Ever since I wrote a column about angels last week, the stories just keep coming. They arrive in my inbox every morning by the bucketful. Here are a few:

BILL—1978, it’s morning rush hour and I’m headed to UAB for class. I hit a large patch of oil, lose control of my car, somehow cross four lanes of traffic without being hit, bust through the fence at Elmwood Cemetery, hit a tombstone that weighs over a ton, and total my Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

I’m not wearing a seat belt (remember, it’s 1978), yet I am completely unhurt.

1980, 2AM, I am home on leave from the Navy, headed to my parents’ house. I’m approaching a railroad crossing that doesn’t have signals. Suddenly, I hear a shout. A voice.

“STOP!”

So I slam the brakes. My car stops, a loud whistle blows, a single light appears from the woods, and a few seconds later a train rushes past. I’m shaking so badly that I can barely grip the gear shift.

1993, afternoon, the Warrior River. I’m about to water ski. An overwhelming feeling tells me to put on my life jacket, a feeling I simply can’t ignore. This feeling was unlike any I’d ever had. It was so strong that it was like I’d actually heard it. As I snapped that last strap of my life jacked, the most horrible accident began to unfold. An accident that caused death and sorrow beyond imagination. An accident that I will not describe here.

I should have been killed, but I wasn’t. I was terribly injured, but many attribute my survival to that life jacket.

So, if you see me raise four fingers sometime, know that it will always represent those three specific times God absolutely, positively saved my life. And the fourth finger? Well, that’s for all those times that I never knew about.

KIT—In the 1970s I was staying with a friend in Savannah who lived in the most beautiful part of Chatham County.

It was a peaceful place on the Vernon River. That Friday night, I was happily falling asleep after enjoying several adult beverages of the shaken-not-stirred variety.

Suddenly, I was wide awake. Something was pushing me out of bed to get up and pray. So I called my friend and we started praying for my sister. We prayed for a few minutes and then fell asleep.

Early the next morning my mother called and said my sister had spent the night in the emergency room after her husband had rolled their VW bug down an embankment. My sister had flown head first out the window.

The Georgia Highway Patrol was first on the scene, and had called for the morgue van before they even walked to the car. And yet, after full body scans, my sister was found to have only a small bruise on her back as a souvenir. The ER doctors couldn’t believe she wasn’t injured.

SPRING—I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 1995. I was admitted to the hospital and began treatment the following day. My first treatment did not bode well. I went into shock and ended up in the PICU. Doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me and told my parents I wouldn’t live through the night.

God had other plans.

VIVIAN—My son had been stationed in Hawaii until they flew his unit to Fort Polk, in Louisiana to go through maneuvers for thirty days. My husband and I were driving down from central Arkansas to get him.

We had never been to Fort Polk before. The military maneuvers were conducted in a desolate area where there was nothing but trees, fields, and darkness. No visible moon or stars that night. No stores, no buildings, no lights within sight.

My son told us to look for the abandoned, unlit farmhouse, where eight soldiers were going to stay and wait for rides that night.

When we reached Fort Polk, we saw nothing. There was nothing visible except for a convenience store-slash-gas station. The attendant had no idea about the farmhouse where these eight young men were waiting. He just pointed in the direction of Fort Polk.

That night we took turns and twists that got us nowhere. I was concerned we were seriously lost in this maze and that my son might be the last one waiting by himself. No cell phones back then, of course.

We kept traveling until, out of nowhere, there appeared in the headlights a lone soldier wearing a camouflage uniform and cap. He was walking slowly toward us.

We slowed to a stop. We asked if the man knew where the farmhouse was, and about our son.

He said, “Sure, your son’s just a mile or two down the road.” He said there were guys waiting on the porch, and he obviously seemed to know what was happening. That was a relief for this worrying mama, so I leaned over to the window and thanked him.

