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Then Along Came an Angel

True angel stories touch the heart and uplift the spirit. Please enjoy the stories and feel free to comment and/or pass onto other people who might need some encouragement today. Julie Bonn Heath is the compiler of the book, "Then Along Came an Angel: Messengers of Deliverance", which includes almost 50 true angel stories. You can order the book at online bookstores order from your local bookstore. It makes a great gift!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Story from the Book: Angels on Duty

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by Shirley M. Corder

As I said goodbye to my nineteen-year-old son, Stephen, that Friday morning, little did I suspect what lay ahead. I watched with pride as he walked jauntily to the car, his navy kit-bag bouncing gaily over his shoulder. A tall good-looking young man, with fair hair and a gentle and unassuming nature, he was on his way to take an important exam at the Johannesburg College. He enjoyed his studies in Information Technology and anticipated good grades in the tests. My husband, Rob, drove him as far as the local railway station. From there he would catch a suburban passenger train to the station near the campus.

After waving goodbye to his dad, Stephen waited for the train. He ignored the people milling around at this busy time of the day, as he went over some memorized facts in his mind. The train pulled alongside the platform, and people surged forward to reach the doors.

Stephen walked more slowly, looking for a ‘non-smoking’ carriage. He was anxious to find a quiet space that would allow for last minute cramming. The ‘non-smokers’ were likely to be less crowded than the others. Pleased, he noticed an empty coach and climbed on board.

He settled into a corner and reached into his kit-bag for a study manual, unaware that he had just stepped into extreme danger. By the time the train pulled out from the station, he was engrossed in skimming through his notes. He didn’t notice three shadowy figures ease themselves through the door at the far end of the carriage and sidle down the aisle towards him.

He jumped as a shabby individual wearing nondescript clothing plumped down next to him. “I’ve left my wallet at home. Can you perhaps give me some money for food?” the man mumbled.

With a sense of unreality Stephen realized that he was in trouble. By choosing this particular coach he had totally isolated himself from fellow passengers. There was no point in shouting out. No one would hear him above the clatter of the train. In one sickening moment he realized that he was about to become ‘another statistic’. Assaults on the trains were reported daily. People were held up, robbed and even thrown from the windows of moving trains.

Remembering what he had been told many times – ”If you are ever held up just give them what they want; it’s not worth your life” – Stephen tried to smile. His dry mouth struggled to form words. “Why sure …”.He reached for his kit bag. His mind raced. He tried to ignore his pounding heart and the foul, stale smell of the man’s breath. What could he do to distract him?

He jerked back as his assailant, presumably thinking he was going for a gun, struck him on the arm. Vaguely aware that his attacker was aiming for his head, Stephen threw his arm up to shield his face. The mugger rained blows on his body.

For the first time Stephen became aware that the man was not alone. Time stopped as he tried to take in what was happening. Between blows, he saw two other men grab his bag. They rifled through it, dropping books, papers and his lunch-box. They stuffed their pockets with smaller, more valuable items—his good pens, the up-scale pocket calculator he was so proud of, his student card. Why did they want his student card?

Above the train’s noise he heard the window thrown open. He saw his empty kit-bag hurtle out onto the hard gravel beside the speeding train. Stephen stiffened in terror as two of the thieves laid hold of him, grappling for a better grip. There was no time to even try to break loose. He was trapped. As he sent up an urgent prayer for a miracle, his feet left the floor. Stephen closed his eyes and steeled himself for the plunge.

He stumbled and nearly fell as his feet thumped back to the ground. His attackers swung around to gape at the end of the aisle, and their grip slackened. They shoved him towards the dirty green leather coach seat. Falling over each other, pushing and shoving, they fled down the aisle, glancing frantically over their shoulders. They wrenched open the nearest carriage door and vanished.Stephen stared in awe up and down the coach. There was nothing, no-one, to be seen. He was alone. Shaking, Stephen noticed a bright, red stain spreading over his white, long-sleeved top. In horror he realized that the man who hit him had been armed with a knife. He yanked up his shirt and found gashes on his side and chest. He attempted to pull together the edges of a long jagged wound on his arm.

As the train slowed for the next station, any thoughts of the now not-so-important exam left his mind. Gripping the back of the seat, he rose and staggered to the door. He stumbled across the platform and commenced a long walk, over a deserted field, to a nearby shopping center. He forced one foot to follow the other as he attempted to staunch the flow of blood from the various gashes that were now beginning to throb.

As he approached the parking lot of the large mall, he noticed people stop to watch in morbid fascination. By now he was reeling from loss of blood. ‘I’m going to pass out. Why doesn’t someone help me? How much further to a phone booth?’

Up ahead he noticed a small red car pull out of a parking space and start to move slowly away from him. Then it stopped and reversed back to him. An elderly lady climbed out from behind the steering wheel, rushed around to the other side of the car and opened the door. Carefully she eased the boy into the front seat, reassuring him that she would get him to help, “. . . in next to no time.” Once he was safely in the car, she sped toward the main road, swinging the car in the direction of the nearest hospital. If it occurred to her that her actions were not wise in the current South African crime-wave, she ignored her thoughts.

The following Sunday our teenaged son stood up in church and gave testimony. “I didn’t see him, but I know without doubt that those thugs saw a great big angel walking down the aisle of that train. They were terrified out of their wits. I pray that they will never be the same again.” Nor did he forget the heroic actions of a little old lady who did not hesitate to get involved when other onlookers were too afraid. “She saved my life.”

Today as I look at my young son with his beautiful wife, I give thanks that where we, as parents, were unable to protect him during that frightening event, the Lord sent an angel so big, so terrifying, that three armed men took flight. And I thank Him too for the other angel, dressed as a little old lady, who drove a small, red car.

"Angels on Duty" is an excerpt from the book, "Then Along Came an Angel: Messengers of Deliverance" by Julie Bonn Heath. Links are welcome, but please do not copy and paste this story, or include it in any written publication without permission from the copyright owner, Julie Bonn Heath. More info at www.juliebonnheath.com

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