Angel Stories

Anyway, years later I started writing. I wasn’t thinking much about miracles anymore. Then I met an old man at a nursing home. His name was Ben.

I was in Winn-Dixie on important business—buying Chili Cheese Fritos, a Superman comic, and a jar of Skippy for my dog. I met a man who recognized me.

The man shook my hand and said: “Hey, I like your angel stories.”

His name was Allen, and he told me an angel story of his own. And I promise to tell it to you. But first, I owe you a brief history on myself.

When my father died, I was twelve. I was a lonely kid, moderately chubby, uncoordinated, duck-footed. I had a nose the size of Mount Rushmore, and a deep affection for Chili Cheese Fritos. I’m getting ahead of myself.

As a boy, my mother’s friend gave me a paperback book with a worn cover. The book was titled: “Angels: God’s Secret Agents.”

I was thinking to myself, “Gee thanks, lady. Why would any red-blooded boy want a sissy book on angels?”

Today, it’s books on cherubs. Tomorrow, it’s pedicures and swapping lemon bar recipes at bridge club.

I read the book three times through. Cover to cover.

And I hoped I would see an angel someday. In fact, I wanted it so bad it almost hurt. But I never saw a single feather. And somewhere along the way, I just gave up hoping.

Anyway, years later I started writing. I wasn’t thinking much about miracles anymore. Then I met an old man at a nursing home. His name was Ben.

“I was a boy,” said Ben. “I’s riding in the bed of my daddy’s truck, my brother was following behind in another car…”

The truck hit a bump. Ben bounced out and hit the dirt. His brother couldn’t stop in time and ran straight over Ben.

Ben’s rib cage was crushed. His lips turned blue. His father cried.

Then, a man appeared. A drifter, wearing a fedora, carrying a duffle bag. The man said nothing. He only touched Ben’s chest once. Ben’s ribs expanded. The man disappeared.

Ben lived until ninety-one.

Here’s another, sent to me by a reader:

When Carol was a girl, her mother was awakened in the middle of the night. An old woman was standing over her bed. She had long white hair and wore a dress.

The house was on fire. The walls, the ceiling, the carpet. It was a scene from hell. The old woman said to Carol’s mother, “Wake up, it’s time to go.”

Carol’s mother followed the woman through a maze of inferno and managed to rescue her two sleeping daughters. The old woman was never seen again.

And now for Allen.

Allen is an ironworker. One day, he was walking iron beams, unsecured. Normally, Allen would’ve been tied off with a harness, but he’d been careless that morning.

He slipped. He started to fall, but before his feet ever left the iron, someone grabbed Allen’s jacket. A young man with a black beard held Allen before he fell ten stories.

The bearded man said, “Careful now, Allen.”

Allen didn’t recognize him. None of his coworkers remember ever seeing the man.

Allen cried when he told me the story—right in the Winn-Dixie.

So.

To the young version of me, who’s reading this right now—eating Fritos. And to the kid who wants to have proof of something big.

To the person who needs a good thing to believe in before they leave for work this morning. To the single mother who feels overlooked.

The young couple, grieving for an infant. The man diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. The woman diagnosed with breast cancer. The kid who just lost his dog. The girl reading these words on her phone.

And to you.

You’re not alone.

52 comments

  1. Beth Reed - March 28, 2018 5:43 am

    Our Angels come in many forms. You might not up until this point have seen an Angel with wings Sean, but you have encountered a lot of them. What is the scripture that says you may entertain an Angel unaware?
    Angels, miracles, and magic happen every second of the day.
    Thank you for this story. Beth

    Reply
  2. Gary - March 28, 2018 6:08 am

    I’ve never seen an angel. I believe in angels. I know they exist.

    Reply
  3. Sherry - March 28, 2018 9:32 am

    So true….

    Reply
  4. Judith Pierce Croxton - March 28, 2018 9:40 am

    I often have dreams of my Mother and Father, and in my dreams they are always young. The dream usually includes other family members, we’re at Gulf Shores and enjoying the beach. I’m about 8 years old and running toward the ocean.

    The best thing about this dream is that I once again have the pleasure of seeing my
    parents.

    Reply
  5. Nancy Rogers - March 28, 2018 9:48 am

    Thank you, I needed reminding.

    Reply
  6. Martha - March 28, 2018 10:31 am

    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Carl, another pilgrim - March 28, 2018 10:37 am

    Just what I needed for today. Thank you ICH

    Reply
  8. Jo Ann - March 28, 2018 11:35 am

    Thank you, Sean. I love to hear those stories.

    Reply
  9. ponder304 - March 28, 2018 11:45 am

    Angels are among us. Be aware because we may entertain them…..or them us.

    Reply
  10. Jan - March 28, 2018 12:07 pm

    Amen! We just have to open our eyes, listen and believe!

