I should continue using my regular disclaimer. These are 40 RAW stories meaning they are not edited and some days may not even get a serious proofread. Or a half glance one. Because I'm off to the races, laying down aces, and completing the serious edits on Confessions of An American Mystic. If typo's and other grammar gremlins drive you batupthewall crazy - you will have to step away from your screen and soon. Like, now. Because I can either proof my stuff to death and worry about my strange little relationship with comma's or I can tell a story.
Some of these stories in one way or another have appeared in previous works or they are about to surface in a new one. But I have no purposeful intention in my posts here to rewrite or to publish. Just decided that it's good karma and kinship to offer up a little of what I've got. A story and a prayer. That's about it. That's my currency in this world.
Also - if I owe you money - I'm so on it. Didn't forget about you for a sec. I do so know that I'm hustling here and there and looking for buckets of cash flow to help bridge between the now and the then when that tidal wave of green that's about to hit me at. any. moment finally rolls in.
In the meantime, if you see me standing on a corner with a tin cup that says - I've got a story if you've got a dime - then toss two dimes and a nickel and I'll make certain you get your money's worth and then some.
Now - to THE STORY OF THE DAY - Yes, There be Angels.
I don't know about where you live but back in the day most the houses I ever entered for any reason of a family member had a child somewhere in the house and in the room of said child or children there would be a frame picture of two small children alone in what looked like a freaky, scary, forest if I remember correctly and they were crossing a bridge and the whole thing evoked lost and in trouble but behind them was this beautiful angel with wings that was obviously guarding them and helping them get across the bridge and somewhere to safety. At least that was the general idea. That sounds good except for the part that at any age I looked at those kids and thought- That aint right. Two little kids shouldn't be all by their lonesome out there in that situation. And the angel had long hair and looked like a girl angel. I didn't ever read about or hear about a girl angel in the Bible but there it was. I have heard a story about a girl angel that a man saw and he told me about it. It was the kind of sweet man that would just never strike you as a liar. Not even an exaggerator. We all know that kind but this guy - just telling a story about what he saw, and heard. And he also was not in a drug-induced state of mind legal or other kind.
Recently, I stopped producing and hosting Clearstory Radio. After eight plus years of the show I felt it was time for a little bit of a change. I thought about the coming book, it's title, and the things that were important to me. The stories that were important to me. Things like faith, fiction, and faraway places so I wanted to roll them into a new offering. Then I started thinking about the stories that find their way to me and how much I love them. Some are about boxers (the sport) and some about music (all kinds) and some of them are about string theory or angels or popcorn or . . . then I realize it's a show about the things that cross my path and how much I want to share them.
One of those things be angels and this coming Monday, 5pm Central, American Mystic Radio will be hosting a show that highlights just a few stories published and told, from the minds of authors of renown to stories from the street.
The radio program will evolve little by little and week by week into the thing it is becoming and in the meantime I hope you will tune in and share and keep one eye peeled back looking for the regular podcast that comes soonest.
BACK TO THE ANGELS.
I think I've seen an angel I really do. And I tell that story on Monday on the program. it was a time of great need for me. Both my sons were in trouble in different ways. My Daddy was sick and I had my hands more than full. I was a single mom, two words that don't begin to capture what that experience is like for a mom or dad. And in was in the midst of all this when I thought I'd had more than I could bear. I laid my head over on the steering wheel at a long red-light in Panama City Beach where Thomas Drive, Front beach road, Back beach road and the Hathaway Bridge all intersect. Locals will know EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I say a long light.
So, me head on steering wheel and I had only one thought - My Lord knows how I feel. That's the flat out truth of exactly the words that rolled up and out of me. You could insert God, Jesus, or the universe, whatever makes you happy but I'm telling you just what I said. And, I was forlorn. Really. Then . . .
I get the feeling someone is looking at me. You know that weird feeling when you just know? I raise my head up and look over to my right and there is this huge guy with a beard staring at me out of the back of this little car. He smiles and waves only the wave isn't a normal wave. Not a flirtatious wave. Not a Whatzup. Not one finger wave on a back country road behind a pick-up. It's a child's wave. The kind where you hold your palm up and then slowly wave just the fingers up and down. I smile and wave back just the same way and as I do I have this thousand pound weight lifted off my shoulders replaced by a feeling of peace and a gentle happiness.
Then I looked forward and the light turned green and both cars began moving forward except angel dude's car was in the turn lane to go over the bridge and just as I got under the light I realized - 'WAIT a minute - that guy can't fit in the back of that little car much less turn and face me completely. I turn and look at the car as it's going through the light and I DON'T SEE NO ANGEL DUDE in the backseat. Just luggage. You might ask,
RIVER, why didn't the angel just pop into the passenger seat of your car?
CAUSE - I would have floored the gas, hit the car in front of me and still be going this many years later. No gas needed. I'd be fueled by freak me the - - way out.
My friend Carol Proctor once showed me a video of angel stories that she had bought from Avon of all places and if you ever find one let me know because it was the kind of stories that will encourage you. Or, at least they would encourage me from where I'm sitting now. I'm not just encouraged BY MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE but by the STORIES OF OTHERS. I can run two weeks solid on someone else's story and that's why it's so important that we keep them and share them.
An anonymous Cousin that I have done some stuff and logged some miles with (just saying) once came to see me because she was shaky and concerned about an experience that she had the night before. It had involved white feathers and a heavy peace in the midst of a dark night of turmoil in her heart. She kept trying to tell me about this experience with a bird. A very, very, very large bird. I asked her if she had seen a bird beak and she said no. Then I asked her if she had seen bird feet and again she said No. Hey man, I tell her, IT WAS AN ANGEL. (You should know I can say this with a straight face over a cup of coffee and not even blink a weary eye.) Very, very large white feathered wings right? Yep.
Angel. Flat out. No reservations, no doubt about it. It was a Class A, fully certified, flight approved, Angel.
Ohhh, she says. That explains everything.
Of course it does. And it doesn't. It kinda begins the question about these things. The other side of the dimension of our faith and our unknowns both in this life and the one to come. You know, in the sweet by and by.
Angel stories amaze us or perplex us. But the stories of them have been around for ages and will continue to be for a long, long time.
Today - if you find yourself in the dark despair of Thursday. If the trash is piled up, the dog not fed, someone waiting for dinner, your debts not paid, your project overdue - in other words - WHATSOEVER - I recommend that you go outside, get in your car, lock the doors so the family horde can't each you, and simply put your head over on that wheel. You don't have to pray at all, or you could offer up one of my favorite prayers from the novel, River Rising, "Lord, look down here."
Because I believe He does. And, He will. And, that angels abound in the mystery of this universe and sometimes they slide gently, surprisingly, in momentous moments, into our lives and when doing so, they bring good tidings of - Peace.