Angel Voices ~

Many of you know this Chris Tomlin song as “Lisa’s song”.  She played this song at the Cross Cancer every day.

 And we all say: “The God of Angel Armies is always by my side.”

Angel Voices ~
A Devotional Essay by D F Raborn ©

How many of us are able to recall select times when we know, actually know beyond a shadow of a doubt, those times when an inner voice has dictated a decision of immediate importance?  My sister and I talked of these rare moments when the Holy Spirit dwelling in us changed a moment in time. We called these few, but very distinct times, ‘angel voices’. When we were small angels seemed to be everywhere and we play-acted them whenever possible.

Angel Voices - St Stephens ChurchPlay-acting angels is the most fun time a girl child can have. First, there is the white net material from our mom’s sewing cabinet; the easily accessible pillow cases; the wire hangers; some scissors and a little glue; and, of course, the ubiquitous cotton balls found in the signature ’50’s style glass covered jars in each room wherever we lived. Play-acting angels never requires being taught as a craft. This is a spontaneous, built-in play project that comes naturally. Within fifteen minutes, Judy and I could put together the sweetest angels in all of Glen Lennox Apts. Two wire hangers covered with cotton balls (usually a whole jar for a complete set of wings), a bit of crunched up netting and ‘poof’ we have wings! Judy excelled at cutting up and designing our angel dresses out of extra big, albeit yellowed, pillowcases. I usually forgot to turn my pillowcase inside out, which made my costume look splotchy and a bit dingy. Nonetheless, I was pleased as punch at the outcome and really felt every bit an angel. 

Angels fly quite well when playing over two small beds especially in a tiny room. The beds have that ‘bounce factor’ allowing angels to leap between supporting walls. Judy was by far the superior angel and fearless in her play-acting. I added liveliness to the mix with special sound effects.  Angels sound soft and silvery, it was decided. But, mostly we didn’t want our parents to hear our cavorting and come in to curtail all the fun.

“The God of Angel Armies is always by my side.”

I got a call one evening years later after both of us had growing families and life was busy. To be cliché, it feels like yesterday. She was excited to tell me one of her Holy Spirit stories. A story that made me gasp.  I could almost hear the ‘angel voices’ in the background.  Judy had recently been driving, she said, in one of the Southern states. I don’t seem to remember which one; however, it was somewhere during a typical torrential winter’s rain when the sky opens up pouring buckets upon buckets of sheets of water on seamlessly endless portions of land. This can be particularly paralyzing when traveling long distances as fog stealth fully surrounds and settles in. Blinding rain leans horizontally pelting the windshield. And fear begins to take over.

Judy’s story takes on a quick pulse as she elevates her voice stumbling over her words. The day before driving northbound on I-95 in this ever-worsening storm, my sister hears a clear voice ringing in her soul. The voice is rather firm in a gentle sort of way and intensely calming. The voice does not mince words and is uniquely personal. “Judy, pull over to the side immediately.” “Now.” And without questioning, that is exactly what my sister does. She feels her small car being guided as she steers to what she thinks is the side of the highway. And then she waits.  After about thirty minutes, Judy sees a break in the weather and decides to continue.

What Judy finds next is nothing less than startling. Twelve miles down the road she sees the result of a sixteen-vehicle crash. Large trucks, cars, buses all crunched, mangled and in every form of contortion, upside down, in ditches, on top of each other. Ambulances, police, and fire trucks are already attending victims in this horrific pile up caused by engulfing dense fog riddled with heavy rain. What she passed is an accident of immense proportions that she would, most definitely, have been in the midst of on this tragic day. But for an ‘angel voice’~

“The God of Angel Armies is always by my side.”

The thing is, as I write this, I am stunned by the similarities to one of my ‘angel voices’ which occurred on Monday, February 28th, 2011 on a trip back from Jasper. Blustery snow was hampering the drive causing a virtual ‘white-out’ effect.  As only seen in Alberta. While we are taking an access road unto a major thoroughfare, a gentle yet firm voice states ever so sweetly: “move over to the side, Diane.” “Now!”  I obeyed and am here today because of this nudging by the power of the Holy Spirit. A millisecond later and a monster of a truck would have all but obliterated my husband and myself.    A moment in time changed by an ‘angel voice’.

“The God of Angel Armies is always by my side.”

Wonderstruck, thankful, and ever-changed in our perceptions of God’s enormous love for each one of us. A love that nudges us to give up and give back. May we pray that we can begin each day listening and obeying His Holy Spirit.

As many of you may know, approximately a month prior to his catastrophic accident,  our son challenged me to memorize Psalm 103. How fitting, as it held the perfect words to lean into during those dark and difficult days. Those tender words have never left me. I hope they seep into your soul as they have mine. 

I will recite by heart this precious psalm:

1. Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits–
3 who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is His love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are but dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass,
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children–
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul. 

Shall we pray. ( pray the Lord’s Prayer )

by DFRaborn BA