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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Angel Encounters



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Editor's note: From thousands of afterlife testimonies, we learn that the traditional concept of "angel" is rather errant. There are no beings with large bird-wings over there. However, advanced astral persons do, in fact, serve in the capacity of personal guides, helpers, ministrants - "angels," if you will.

The stories below were offered by people personally known to me - which begs the question: if three in my circle of acquaintances might offer dramatic stories of heaven-sent help, might there not be for us, out there in the marketplace, thousands or millions of these examples of rescue, if we could access them? - to say nothing of the likely possibility that "angels" have helped us in our daily lives, without our awareness.


as in It's A Wonderful Life, she met an angel on a bridge


May, 2010 

Dear Wayne,

As I've been a Word Gems enthusiast for quite some time now, I'd like to share a story with you that you may find to be interesting. This story is true and factual...I will relate it just as it happened to me. There is no need for embellishment.

APRIL, 1984

The day began quite like any other... tears in the shower at the deafening silence in my apartment (against my wishes, my two kids were now casualties of divorce and living with their father). I, fueled by two cups of "high test" espresso, dashed down the stairs toward my car for the morning commute...the staccato tapping of my wing-tipped pumps echoed in the stairwell. The traffic jam on the freeway threatened to make me late for work (not good as I had just started this job only weeks before!). The divorce, my kids being gone, the struggle with money (I had to pay my alcoholic Ex child support!), the new job...the chaos of my "new" life was beginning to take its toll. Tears oozed up to the surface. Swallowing my tears, I lit another cigarette and chanted my "mantra..."never let 'em see you cry!"

Finally, I got to work...late! The phone was ringing with 3 calls in the queue and an impatient Project Manager was waiting at the corner of my desk. I booted the computer while jotting down a phone number and nodding acknowledgment to the Project Manager at the deadline underlined three times in red on his latest "gotta have it yesterday" fiasco! This was the timbre of my life...I had traded one caliber of chaos for another!  By 10:30, I simply had had more than enough!  My stress threshold had long since been crossed and I seriously felt like I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I told my boss that I had to leave... and out the door I trotted to some place where I could find some peace and tranquility.

Not willing to negotiate the traffic on the freeway, I simply began driving... away from downtown and anything that smacked of responsibility. Lighting another cigarette, I settled back in my seat opting to just enjoy the drive. Taking the back roads, I headed in the direction of the Dam. And so it was that the stage was set for a miracle to happen!

Arriving at the Dam, I sat quietly listening to the blustering wind and watching the rivulets stream down the windshield. A quick scan of the parking lot told me that I was the only one there; so, I decided to walk out on the bridge overlooking the reservoir. It probably was not the best choice given that I was in an extremely isolated location and no one knew I was there;  but my need for the peace and solace outweighed my better judgment so, pulling my coat tighter around me, I started toward the bridge.

The bridge over the reservoir is easily a quarter mile long. I stopped at about the halfway point. A quick glance (just to be safe) at the parking lot reassured me that I was still the only person crazy enough to walk out over the water on such a blustery day. I just looked out over the water and absorbed the peace of the gray sky and water. 

It seemed to me that mere minutes had passed when I heard a voice speak to me saying, "I just want you to know everything is gonna be OK." Looking to my right, I was surprised to see a fisherman standing there, within arm's reach of me! His super deluxe 3-tier tackle box was wide open, AND his line was already in the water! The misty rain and blustering wind wreaked havoc with this man's thick, black hair and the zipper on his quilted red and black plaid flannel jacket strained at his rounded belly. I stood agape at the sight of him!  How could he have walked the distance from the parking lot (where I had minutes before verified that mine was the only car there!) to halfway across a quarter-mile bridge; open a large tackle box and have his line already in the water all without making a sound????? The fisherman spoke to me again, repeating "I just want you to know everything is gonna be OK... I know you're having a hard time right now, but everything will be OK."  

Who was he??? How did he know I was having a hard time???  Where had he come from??? I couldn't easily find words, but finally gathered my presence of mind. "If you're thinking I'm going to jump in this water..." I started.