    Reply
  11. Toni McNaron - March 28, 2018 12:50 pm

    I was in a town in. Germany with no German language. I had to ride a train to get into town from the airport, so I went to the place to get a ticket. Directions only in German, so I was lost. Out of nowhere I man appeared, asked if I needed a ticket, took my money and got me one and then, before I could look up from my purse to thank him, he had vanished. Do all angels do that, I wonder? Thank you for your pieces, Sean. In our world today, so full of fear and anger and hatred of people not like us, your daily writings help me stay sane.
    Toni

    Reply
  12. Suzanne - March 28, 2018 12:58 pm

    You always help to get my mornings off on better footing! Thank You!❣️

    Reply
  13. Cathi - March 28, 2018 1:30 pm

    0h Sean, you got me again. Yes, there are angels everywhere and I firmly believe you’re one too. Happy Wondrous Wednesday.👼👼👼

    Reply
  14. Jack Darnell - March 28, 2018 1:32 pm

    My mama could talk about angels to beat the band!

    Reply
  15. Kim - March 28, 2018 1:34 pm

    I often read your stories to my class. This one was too good not to share. Happy Wednesday.

    Reply
  16. Carol ann ROTHWELL - March 28, 2018 1:50 pm

    And neither are you Sean!!
    Your our Angel everyday,spreading,Love,hope,& stories that make us thing & have hope!
    Love ya.👼

    Reply
  17. Betty - March 28, 2018 1:52 pm

    Thank you for your stories about angels. It seems when I need to be reminded that God has given the angels charge over us, you are there to remind all of us.

    Reply
  18. Lisa Snow - March 28, 2018 1:53 pm

    Please gather enough angel stories to fit into a book and share them with us. Where do we order????

    Reply
  19. Sherry Ware - March 28, 2018 1:53 pm

    I love your stories. It’s refreshing to hear about good things happening in the world when most of what we hear is gloom and doom.

    Reply
  20. Arelene Mack - March 28, 2018 1:55 pm

    In a few days I will be 60 years old. I have seen angels. It’s never scary, I will never forget it and it’s always a safe, secure feeling. They are always with us – I have felt them many times – but they only make themselves visible when you need them most.

    Reply
  21. Nix LaVerdi - March 28, 2018 1:58 pm

    Beautiful, Sean. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Garnet Faulkner - March 28, 2018 2:23 pm

      You’re stories make my day! Thanks sir!

      Reply
  22. Cissy - March 28, 2018 2:09 pm

    One of my favorites yet! I have my own angel story! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  23. Pat - March 28, 2018 2:21 pm

    My daddy told me about an angel catching him as he fell….he said she was blonde and beautiful!

    Reply
  24. / - March 28, 2018 2:42 pm

    A lot of impossible things happen in our lives, and I believe our guardian angel does watch over us, and does intervene to save us if it is God’s will that we live a bit longer…
    I

    Reply
  25. neilda andres - March 28, 2018 2:47 pm

    wonderful my youngest brother and his cousin were digging out dam the cousin said i see angels jesse and jesse got out and was saved cousin died they r angels we need to heed thier help

    Reply
  26. neilda andres - March 28, 2018 2:48 pm

    love the winn dixieangel stories

    Reply
  27. Jones - March 28, 2018 2:57 pm

    👏👏👏👏😊

    Reply
  28. Diana K Williams - March 28, 2018 3:01 pm

    I love your column.. I love the “feel good” stories you tell. Everyone should believe in Angels.. They are real, They are a Gift from God!

    Reply
  29. Edna B. - March 28, 2018 3:23 pm

    I love today’s story. I’ve had many an encounter with an angel. They came when I needed them the most. You’re right, we are never really alone. I’m blessed. You’re blessed. Hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  30. Patricia Schmaltz - March 28, 2018 3:43 pm

    Sean, I totally believe. We just often don’t recognize angels because they look and sound like ‘normal people. I think YOU are one!! Stay safe and MODERATION on the junk food please

    Reply
  31. Diane Barr - March 28, 2018 4:02 pm

    A word of caution about peanut butter; some contain Xylotol sometimes called Xylosweet, which is highly toxic to dogs. It can be a silent killer, and isn’t always contained in an ingredient list. I know how much you love your dog, be careful.

    Reply
  32. lavenderlady - March 28, 2018 4:15 pm

    I wonder how many of your readers went to Amazon and searched for the book “Angels: God’s Secret Agents” after they read your column? It had a familiar ring and I think I may have been given a copy at one time. Or perhaps it was my mom’s. The older I get, the harder it is to recall some things. I think I’ll check out my local library and give it another look.

    Reply
  33. Ellen Shelley - March 28, 2018 4:32 pm

    I feel so sorry for anyone who does not have at least one angel story in their arsenal. I have a few but they seem so trivial compared to these amazing stories and others you have shared with us. But, come to think of it, no miracle or angel story, however trivial is anything less than amazing. Thank you!

    Reply
  34. Tom - March 28, 2018 4:36 pm

    A women walked up to a man pumping gas in his car at a convience store, just outside of Nashville on I65. The women looked distresssed with concern. She asked him, could you please spare a few dollars to help me get some gas? I am on my way to a womens shelter in Nashville and I think a gallon will get me there. The man open up his billfold which had $60 and gave her two $20’s. She looked a little astonished and tears appeared in her eyes and then left. The man finished pumping his gas and looked around but she had vanished. I don’t know if there are angels amoung us, but I do believe people do things at certain times that a angle might have done!

