Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a simple phrase near the end of one of the most cherished carols of our time that somehow lives in the backs of the minds of many still today. Those words are: “God is not dead nor doth he sleep.” The song was written during one of the most tragic times in our nation’s history, the American Civil War. A time when all seemed lost and hope was near death among the people. A time when many held the tenent that hate was strong and there was no peace on earth.
No one knows for sure who composed the phrase ‘From God our Heavenly Father a blessed Angel came,’ although it is believed to have been written in the 15th century as part of a song that brings tidings of Comfort and Joy.
Both of these songs brought peaceful feelings of Hope to thousands during times of great turmoil and stress. The common theme between the songs is hope – Hope for peace, and hope for better days.
We all need to believe or have the hope that better things will come to us. Recently, I have felt this great need deep within the depths of my soul. Something wasn’t sitting well within myself and I didn’t know what it was. Enter the ‘Angel’ so to speak.
We all have them. That certain someone who tends to ‘appear’ at just the right time, in the right place, for all the right reasons. My particular angel isn’t even aware that he serves this role, yet I believe that God uses him in this way.
I don’t recall how I met him, where or even why. It was several years ago now. He came to me one day (after our initial meeting) to ask me to help him with a very important career paper that would determine exactly where his future in the United States would lead. Interestingly enough, it turned out at the time this man was indeed an ordained pastor in the Episcopalian Church.
This is an example of how God does work in the most mysterious of ways. As most of my dear readers know, I have issues – THOSE issues with the church, God, and the whole nine yards. Yet, I was compelled to help the man write his paper – put his thoughts down on paper that lead him to know what his purpose and calling in life is. The story itself brought tears to my eyes. The man had suffered far greater than I in every aspect of living – murdered parents, starvation, being hunted in the night, not only not having a home but no country as well – and he was only a child through all of this. The man is a living reinactment of several stories in the Bible: The Exodus, Job, Jeremiah. At that time it truly put my priorities in order and readjusted my moral compass. How could I, someone who lives in the richest country in the world, believe that I had suffered even in the tiniest comparison to this man’s life. I was in awe of his resilience and stamina to keep moving forward always with his eyes on God.
In recent months he came to me once more for help with writing some things as his helper had left town. I need to interject that the man has difficulty typing due to an accident in 2008 which cost him two and half fingers and part of the use of his other hand. I don’t believe in coincidences, everything happens for a reason. This man should just happen to come from halfway around the world to end up in my office in Fargo, ND? I think not.
Interestingly enough, the papers he needed help with were in direct relation to the issues I have been having for years. I was forced to examine my own inner-self and what I believed to be true or not to be true and draw conclusions based on what I had just learned. Over the years I have come to know that if there was a question to be answered this was the pastor to ask. We’ve had several deep conversations regarding God, Jesus, and the relationship between them and myself.
It’s strange when you meet someone and there is a sense of greatness about them that you just can’t put your finger on. It’s even stranger to me when that person is a pastor. I have met many-a-pastors in my lifetime and none of them have anything on this man. When he is in the room, if you are spiritually aware of yourself, you know that the Spirit of God lives in this man. You can’t explain it. You can hardly fathom it. It is a Spiritual greatness that just is.
The very same day I posted, ‘Reigniting the Phoenix – Anyone Got a Match?’ The pastor had appeared in my office and brought me a book that had no relevance to any paper he was working on at the time. The book was the match. I didn’t know it at the time because I had slipped it into my work bag and didn’t give it a second thought. The book was called, “The Book of Hope”. It was the only reason he even stopped by to see me that day. How did he know that it was the one thing that I needed in that particular moment in time? Or did he even know at all?
I will never take for granted the Mysterious Events in my life because I know that they come from the God who is not dead nor doth He sleep. He has a sent an Angel just for me to bring me comfort AND joy as necessary.