But as we left, I turned to look out the back window to see where he was walking, and he was nowhere. He was not seen in the rearview mirror. We stopped, thinking our brake lights would provide more light, but neither of us could see the man anywhere. He was gone. This was the middle of nowhere.

When we pulled up to the farmhouse, all eight soldiers were waiting on the porch. We loaded up my son’s baggage and started telling him how glad we were that one of the soldiers had been out walking.

My son said, “What soldier?”

All we could do was describe the man who helped us. But my son said it was impossible, there had been only eight men there.

LISA—My teenage kids were going bowling with a group of friends. My daughter was in the front seat with her then-boyfriend, and he was driving. My son and two friends were in the backseat.

They were stopped at an intersection which has seen a number of accidents over the years. My daughter was looking for a CD in the glove box. Her boyfriend was talking with a girl in the back seat. My son and the other passenger were talking to each other.

No one was paying attention to the road.

Suddenly a man’s voice shouts loudly, “Look out!”

They have almost no time to brace for the head-on collision. Thankfully, they all escaped with almost no injuries. It was truly a miracle, as the driver of the car that hit them did sustain injuries.

After we had gotten our two kids home and asked all the “what really happened” questions, and we got the story.

One of us asked, “Who shouted ‘Look out’ to you?”

My son and the other person in the backseat said it wasn’t them. My daughter said to her boyfriend, “It wasn’t me, I was looking for a CD, I thought it was you.”

The boyfriend said, “It wasn’t me, I was looking back at Stacey.”

I can only imagine their angel holding that car like Superman does with runaway locomotives, protecting my kiddos from impact.

JAN—I gave birth to my daughter six weeks prematurely (36 years ago). I had been given an overdose of a drug to stop premature labor and it caused a mild stroke. I was air-lifted to a hospital where she was delivered by Caesarean section.

On the third night that she was in the NICU, I was sleeping in my hospital room when I was awakened by a male nurse.

The male nurse calmly said, “Wake up, Gloria needs you.”

I arose by the only light in the room which seemed to shine from his brilliant white uniform. He had bronze skin and dark brown eyes.

I felt a sense of peace as I put on my bedroom shoes and followed the nurse down the hallway. There was no fear, just a slight sense of urgency to go to Gloria.

When I entered the NICU, I saw a medical person standing by Gloria‘s incubator, trying to draw blood from Gloria’s foot. The nurse had not been able to find a vein and the doctor had been trying to draw blood unsuccessfully.

The nurse knew Gloria was in pain from the procedure. She looked at me and said, “Oh, thank God you’re here.”

So I comforted Gloria until she stopped crying.

Later that day, I asked about the male nurse who visited my room. I wanted to thank him for waking me up to check on Gloria when she needed me.

They told me there were no male nurses. Furthermore, all nurses wore green uniforms.

I will always remember Gloria’s guardian Angel.

LISA—We lost my beautiful nephew a few years ago to an overdose. We thought he was doing better, he was in a treatment facility and had started a prayer group and kept in touch, but then he slipped. And the result shattered our family.

My now 96 year old mom (Granny) could barely cope. She cried constantly and the grief was really taking a toll on her. Granny stopped eating and had trouble sleeping, suffering nightmares and she would wake up crying, calling me in the mornings.

Then one night, in a dream, my late nephew visited her. He sang a hymn to her and told her that everything was okay now. Granny woke up and jotted down a few lines of the hymn, then fell into a much needed deep sleep.

Later, we asked Granny about the hymn. She read me the lyrics, but I have searched and searched, it doesn’t seem to exist. Still, whatever song it was, the tune brought Granny the comfort she desperately sought.

CONNIE—When I was 20 we went to Italy to see my dad’s family. While coming from the Rome airport on a crowded “autostrade,” we blew a tire and went into a spin. On one side of the highway was a valley, on the other oncoming traffic.

When the car stopped, the back of the truck was ripped off, and the vehicle was on fire. I was holding on to my little sister and cousin by their shirts and shoulders.