His warm, kind eyes looked directly into mine and he said, "You just need to know that everything's gonna be OK." With that, he reeled in his line, closed his 3-tier, super deluxe tackle box and lumbered back over the bridge toward the parking lot. I watched him go for a little while then looked back out over the reservoir, puzzling about where this man had come from, and how had he gotten so close beside me without making a sound? I turned my attention back toward the direction of the parking lot, having only looked away for a brief moment. He was nowhere to be found! The man had disappeared completely from sight. There was no place for him to turn off... no place else he could have gone but to the parking lot, and there hadn't been time enough for that! This was really starting to feel like an episode of "Highway to Heaven"! So stunned was I by the appearance and disappearance of this fisherman, that any thought of having a nervous breakdown was unconsciously set aside!

By all appearances, this man was a serious fisherman, but fishermen don't just appear, then disappear into thin air! Only at this writing, did I become aware of a critical point of interest...it was a cold, blustery day! I called my fisherman brother-in-law who told me that a windy day is not a good day to go fishing... the wind will make casting the line difficult and will cause the line to drift. A fisherman can fish any day, but a cold, blustery day would not be the first choice most serious fishermen would make, evidenced by the fact that no one else was there but the two of us!

Wayne, this happened to me nearly 27 years ago, but to this day I still recall minute details as if it happened only yesterday... his black, tousled hair... his quilted plaid jacket... that tackle box with his line already in the water! I know there are many who won't be able to accept this story on its face. I might be doubtful myself had it not happened to me. I've gone back to the Dam seeking some logical explanation, but cannot explain it away. In my spirit, I know I had an Angel encounter that April day in 1984! YES!!! Now I've said it out loud! I met my Guardian Angel that day! I leave you to draw your own conclusions. To paraphrase St. Thomas Aquinas... "To one who believes, no explanation is necessary. To one who disbelieves, no explanation is sufficient."






June, 2014

Hello, Wayne,

I appreciate your interest in matters of the “afterlife” and so I thought you might like the following story to add to your collection. It is a true story and it happened to me 35 years ago.

I was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where I gave birth to a full-term 8 lb. 9 oz. stillborn little girl. I named her Karen Theresa. The events that led up to her death are still painful to talk about. She left a hole in my heart and nothing will ever fill that void.

They put me in a room at the far end of the hall so I wouldn’t hear the other babies crying. It was thoughtful of them, but I could still hear the babies anyway.

I thought I would feel better if I could cry. But I just couldn’t. I lay awake all night, staring at the ceiling. I questioned God over and over. Sometimes shaking my fist at the ceiling in a fit of rage! “Where are you? Can you hear me? Or do my prayers just stop at the ceiling? Do you care? Do you even exist?”

It was now 6 AM and the sky was turning pink with the dawn of a new day. I could hear the church bells ring from across the street: a low-pitched single “dong” every 5 seconds that sounded more like a funeral bell than a call to worship!

Suddenly, the door to my room slowly opened and a woman walked in. She had short curly hair and dressed rather modest in a white cotton blouse and a plain blue skirt with a matching vest. A small gold cross was fastened to her lapel. She appeared confused, like she came to the wrong room and wasn’t sure why she was there. I was in no mood for visitors and certainly not a “nun.”

This was a Catholic hospital and was affiliated with the church across the street. Occasionally, you would see the nuns (who were dressed in white with thick white veils on their heads and large brown beads at their sides) roaming the halls and visiting patients – you know, doing their “holy thing.”

I studied this woman in my room and then in a sarcastic tone asked: “What do you want?”

She replied: “Well, I’m not exactly sure. Sometimes we are given a mission and have to figure out the details as we go. But as long as I’m here… Hello, I’m Sister Constance.”

I said, “Funny, you don’t look like a nun to me!”

She just smiled, leaned toward me slightly, took my hand and said, “Congratulations, how is that darling little baby of yours? Bet you’re excited?”

Again, sarcastically I said, “Well, if you must know, my darling little girl is dead! And I’m not excited, I’m mad as hell and you need to leave!!”

Her expression changed instantly. She looked up at the ceiling and said, “Dear Lord, now I know why I’m here! Oh, Mrs. H*****, I am so sorry, please forgive me!”

I said, “Yeah, whatever!”

She asked, “Can I pray for you?”

Again, “Yeah, whatever – make it quick!”

