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When Angels Appear


God’s angels are watching over us.

David Jeremiah


Aren’t all the angels ministering spirits who are sent to serve

those who are going to inherit salvation?

Hebrew 1:14


Do you believe in angels? Oh, I’m not talking about those cute little chubby cherubs that you can buy in the stores. Or even the D’Amico angels, which I collect. No. I’m talking about ministering angels that appear on earth to guard and protect us.  

Forty years ago this past August, I had an encounter with an angel...at least that’s what I believe.

It happened when I least expected it, but, when I most needed it.

I was nineteen at the time and living in the city. It was Friday and I was eagerly awaiting my work day to end. I had made plans to head north for a fun-filled weekend celebrating my eight-year-old brother. After a quick stop at my apartment to change into more comfortable clothing, I hit the road.

About halfway to my destination, my life turned upside down. Literally.

Going 60 miles-an-hour in the left lane on a major highway, my car suddenly jerked left toward the median. The tires hit the gravel and spun my car around 180° to face the oncoming traffic. The skid sent my car back into the gravel and in a blink of an eye, my car was flipping in the median over and over. 

It was surreal. The windows blew out. Glass shards flew, as did I. (There weren’t seatbelt laws back then.) The next thing I knew, I was being slammed upward onto the roof of the car, then into the passenger door, where I was left crumpled in a pile when it came to rest.

I panicked. All I wanted to do was to get out of the car. Thankfully, three young men were ready to yank the door open and we're able to catch me as I lost consciousness.

The next thing I remember I was laying on my back in the grass with grasshoppers bounding over me.

My mind whirled, my heart raced, but, my lips were dumb.

Just then a gentle-faced man leaned in close to my own. He slipped his hand in mine and whispered, “Julie, my name is Jerry _____. You’ve been in a car accident. You’ve been placed on the ground to keep you stabilized until the ambulance comes for you. Do not be afraid. I am here. Try to rest quietly.”

As I slipped in and out of consciousness, I’d awaken to his sweet face leaning in. Each time he’d speak words of reassurance: “It’s going to be alright. I’ll call your mom and let her know you’re being transported to the hospital... Julie, don’t be afraid. I’m right here with you and I won’t leave your side until the ambulance comes... Julie, I know your family. In fact, I know your grandpa well.” My grandpa was a minister, speaker and prayer warrior...that made sense to me.

I wasn’t conscious when they placed me on the ambulance, but, awoke to bright hospital lights and a semi-circle of doctors and nurses around me. I was terrified, yet, I still couldn’t speak a word. That’s when Jerry’s peace-filled words whispered to my heart. “Do not be afraid. I’m here with you and will stay with you. Try to rest quietly.”

When my mom and stepdad finally arrived, she told me that Jerry had called to tell her that I had been in an accident and that it was serious, and that they should get to the hospital immediately.

My parents had just recently divorced; and my mom, who had remarried, no longer had my last name. She was mystified how he had gotten their name and telephone number.

That is when the mystery of who Jerry was began.

My mom searched phone books and called directory assistance to see if she could track him down, hoping to thank him for staying by my side. She wanted to ask him how he knew how to contact her. But, she couldn’t find him. Noone by that name came forward in databases. My grandpa, who had a photographic memory, didn’t recognize his name.

We never did find Jerry. But, I believe he was sent by God to comfort me that day. He was my guardian angel in disguise.

*As it turned out, my neck was broken...severely. I spent a month in the hospital after very complicated surgery, recovery and rehab. Jerry never came to visit me again, but, his words have lingered long after he spoke them.

The story about my accident has been included in James Stuart Bell's book, "Life Changing Miracles: Real-Life Stories of Unforgettable Encounters With God." You can find the book at Lifeway, BarnesandNoble, and Amazon.com. 

To my child...


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    I am currently finishing my degree in relational communications and plan to graduate in the spring of 2020!! I am thankful I have had time to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally


    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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