By Rev. Eddie Donnally DMin.
A woman stopped me in the hallway of a hospital where I work as a chaplain to thank me for visiting her aging mother who she said died in peace. She added that at the moment of her mother’s death she saw “shadows of angels.”
Do angels normally attend the deaths of Christians? As a hospital and hospice chaplain who has attended the deaths of several score persons, I believe they do. Here’s why.
Angels are mentioned in the Bible some 700 times doing a variety of things that involve humans. The “Lord” and two angels came by to have lunch with Abraham and tell him his aging wife Sarah would have a child (Genesis 18). A single angel slew 185,000 Assyrians in a single night to assure they lost a war against Israel. (II Kings 19) Angels set the apostles Paul and Silas free from a Philippian jail cell so they could continue preaching to Gospel in places it had never been preached. All important stuff. But it’s likely several million Christians die in any given year. So it is preposterous to think angels have so much time on their hands that they show up at each death?
There are thousands of modern stories of angels showing up to help humans. Billy Graham always maintained that each of us has two angels around to help, based on Psalm 91:11, “For He will give His ANGELS over you (All who have made the Lord their refuge). And why: (Vs 12 ) “To keep you in all His ways.” Now get this, “In their hands they shall bear you up. Lest you dash your foot against as stone.”
Jesus in Luke 16 tells a story about Lazarus, a poor beggar with a slew of sores, is escorted to heaven, (Vs.22) “So it was the beggar died and was carried by THE ANGELS to Abraham’s Bosom.” Lazarus was so poor the only healing available was dogs licking the sores on his legs. Yet he was important enough to be escorted to heaven by two angels. Why are not the rest of us to know Christ as Savior?
I was with a Christian who devoted his life to others as a school teacher as he died in a hospital bed. I was praying with him when he took his final breath, then was quickly called outside by a nurse. At the door, I turned to look and I caught a glimpse of two angels on either side of him ascending through the wall and ceiling. They were “bearing him up.”
Like the woman who stopped me in a hospital hallway, I saw shadows of angels.
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