She prayed a wonderful prayer and her words were starting to make sense to me. It felt more like a personal message to me than a prayer.

She then handed me a brochure and said, “I want you to have this. My name is on the back. If you need me or ever want to talk, I will always be there for you. [The brochure] contains information on bereavement and a support group that meets once a week. I’m sure you will find it up-lifting and very beneficial. Please go.”

With that, she gave me her blessing, turned and left the room. The door was still slowly closing behind her when I bolted out of bed and ran for the door to thank her. I stepped out, looked down the long corridor to my right and yelled, “Sister!” Looking the other way, again: “Sister!” Where did she go? No explanation, she just absolutely vanished! Even if she were running, it would have taken her at least 30 seconds to get to the other end of the hallway where the elevators were!

Now, quickly making my way to the nurses’ station, I thought how sweet and kind she was to me, and I had been nothing but rude to her. I wanted to apologize, but she was gone. The nurse said, “Good morning, may I help you?”

I said, “I hope so. Did any of you see a nun go past here or get on the elevator?”

They all said, no! “When did this occur?”

“Just now, like within the last minute or so!”

Then, only the head nurse spoke to me: “There are no nuns in the hospital at this hour. They are all attending mass in the chapel across the street, as they do every morning. What was she wearing?”

I described her attire and hair the best I could.

“Our order wears all white from head to toe; they wear veils with no hair showing.”

I know she was thinking there was a baby-snatcher or some kind of intruder walking around because she immediately called security. While she was on the phone, I told her I’ll be right back. I went to my room and grabbed that brochure she gave me. Back at the nurses’ station, I said, “Here, look at this brochure! It has her name and convent address on it!”

They all studied it for a moment and then the head nurse asked: “May we make a copy of this?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“We don’t have anyone on our registry by the name of Sister Constance!”

Just then, the copy turned out blank in the space where her name was supposed to be.

The nurse said, “That’s strange, make a few more!” The same thing happened. Every single copy they made turned up blank!

My original brochure was the only one that retained Sister Mary Constance and her personal information on it.

The head nurse asked, “May we have this?”

I snatched it from her hand and said, “Nope, this one is mine! I believe I just met an angel!”



'you know who I am' 

I was acquainted with a lady named Shirley who reports of “angel” or Spirit Guide encounters throughout her life. Each time the attending Guide would adopt a different visible form, but, she said, the tone of voice and attitude was the same in each case.

When Shirley’s son died, she felt so emotionally burdened that she could not walk into the funeral parlor to view the body. With her daughters, she stood grieving outside the building. However, an unfamiliar man walked up to her. He addressed her by name, said that everything would be ok, took her by the hand, and with his help she walked into the viewing room. Once inside, the guiding hand, she suddenly noticed, no longer comforted her own, and he was gone. Her daughters, in tow with her other hand, reported that they had seen no one.

On another occasion, at a time when Shirley was having trouble finding enough money to feed her kids, she was walking out of a grocery store with a glass bottle of milk (I think she said). As she made her way in the parking lot, she stumbled and the glass bottle dropped from her hands. However, before the bottle could smash on the pavement, a man she had never seen before came along side and grabbed the bottle in mid-air, preventing a loss of the milk. Again, as was his custom, he addressed Shirley by name, encouraged her that everthing would be ok, and this time also added, “You know who I am.” And then he was gone.

I asked Shirley how often she’d encountered this servant Spirit Guide over the years. Her answer was something like “thirty or more times.”

We cannot know why some people have this kind of palpable and visual contact with the Guides, however, I will add that Shirley did have certain psychic gifts, and so this may have made it easier for the Spirit entity to manifest. In any case, my sense is that, though most of us cannot see the Guides, they work in our lives as much as with Shirley.



how can he blame you for being human when he made you human

episode 4, season 2, “The Driver” (1995)

Debra (weeping): I can't do it right all the time.

Monica: I know that. God knows that. How can he blame you for being human when he made you human?

Editor’s note: Absolutely. Monica nails the central issue. The vaunted “church fathers” would have done better asking themselves the simple question, How can God blame you for being human when he made you human? Our task today is to separate ourselves from the ancient “holy doctrines,” the respected lies about God, which purport otherwise.




Editor's last word: