birth of Jesus, angels have been seen by people all over the world. Now at the end of the 20th century, the programme claimed, there are more reported angel sightings than ever before. There are 'angel' newsletters, 'angel' seminars, and some bookshops have had to create sections devoted entirely to 'angel' literature.

Most major religions acknowledge the existence of angelic beings, and explain their functions in different ways -- from the "feathered people" or the "wing-ed ones" of the Native American Indians, to the cherubim and seraphim, the angels and archangels of the Christian Church. A national poll taken in America showed that 69 per cent of the population believe in angels, and that 32 per cent reported an angel encounter. This means that 81 million people in the United States may have met an angel.

The earliest recorded reference to angels is over 10,000 years old. The counterbalancing parapsychologist on the programme described angels as "a kind of 'hallucination'" created by one's own culture and beliefs. Since personal experience is not scientifically proveable, some "experts" think it better to discount it altogether; others say that what may be the most important thing in a person's life should indeed be shared and spoken about.

Ten present-day angel encounters were reconstructed on screen, some connected with healings, some giving practical help, and some providing comfort or reassurance in time of distress or anxiety, or bringing about a change in lifestyle. Each case was described by the one (sometimes more than one) to whom the angel appeared, and left only the most sceptical viewer in any doubt that these encounters were real experiences.

A dramatic story was told by Ann Cannady of Southern America of how the "blackest man" rang her front door bell and was admitted by her husband. He called her by her name and said God had sent him to tell her that her cancer was healed. He had deep, rich blue eyes and his teeth were like bright lights when he spoke. Before he left he extended the palm of his glowing right hand towards her and she felt a light move through her whole body, cleansing it throughout. Immediately afterwards she telephoned her doctor to tell him she had been healed. The doctors later confirmed the cure.

An extraordinary story was told by 85-year-old Elisabeth Hortin from Plymouth in England: one day she had been shopping in the supermarket because her homehelp could not come. As she was unloading her purchases from the supermarket trolley into her own she became aware that a "little old lady" was standing by her, waiting, as she thought, to use the emptied trolley. The old lady said no, she had come to take her home. Mrs Hortin felt quite happy to accept the proffered help and even allowed her helper to look after her shopping while she herself went to the newsagent, a thing she would never in the ordinary way have allowed a stranger to do, because she had other people's pensions in the trolley as well as her own.

As she returned, she heard clearly in her head the words: "He will give His angels charge over you," and saw her helper transformed into a large, shining angel for a moment or two. The little old lady guided her gently to the car park, where an elderly "Victorian-looking" gentleman was waiting to load the shopping into a car and drive all three to Mrs Hortin's bungalow, without asking where she lived. He carried the shopping right into her kitchen, but when she turned to thank her helpers they were nowhere to be seen: she was sure that God had sent an angel to help her when she really needed it.

A third fascinating occurrence was described by Ellie Baker, who went to visit her critically ill husband in Germany. There she was allocated, as interpreter, a lady dressed "from head to foot in black leather" and with heavily made-up eyes, who sat with her for three days and three nights outside her husband's room. In spite of Ellie's constant prayers and meditations, her husband's condition did not improve. However, following a full hour of prayer at his bedside during which she called on the angels for help, she opened her eyes and saw a 10-foot-high golden angel standing at the foot of the bed. Then her husband opened his eyes and spoke to her. She was so overcome that she left the room in tears. Outside was her 'interpreter' sitting with a harp in her hand, which she proceeded to play then and there. Thereafter her husband made what the doctors called a "miraculous recovery".

Editorial note

from: Share International January/February 1996

Reprinted courtesy of © Share International

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