One car stopped on the vacant road, and two young men ran across the highway, carrying black bags. They were medical students heading back to medical school in Rome from the weekend. They treated us for minor cuts and bleeding, they called for EMTs, but more importantly they helped my cousin with her Cerebral Palsy. They were able to calm her shakes from the fright of the accident by applying pressure on pressure points on her body. She finally stopped shaking uncontrollably.

The next day I went to church in Pompeii and prayed thanks in front of a mosaic of the Blessed Mother. I was overcome with tears and felt someone embracing me. I thought it was my mom who had come up from behind to hug me, when I turned around, I was alone in the pew.

I know it was an angel who gave me comfort and protected us on that crazy Highway in Rome.

ME—Please, whatever you do, don’t ever stop sending me your angel stories.

20 comments

  1. Sara Edi Boyd - October 10, 2021 8:40 am

    Hey Sean, tell Bill some of my fondest childhood memories are water skiing the Warrior River. Our place was near what is now the Clevengers Marina.

    Reply
  2. oldlibrariansshelf - October 10, 2021 8:46 am

    Maybe angel stories could become a regular column. If your readers keep sending them, then keep sharing them. God is good!

    Reply
  3. Shirley Lieberman - October 10, 2021 10:30 am

    Thank you Sean for being in my life every morning. You are an angel to so many of us.
    Love and blessings
    Shirley

    Reply
  4. Te - October 10, 2021 10:33 am

    1966. I had traveled with two men, one of which we delivered to a military base after a leave, and the other man and I headed home. I had known both of them for over a year and thought I knew them well enough, it never occurred to me to feel unsafe. On the return trip of several hours, the man I was with decided to pull off on a dirt lane into some woods to take a leak. While he was busy, I meandered about a clearing and discovered there was a bluff of about 30 ft with a jumble of boulders at the bottom. I heard him coming toward me, but something told me to move away from the bluff. I sat on a rock about 10 ft away, feeling uncertain and wary and unsure why. He went to the bluff and asked me to come over and look. A voice in my head, as clearly as someone spoke, told me not to go, that he intended to push me over the edge! I said something about not liking heights, striving for a normal tone when I was really worried and confused. We left minutes later. I have always been thankful that I listened to that warning, and I have always trusted my gut feelings and intuition. I never saw him again.

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  5. Sonya Tuttle - October 10, 2021 10:46 am

    I believe.

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  6. Karen Snyder - October 10, 2021 11:15 am

    Guessing that our guardian angels are saving us, often from our own foolishness, far more than we think. Truth be known, we probably don’t have fingers enough to count, but I like Bill’s acknowledgment. ❤️

    Reply
  7. Nancy Crews - October 10, 2021 11:45 am

    ❤your writing.

    Reply
  8. Elizabeth Weiler - October 10, 2021 12:53 pm

    I hope that you will consider writing a book about Angels : )

