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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Angels Watchin’ Over Me!

Posted by admin in June 24th, 2010
Published in missions, prayer

Anyone remember that old Amy Grant song from the ‘80s? “Angels watchin’ over me every step I taaaakkee. Angels watchin’ over me every move I maaaake.”

When you speak of angels, folks can get a bit edgy. Either your too New Agey or a freaky charismatic to most people. Billy Graham did a lot for the subject when he wrote about angels a few years back. Anyone read his book? Angels: God’s Secret Agents (1994). Secret agents—I just got a vision of 007 with wings. But I divert…

Fresh out of college I headed to the US Center for World Mission (USCWM) in Pasadena, California, to get a hold of some missionary training so I could go to China. I wasn’t going to be able to go back home to Kansas before I left for China, so when I packed for California, I packed for overseas too. In other words—I had a whole lotta stuff! Too much stuff. Way too much. But I was young and inexperienced and extremely ignorant. I’m so thrilled that God isn’t looking for the brightest or the best or the smartest or the most talented or people that have it all together! If He did look for that I’d never qualify. Fortunately, for me, God is basically looking for willing hearts and that I had.

For the flight to California I put on my best wool, navy blue Pendleton jumper. A long sleeve oxford cloth shirt and a lovely stylish bow tie (hey, it was the 80s). I packed four suitcases (yes, this was before luggage restrictions). They were those graduating sizes of luggage; the sets everyone gets for, well, for graduation. I had those soft-sided pieces packed to the brim. At the Wichita airport my Mom and friends from church came to see me off. Everyone was excited. Their little missionary was heading off and good supportive people were there to say farewell.

Just before I got on the plane my friend Kathy ran up to me and gave me an envelope. “Don’t read it until you’re in the air! Promise.” I did and headed down the jet way.

Once on the plane I got to visiting with the lady sitting next to me and I forgot to open the envelope which I had stashed in my super large purse. Four hours in the air and the woman from Russell, Kansas, and I talked non-stop. Hard to imagine I know!

Our flight into Denver was delayed and we didn’t arrive into LAX until way after midnight. My little bus from the USCWM was not there to meet me as planned. So, when I got to LA I phoned the folks at the USCWM and they explained to me that because it was so late I would need to take the public bus from LAX out to Pasadena. “Where do I get the bus?” I asked.

“Ask someone there. You speak English don’t you?” the voice on the other end of the line kindly replied.

I hung up the receiver and realized that with four pieces of luggage (all in graduating sizes), a large handbag and dressed in wool in warm southern California, I wasn’t going to get anywhere fast.

Finally I found a luggage cart, loaded my junk on it and roamed around the airport looking for someone to give me information. At last…I found a place to buy a ticket to Pasadena and even found a guy to help me get my stuff over to the bus stop. Time? 12:45 AM. Departure for the bus? 1:45 AM. I had to give up the cart, so I unloaded my luggage, stood among the graduating pieces and wiped the sweat from my brow. Then I began to look around.

Airports in 1983 were a lot different than they are nowadays. There wasn’t the security we see now. In fact, airports were sometimes a good place for transients to hang out. Suddenly I was very aware of my defenselessness. Gangs of men were in pockets here and there. Languages I could not understand nor could I recognize were whistling past my head. There was noise and arguments and commotion and confusion all around me and it was then that fear seized my heart. We didn’t have cell phones back then. My Mom had no idea where I was. No one was looking for me. I was a big dumb girl from Kansas dressed in wool and loaded down with too many suitcases. I was for all intents and purposes vulnerable. Very vulnerable.

So I prayed, “Jesus, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of those guys over there and that man there and those people right here and I have all of this stuff and I am very, very afraid.” Tears came to my eyes and I choked back a sob. It had been a very emotional week with good-byes and changes and selling my stuff and knowing that my future was going to look very different from anything I had ever known before. I closed my eyes as tears rushed down my face and I breathed a prayer of desperation, “Jesus, please help me.”

When I opened my eyes there were about seven or eight huge, gigantic angels surrounding me and my luggage. They were enormous. Shaped like you and me, most of them looked like guy angels, they were in white robes with belts and big old wings. Never had I seen an angel before, but apparently they look a lot like myths and narratives say. Now, that’s amazing in and of itself—the angels I mean. But here is the kicker…they were resting. They were not on guard or with their swords drawn. In fact, one was sitting on the biggest suitcase leaning on his sheathed sword looking kind of bored. The others were just hangin’ around not alarmed, not ready for action and the thought came to me, “If they’re not panicking why am I?” I mean if anyone should know if I was in danger it would be them, right? But they were at rest and not worried for me and so I felt assured that I was safe and needed not to be afraid.

Soon the intra-city bus came and I loaded on with all my stuff. Once on the air-conditioned bus I could sit back and cool off a bit. Suddenly I remembered the letter Kathy had given me at the airport and I dug around in my big bag looking for it. I found it, opened it and she had written only one thing, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalm 91).

And that’s exactly what He’d done. His angels were encamped about me and there was no need to be afraid. And so Lindsay at camp that’s what happened! I just figured that if those big old angels were relaxed that I should be too! And I need to tell you girl they were beautiful in a way I don’t even know how to describe. And that’s the whole story! Peace.

3 users Responded In This Post

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418. margaret said,
June 25th, 2010 at 8:46 am

Great writing! great reminder! (I had an experience with some guardian angels!)
can’t wait for your next book!

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422. brandat said,
June 27th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Amazing! Peace.

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438. Barbie Buckner said,
August 20th, 2010 at 6:54 am

Ps 91 is my favorite, by far.
In the Ukraine in 1993 with the Schimmels, I “discovered” that on my first nights devotional. I read it every night for our next 6 weeks in Ukraine and have continued that process anytime I have ever been on a mission trip.

The amazing thing was that the following year in 1994 (my 2nd trip to the Ukraine) my host sister gave me an Orthodox Prayer Belt. While there were many words in Russian that I had no clue about, I finally found someone who could translate. They said it was Ps 90. While surprised, I ask them to read it to me…and it started out…”He who dwells in the secret place of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty.”

Amazed as I was…I knew that it was not Ps 90, but rather my daily read Ps 91. Apparently in the Orthodox Bible they gave a different ordering of chapters for Psalm.

My God never ceases to amaze me.

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