    Reply
  35. Melodie - March 28, 2018 4:43 pm

    I believe in Angels.

    Reply
    • Donna Huguley OBrirn - March 29, 2018 4:36 am

      I believe in angels. I feel them near. I was alone for a week. Alarm system , very gated neighborhood. I awoke to feathers , from my bedroom floor into the living area , four mornings in a row. All were white and of various sizes. I wasn’t afraid at all. I had been through quite a bit and then it just stopped. No more nightmares of my violent rapist. Just a sense of peace.
      I also feel 4 loved ones , deceased , very near me at the most peculiar times , not all four at once. There’s never any music , conversation , books , smells , etc , going on that are triggering memories of them when it happens. It’s just a feeling of them being around. I was afraid to talk about it.

      Reply
  36. Joan Rickert - March 28, 2018 6:15 pm

    A friend at church told me that several years ago his 20 year old son was in the hospital. He was getting worse. None of the doctors could pinpoint the issue. The parents were in his room early one morning, and a doctor they had not met before came in, examined their son, and said he knew exactly what to do. He went to the chart and wrote orders, which were quickly carried out by the medical team. The man’s son survived. No one knows who the doctor was or recognized his name. Amazing!

    Reply
  37. Robert Arban - March 28, 2018 6:45 pm

    Thanks, I haven’t seen an angel, but I know they’re arpund

    Reply
  38. M.J. - March 28, 2018 8:27 pm

    I love all your stories…. but yes, I believe in angels too.

    Reply
  39. Pamela McEachern - March 28, 2018 8:49 pm

    I have been around Angels all my life, I consider myself truly blessed.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  40. Linda Trammell - March 28, 2018 9:44 pm

    Today is the “Day of Sorrows” of Holy Week – the “Alasbaster Box” day thanks to Mary of Bethany, the day of the betrayal plot thanks to Judas of Iscariot (or something like that.) Here in 2018, in the lower south, the day I read your angel essay that will become part of my permanent Easter rituals – right up there with listening to JimNabors sing “The Holy City.” Thanks!

    Reply
  41. Mary Lee - March 28, 2018 10:20 pm

    Love it. No we are never alone. I won’t go into it but I do have a few of my own. I am a believer.

    Reply
  42. Vaudy Holley - March 28, 2018 10:28 pm

    God never intended us to stay in this world ,but we will not leave until it is time

    Reply
  43. Michael Hawke - March 29, 2018 1:54 am

    Thank you. I count on it.

    Reply
  44. Marcia Pearson - March 29, 2018 6:07 am

    I believe there are angels among us. I have a guardian angel that has come to me and my son also in our darkest hour.
    Thank you for sharing your stories, not just of angels but all of them always sem to touch apart of my heart. Blessings to you.

    Reply
  45. Lucretia - March 29, 2018 9:56 am

    Thank you for the reminder, Sean, that we are not alone. By the way, I am so thankful that you are here. Lucretia

    Reply
  46. Charmion Grant - March 29, 2018 1:30 pm

    I believe there are angels among us and I LOVE chili cheese Fritos too!
    Thank you for all of your stories!
    Such a blessing to my life!

    Reply
  47. Joe Sweeney - March 29, 2018 3:37 pm

    Another Angel, Just finished the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There was a message to me in this book, how GOD reminds us of his presence in mysterious ways. A 1951 malignant byopsy of a tumor in Henrietta has living cells to this day, not a 1st time man made event but a on going spiritual reminder to believers & non believers who may read this book.

    Reply
  48. Marcella Messer - June 6, 2018 7:02 pm

    My husband had an angel visit him after brain surgery. She told him everything would be ok. Angels do exist

    Reply
  49. Annette H. Bailey - June 7, 2018 3:46 am

    Sean…next month on the 10th, will mark a year since cancer took Mother. I wondered if she heard me sing her favorite song, “How Great Thou Art”, the day before she died. But there are indeed incidents that’s happened in many folks lives that couldn’t be explained. Mother believed so greatly and her faith rubbed off on us kids and Dad! And she told us a story that her Granny feels she “entertained an angel”
    one night. Mom had so many stories to tell us but this one she says was true and we never doubted her for a minute. Thank you for such wonderful “reminders of faith” for it makes so many peoples’ day…it always makes mine!

    Reply
  50. Nancy J Smith - June 9, 2018 5:47 am

    My mother in law had been ill, very ill. We had come to terms with the idea that she may not be coming home again. Sometimes she would talk out of her head. Ask Dad about people that had long been gone. Then she got quiet as if she was resting. She told Dad that it would be ok because the two ladies that were going to take her home where there. Right there at the end of the bed. Dad could see no one. Mom closed her eyes and relaxed, the pain left her body and she seemed happy. She told Dad that she loved him. And she was gone.

    It has been 5 years since the two angels came to take mom home. We’re forever thankful that she had a guide.
    Love you Mom. Hope you were able to come guide Dad when it was his turn. Love you too Dad.

    Reply

Leave a Reply