    Reply
  9. Paul McCutchen - October 10, 2021 1:46 pm

    To Dance With an Angel

    Have you ever hit the snooze alarm in the morning and doze back off to sleep then suddenly wake back up only to find you had been asleep for only a few seconds instead of minutes? This is what I refer to as “twilight time”.
    I try to skip my twilight time when I retire for the evening. I feel and see people and things that have happened in the past which makes it difficult to fall asleep.
    One afternoon, while riding in the car, my wife had oldies station on and just as I was dozing off the song “House of the Rising Sun” came on. This was a song that, in my younger days, meant a time for holding your girlfriend and slow dancing. When the prelude to the song started you were on the floor dancing. Back then we had “garage bands” that played almost every week-end and “The house of the rising sun” was always on their play sheet. My favorite place was the Heafer Community Center in Heafer Arkansas and during my twilight time I remembered being there.
    A few years ago I became ill. I went into the hospital on a Saturday morning and they (I found out later) were hoping I would make it till Monday. I now remember being in the Heafer Community Center and when the music started an Angel started dancing with me. The Angel looked in my eyes, then put their head on my chest smiled and left. I didn’t understand because the music was still playing but when I turned to the door my brother was standing there shaking his head. He looked at me and said “Really? The House of the Rising Sun”? He laughed and told me his was “Surfer Girl” by the Beach Boys. With a serious expression he said “I told you I would always have your back but right now it is not your time.” I told him how much pain I was in but he assured me it will pass and I would be alright. He said the angel was here just to give me comfort but they let him tell me everything is going to be alright.
    Lex said during his dance, the angel gave him comfort and assured him he would be fine. He said when the song started he was afraid but when it was over he was relaxed and ready to move on. The last question I asked Lex was about a theory I had. Where you die was also a doorway where you could come back and check on loved ones. The theory was an odd one but he just laughed and gave me a wink, that is when I woke up in the hospital in pain with tubes every where but assured things would be better.
    I am hoping my dad had that chance. What I hope is that he had a dance during his surgery. I hope he asked for extra time even though he knew the pain he would be in. I think he wanted to go home and be with mom before his final dance. I hope I am also right about the doorway because it will be in Togo, Arkansas and he can still see mom.

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  10. Melanie - October 10, 2021 2:21 pm

    Enjoyed these stories. Thanks Sean. And thank you to everyone who shared them.
    A special thank you to the Angels💖

    Reply
  11. Teri Murrison - October 10, 2021 2:24 pm

    Wasn’t going to bother you, but you asked for it.

    11 at night. I was a young twenty-something woman driving 20 miles home alone. The entire road was deserted except for one Honda Accord that zipped past at the beginning of a long stretch and disappeared around a bend. I could see the silhouettes of several people in the car.

    I turned the bend and the next long stretch of road was empty, but around the next bend there was the Accord pulled over on the side of the road, lights flashing. I knew better than to stop, even if the car and its occupants seemed harmless, so I carefully passed it, no other lights ahead or behind me.

    Just around the next bend the Accord came right up behind me, honking and flashing its lights. Even then I wasn’t afraid – bad guys don’t drive Honda Accords (do they?).

    I was puzzled though and as I looked in my rearview mirror trying to make sense of their actions it suddenly occurred to me to say aloud, “Lord, show them the legions of angels that surround me.” I wasn’t afraid but it made sense so I said it.

    I’ll never know what the Accord’s occupants saw but their reaction was immediate. The very second the words came out of my mouth the Accord lurched out from behind my car, passed it, and burst ahead at an incredible rate of speed.

    I watched their tail lights fade out of sight around the next bend, three miles ahead. They never came back and I encountered no other cars the rest of the way home.

    I often wonder why I was spared when so many young women are not. Whatever was planned for me that night came to naught.

    Thanks for the reminder this morning to be publicly thankful for the words whispered in my ear. Like the occupants of the Accord, until the words left my lips I had no idea I was amongst a company of angels on that dark night long ago.

    Reply
  12. BEX - October 10, 2021 3:38 pm

    I believe Angels are among us always- some even wear clothes over their wings and come and go in our lives while we are unaware! Keep writing about Angels, please! God bless!

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  13. Kim Kennedy - October 10, 2021 5:49 pm

    I hope people keep sending stories and you keep writing them for us. Thanks so much for sharing these with me.

    Reply
  14. Joy A Chanin - October 10, 2021 6:10 pm

    My personal beliefs are that some of these Angel stories are actually a person’s subconscious telling them what to do. However, I do want to share a story about a real life person. My dad was taken rather quickly by Pancreatic cancer. We had a hospice nurse with him so he could be at home. My parents lived in a large retirement condominium community in Florida. There was a 2 1/2 mile walkway that went around the community where one would frequently see people walking ,including myself. My dad passed on a Tuesday. Wednesday morning I went out for a walk to clear my head. An elderly Holocaust survivor started to walk with me. Her entire family had perished in the Holocaust, except for one sister. She looked like “Dr. Ruth”. She explained how she is grateful for every day she is alive and does not look back at her horror. I choose to believe that my dad sent her to walk with me. I had never seen her before, not afterwards.

