The Wings of Angels

COVID is a curse, straight from the Pit. I know people who have had it, and I know people who have died from it.  The reflection below is a true account of an event last Fall.  What exactly happened, neither my wife nor I are completely sure. What we do know is that regardless of the illness or the outcome, God’s Word brought peace in the midst of a terrifying storm.  We share this personal reflection as a reminder that during the storms of life, we have a refuge that will not fail.

The Wings of Angels

A rising tide of fear found my wife gasping for air. Literally. The day started with a coughing fit, followed by dizziness and an unexplained weakness throughout her body. She was sick, and she knew it.

Is this what COVID feels like?” was her first thought.  

As evening approached, her symptoms worsened. She found it increasingly harder to breathe. The migraine didn’t help. Thinking this was just another asthma attack, my wife excused herself and crawled into bed early at 9 pm, hoping she would feel better in the morning.

The chronic coughing had stolen her voice, and she could barely muster a whisper. Minutes later, she texted me. Sitting at my desk, I read her message.  “HELP!” 

I ran to the bedroom to find my wife gasping for breath. I had already started to dial 911 when she told me to stop. She wasn’t going anywhere. No matter what happened next, she emphatically insisted, “I am not leaving this house.” Ignoring her pleas, I was about to place the call anyway when she asked for help to start the Albuterol breathing treatment for her asthma. And she had one more request.

“Please sit with me and read me the Psalms.” 

I had long ago used the Psalms to give words to any pain, suffering, or fears I carried. I could hardly refuse her request to do the same. And so, I began to read aloud Psalm 1, then Psalm 2, then another, and another — praying all the time that reading and the Albuterol treatment were somehow a better course than dialing 911. Still, I kept my phone close.

Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”  Psalm 2:11

She closed her eyes as she continued to struggle with each breath. A growing concern soon became an agonizing fear.

But thou, O LORD, art a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”  Psalm 3:3

As I continued to read, a vision began to take shape before her eyes. She later described it as a three-dimensional color image. Like one of those pin art impression sculptures, a face emerged before her. It was not a pretty face. The dark, sinister look had red eyes. With each gasping breath, the intimidating face grew closer to her. Was this a nightmare, a mocking reminder of her mortality, or death come calling?  

In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for thou alone, O LORD, makest me dwell in safety.”  Psalm 4:8

Depart from me, all you workers of evil; for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.  The LORD has heard my supplication…” Psalm 6: 8-9

The Psalmist’s words filled the air.

O LORD my God, in thee do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me…” Psalm 7:1

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!”  Psalm 8:9

My wife would later describe the vision that would not go away. As the demonic face drew closer, it appeared to be pushing through a black veil. The closer it came, the greater the fear. 

Unaware of what my wife was seeing, I kept reading aloud, softly but clearly, declaring the Word of the Lord.

Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence, there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Psalm 16:11

As Holy words filled the room, the vision before her began to change. The foreboding face, unable to pierce the veil, froze as a new image appeared. A feathered wing, in radiant white, burst forth across her vision. As the wing expanded, the face receded, smothered by the gloriously bright feathers. Her vision was no longer one of fear. The malevolent face was gone. The angelic wing brought a sense of peace and calmed her spirit — and her breathing.

Did the Psalmist’s words save the day? Patrice will tell you that while fear momentarily gripped her soul, hearing the Word of the Lord gave her peace about whatever was and is to come.

And the inspiring vision of an angelic wing?  

Could there be a more powerful graceful reminder of the source of the peace that passes all understanding?

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