A Boy and an Angel
Angel takes away fear of the dark
It was when I was 7 and my family had gone visiting in Goodway, Alabama. This is a tiny community extremely out in Alabama country, and my grandparents had this cement block house built in a square with four rooms that all met in the center and passage doors through each room. This was a common layout prior to modern home design..
However, the house was surrounded by 12 foot porches on all four sides.. Grandpa’s tractor was nosed under one side, by his tool room, the back was a multi-purpose screened porch where all the shelling of pecan’s and peas and such took place, and along on one end was the “outdoor” wash facility, where water was ladled from a barrel.
The area I am going to focus on for a moment was the end of the front porch, past the porch swing and the bentwood and straight back laced chairs and such. It was the very end and around the corner was the “extra” guest room, where I might mention that my brother and I had to share. If you looked out any farther than what I have mentioned, it was “farm” and all the things that go with. Being raised mostly in the city, I was not accustomed to such scary noises and then of course my imagination played with me.
The day was over and we were sent to our beds for the night.. mother and father and sisters were all inside the main house. Soo.. well, after much boy talk, my brother and I were left with silence… but that is an extreme paradox for silence did not fit anything except that it was time to sleep. I should mention the only silence was our own. On the other hand, outside that thin screen barrier was the ominous nightscape of a country farmhouse.. Chickens and crickets, and snakes and frogs, and owls and invisible monsters all made their screeching, clucking, clicking, honking, and occasional “whooo”s noises that struck fear in my heart.. Yes, I knew there were real things that could come right through into our room and into our bed and devour us; besides the devil even!..
As my brother drifted off to sleep, I was caught in a wakeful nightmare filled with childhood fears, and mounting distress. As I realized I was now alone; my brother was somewhere else in my opinion with his snores, I laid fearfully in pent up anxiety that I had never felt before.. where was the safety of bedroom walls, and night lights and all the normal things required to be safe? Why was I left here to be in front of danger from the invisible but well heard enemies of the night? Grandfathers brindle steers were only a few feet away behind a rickety fence and I just knew they could walk right in and I knew they were of the ornery sort of cattle , for grandmother Janey told us to never go inside their fenced domain. Why, they had charged my mother once even when she had to rescue my brother when he was only three from the feedlot. Most of all, why had my father made me have to sleep here?
Finally I crept into the house, and tried to slide beside my parents, thinking this was the only answer.. but Dad woke up and grumpily said “ go back to bed son”; so I went back, then came back in again, and even the third time I tried this “escape”. Finally the third time and I knew my dad was serious not to come back in, I reached deeper inside and cried to God, “Jesus I am afraid and alone!”. I knew I was supposed to go to him in time of trouble, for I had seen my mother and father do it many times in my young life already. With the danger of these deep dark fears I had not know existed inside me before, I was on my way to paranoia of the dark for the rest of my life if something did not happen and soon!
I had closed my eyes hard and held them shut when I prayed, but suddenly a light and a glow so bright that I opened them up to see an angelic presence appear, and look over the eve’s at my bed.. the warm glow from the white wings of this angel filled every corner, shone past the room into the night, and filled me with light, instilling strength and taking away my fear, and in awe and in a splendid stupor I absorbed the power of this angel.. it was very personal and very protective and I knew in those instants that there was nothing as strong as he was. There was nothing left to fear and my heart quieted; warmness took hold of me and I began to drift into the most magnificent land of wonder and peace. The angel did not suddenly leave. His presence was there far beyond the translucent glowing of the supernatural visit.
Though I did not make a big deal of it as a kid, this event stayed with me for years and years.. I had no fear of dark places.. I could walk in dark churches, down alleys, in danger zones sometimes even, knowing that my angel was there.. Though I perhaps could not and would not ever see him again, he was there. To this day it is as real as it was then; the presence of almighty God is close by and he dispatches his angels to each one of us as we call to him in our need.. My daughters years later said Dad, well we have never had an angel visit, but to each of them I asked were you ever in that situation and did you remember to call out? As I sat down to write this personal account I knelt at my chair and asked Lord reveal yourself to them so that they will never doubt you again!
I ask now, are you aware of your angel? Have you asked for help and acknowledged Jesus as your Lord? Perhaps it was easier when I was so young, but never is it too late and he is always available… if you choose not to use your angel, who can you blame but yourself? I hope you do… I hope you become desperate enough to cry out. Your fears will go away when you meet your angel, for he is sent from God.
I have shared this story many times and each time I felt that I had made a difference in someones life, to believe in divine light, and to look closer for their own protective angel when they are in trouble or just afraid of something that comes up intheir life.
Written by Michael O. Jones
footnote: recently I have gone by the old homestead to see the house that my grandparents lived in.. it is starting the final stages of its demise, with the doors swinging and the roof damaged by falling tree limbs. all that is left is the memories and itself a house once proud with three generations, now empty and lost as it stands there reminding us what it once was. i wonder though, where is that angel?
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