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  15. MAM - October 10, 2021 7:01 pm

    I love the reminders that God’s helpers, angels, are with us always! I’m sure they have saved me from many stupid things I’ve done. But I think I’m just now realizing how many times, and how stupid I’ve acted. Thank you, Sean!

    Reply
  16. Linda Moon - October 10, 2021 7:38 pm

    My Angel story is still the same as the one from last week. But I’ll add this: My first cellphone played a part in meeting Sean and Jamie Dietrich. I was on the way to my dentist’s office located 20 miles across town. The phone rang. ‘Should I pick it up while driving?’…I thought to myself. I did. And the brief conversation led me to where the Dietrichs would be, close-by in my town…and then sometime later to a small-town cemetery. Angels Calling.

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  17. Cynthia Russell - October 10, 2021 9:41 pm

    My Angel Story, I worked at a law firm in Houston, Texas & always went in early to start my day… One Particular day, I got into the elevator & pushed the button to my floor – when a hand stopped it & it opened back up.. A man got on it with me – I had already pushed the button for my floor & asked him “What Floor?” His response was “The same floor.” I worked there many years & never saw him of the floor I worked on… A voice inside my head said “GET OUT NOW!” I pushed the next floor button & when it stopped I jumped out.. took another elevator & went down to the lobby & ask the security guard to come up with me to my floor.. He came with me & checked the whole office with me then he locked me in the office where I knew I was safe… I know without a doubt that that voice saved my life that day..

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  18. Rebecca - October 11, 2021 3:20 pm

    For several years I would travel from the Florida Panhandle to Atlanta at night to avoid traffic in Atlanta and south of Atlanta where Interstate 85 was under construction. As I was going through the section under construction, I closed my eyes for a few seconds because the bright lights used in the construction section were blinding. When I reopened my eyes a large semi was pulling into the northbound lanes from the inside medium. I had no time to brake. Knowing there was going to be an impact, I decided to close my eyes again and think that I fell asleep. When I awoke, I was beyond the construction site in a stretch of highway that was very quiet. I arrived safely in Atlanta at midnight with a greater appreciation for the angels who are among us.

    Reply
  19. Bonnie - October 12, 2021 4:12 am

    Awesome stories!! I love them all!!

    Reply
  20. Vince - October 15, 2021 6:19 pm

    My father had been sickly for years. He was going through another bout but was starting to look like he would pull out of it. I went back Out West to where home was thinking all was well and my parents would join me soon. I woke one night after dreaming of being in a hospital room with my father passed out on the bed. Next to me stood an angel. Brilliant bronze skin on his forearm draped with a shinning gold robe arm that was the softest thing I’ve ever felt. He was so tall his hand easily rested upon my shoulder without him having to barely lift his hand. The peace and calm that emanated from him was palpable. In a voice of the most gentle thunder, filled with power that was only overmatched by its gentleness he said, “He is dead.” At that point I awoke My father was always a very early riser so with the time difference I knew he’d be awake so I called. He was fine and mentioned he was just thinking of me. Two months later I found myself if that exact same hospital room getting ready to leave.. but when I recognized the scene from my dream I was adamant that we were going nowhere not matter what the clock said about visiting hours. He went home to Jesus within 5 minutes. Had I not had that dream we would have been in the parking lot rather than with him when he passed. In an age before cell phones we would have had no idea until we made the half hour drive home.

    I have since been blessed to hear again the voice of my guardian angel at times of decision when praying for guidance. Why I should be so blessed I have no idea, but you better believe I follow the advice my angel gives me.

    Reply

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