True Life Lessons Stories
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by Deb Matthews

Welcome! Here's another true lessons-learned story from my collection of things that have really happened to me (including stories about miracles, angels, Civil Air Patrol and God's love and blessings). This is one from the 70s about God sending an angel to encourage me at work on my birthday!

An Angel Comes To Work
Copyright © 1999 by Debra K. Matthews. All rights reserved

I had watched for the exact moment to arrive. At 5:42pm on October 9th, 1973, I signed off my register at work, wished myself a happy nineteenth birthday, and headed back to the back of the store to straighten my area.

My home furnishings department was in bad need of work. All evening long I would barely start straightening it up when the head cashier would call on the floor intercom system for me to come check up front. I would go up, get the lines down, and then hurry back to my area again, only to be called on within a few more minutes.

Because I needed the time back there, the manager had put me way down on the cashier's list. Being low on the list didn't help, however. Because other checkers wouldn't come when she called, and the lines would grow quickly, Sandy just started calling my name first. She knew she could count on me to come quickly.

This last time, as I went up front again, I found myself starting to feel an old "victim" mentality. I didn't show it outwardly, but inside I felt helpless -- like someone whom others would always try to take advantage of, just because I was a "nice" person.

I had waited on a number of people when a man came up with a package of fasteners from hardware. He was a big man with a full head of pure white hair, and the kindest smile.

As I reached for his purchase to ring it up, he looked at me and started telling me some things about what I was thinking. I know it wasn't because I looked "down," because I was always cheerful and friendly with the customers. But there he was, speaking grandfatherly encouragement about believing in myself and in the special future that was in store for me, and basically about not letting the world get me down. I don't remember the exact words, but the overriding message was one of victorious living. And everything he said was completely in line with the Word of God.

I finished bagging his item and handed it to him, with the usual closing words, and he left my register. I turned to the next customer, who wasn't quite ready yet, and then started to glance back at the kind man.

He was gone! I looked up and down the aisle and across to the clothing department. He couldn't possibly have gone more than a few steps in that few moments I'd glanced away. There was no place to hide, and he was big! The man had completely disappeared.

I spent the rest of my birthday marvelling in the wonder that the Lord could have sent an angel to speak to me on that special day.

Exactly six months later, on April 9th, 1974, I ran into him again! I was walking quickly down a main aisle towards our Customer Information Desk, when I saw him walking briskly from the other direction at the opposite end of the aisle to my right. He turned his head and saw me, then immediately detoured and came purposefully walking towards me.

I instantly realized that I hadn't been following his advice. I had been getting negative again. Just as he looked like he was going to chide me, I grinned and held up my hand like a stop sign.

"I know," I said with a sheepish grin. "I forgot. I haven't been doing what I was supposed to". He was smiling as I repeated what he had told me, and similar words from the Bible. He hadn't said a word, but his mission was accomplished, to remind me how the Lord wanted me to be. He stepped back and turned to go, still wearing that knowing smile.

I turned to continue on my way, then turned back to watch him. Again, he had completely disappeared!

What's the moral of the story? Maybe just to say that God can get our attention any way He pleases. On my nineteenth birthday, and exactly six months later, He sent a special "messenger" to encourage me with the same words that the Holy Spirit had been trying to get me to hear for a while.

And why did the Lord "trust" me with letting me know it was an angel, not only these first two times, but in some later visitations, rather than letting me "entertain angels unawares?" Who knows?! Maybe because He knew I wouldn't try to worship them, or make them my "guides" or put them on a pedestal or something. He knew I would carefully weigh their words against the Bible, and also realize they were just his messengers, delivering His message, just as I too am a messenger or "witness" to His glory.

God is all in all! And on this occasion and others since, He simply delights in doing special things in the life of another one of his kids -- me! He longs to do special things in your life too, if you'll just let Him!


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Added August 25, 1999