The Brush of Angel Wings

I had the most fascinating conversation with a woman whom I barely know at a dinner, recently. The conversation took place at a table with people who were virtually strangers, with a person sitting between this woman and me. We talked over (or around) her.

I’m not sure how the subject came up-but, this woman proceeded to talk about a time early in her nursing career when she supervised the “preemie” ward in a hospital during the night shift. As her eyes widened and her face glowed, she talked softly about how, on several occasions, she was the only one in the room when a baby was fighting for his or her life. It was only her-alone with this frail infant-with the two of them inextricably locked together in their desperate struggle to keep the flickering light of human existence from being extinguished.

This woman was transformed as she told this beautiful story. A quiet sense of spirituality permeated her voice as she spoke. I asked, “Are you religious?” She replied, “Well, I was raised as a Catholic, but haven’t practiced that in many years.”  I went on, “Do you consider yourself to be spiritual at all?” She replied, “Yes, I do. I do consider myself to be a spiritual person.”

I thought to myself as she was relating this story, and watching her countenance change and her eyes sparkle as she was telling it, that there was more than just a nurse and a child in that ward-that, surely, the spirit of God was present, as well.

I took a chance and asked, “Do you think that there was a spiritual presence in that room on that evening? Do you think that there was some sort of divine intervention that was helping you keep this child alive?” (With this, the woman who was sitting between us dropped her jaw, in disbelief that this conversation was occurring between the two of us. It was rather comical to watch).

She replied with somewhat downcast eyes, “Yes, I do.” I pressed on, “Did this and other experiences that you’ve had like it (since she said that this happened on more than one occasion) change your life?” She said, “Yes, it has.”

Knowing that she said that she has a daughter, who is a young adult living abroad, I asked, “Have you ever told anyone else about this?” She said, “No.”

I said, “Don’t be selfish. Don’t you think that your daughter someday would want to know these beautiful things about her mother? I think that you should write this down, if not for all of us who could learn so much from it and similar stories that you might have within you, then for your daughter.”

She said, “Well, I have difficulty writing things like this. The words just don’t come easily to me.” I said, “”Don’t be frightened. Don’t be scared. Just write what you feel, what’s in your heart. First draft-right out of the box. Your daughter will understand.”

She said, “Well, I’ll try.”

I hope that she does, for my guess is that there are many beautiful stories within her heart that her daughter someday would want to know -like the story of how her mother felt the brush of angel wings on that miraculous night in the hospital ward long ago.

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