An Angel Dressed In Blue

An Angel Dressed In Blue

1920 1280 Judith Rost

 
“Do not forget to entertains strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Hebrews 13:2

The loss and loneliness were unbearable. I found it hard to function without my husband at my side. Bob was my strength and go-to guy for everything. We had traveled the world together while he was in the Navy. When he retired after 30 years of Navy life, we settled in a small town near relatives and resumed what we called “normal” lives. We became volunteers at our church, and I would spend many hours helping in the sacristy.

We finally had enough money to start some remodeling projects on our home when Bob started to get dizzy at work and passed out. He was diagnosed with a fast growing brain cancer and in a few short months he was gone. Everything had been put on hold while I nursed him through his illness. Our son helped as much as he could, but he worked two jobs. Our other children lived out of state and kept in touch daily by phone.

Family and friends were wonderful during this time. Even though I had given my life over to God many years ago in faith as well as actions by placing God first in everything I did, I could not handle the loneliness and grief. I felt robbed of my husband so early in our retirement. Instead of sulking and feeling sorry for myself I started to complete the remodeling projects and volunteered more hours at the church and local hospital.

After a few months my body was beginning to wear out. I looked pale and haggard. My son was afraid I would soon follow Bob and he urged me to slow down and let others help me. But I continued my grueling daily routine, dragging myself to bed completely exhausted, so I could at least sleep.

Five months after the funeral I was still working on projects around the house and this particular day decided to put a fresh coat of paint on the garage door. My house is located on a busy street that connects to an even busier highway. The driveway was less than fifty feet the street. Being short in stature, I needed a step ladder to reach the top of the garage door. Even though it was spring in Minnesota, the weather was warm; a nice sunny day to be outside. Exhausted from the heat of the afternoon, I slowly dragged the ladder back and forth while painting the garage door.

Being so close to the street, I could hear the roar of the vehicles when they passed by but ignored them. Instead I talked to God as my avenue of escape, and I continued the boring task of painting. As I applied the final brush strokes, I felt as if someone was watching me. Turning around I noticed a middle-aged man dressed in a winter Navy military pea coat and stocking cap at the end of my driveway.

How odd I thought that he would wear a winter coat on such a warm day. Then I looked into his face and noticed his striking brown eyes. My husband, Bob, had brown eyes. These eyes, however, were so mesmerizing and all encompassing, even from the distance of the driveway, I felt emotionally drawn to him.

In normal circumstances I would be very leery of strangers and tended to avoid them, especially living alone, but his eyes seemed to awaken a desire to get closer to him. I walked to the end of the driveway carrying my paintbrush.

“Why are you painting on such a hot day?’ he questioned me.

I wanted to comment on his strange attire but my emotions seemed to spill out all at once as I enlightened the stranger about Bob’s illness and death and my determination to keep busy to relieve the loneliness and emptiness I was feeling. I have a habit of using my hands and oodles of gestures when I talk. He listened attentively as I continued to talk.

His laughter was melodious as I revealed several humorous remodeling problems that ended in disaster and continued with what I planned for the future. His laugh reminded me of a church choir singing. His eyes penetrated into my very being and I could not look away from those beautiful brown eyes that reminded me so much of my husband. I tried to think of things to say to him to keep him from leaving.

I promised to meet some relatives who had a home on a nearby lake and was already running late. I finally reluctantly said, “I have to clean up my paintbrushes and get ready to meet some relatives.”

He reached out and put his hands on my shoulders and stated, “You know Bob is in a heavenly place right now and you should be happy he is not in pain anymore.”

With that touch pure joy entered my tired body and the pain of Bob’s loss disappeared. I felt at peace for the first time since his death. Even when he released his hands from my shoulders I still could feel their weight and the peace and joy remained.

We spent the last few moments together talking about my steady and unwavering faith and love for God and how that faith got me through my life and through Bob’s illness. I finally realized my husband was in a better place, but I still missed him.

“I don’t think your husband would want to see you working this hard. This was not his plan. It is too much for you to do.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “I know he would be upset if he knew I was overworking, but I feel the need to keep myself busy. However, I promise I will slow down.”

Suddenly the stranger mentioned he had to leave because someone else out there needed his help. He turned to walk away and even though I did not want to lose his presence, I knew he needed to go. I turned back toward the garage, took a few steps and turned around to say something else to him – to thank him again. He was gone – disappeared.

I was still at the end of the driveway and looked up and down the street in all directions. He was nowhere in sight. There were no vehicles even passing by at the time. Because of my belief in God and the Holy Spirit, I realized instantly the stranger in the Navy blue pea coat had to be an angel sent to comfort me. My body tingled with this knowledge. I could still feel the warmth of his hands on my shoulders so I knew I was not dreaming.

Forgetting for the moment to clean up my painting tools, I called my son and relayed what happened. He responded, “Mom, you have been truly blessed. I agree your faith has brought you an angel to rescue you from yourself.”

I wondered then, if this truly was an angel, was I the only person who could see him? Do angels appear to one particular person and no one else can see them? If so, I thought I looked pretty foolish to people driving by as I was standing out at the end of the driveway waving my hands holding a paintbrush and gesturing as I talked to my beautiful brown-eyed angel.

At first I seemed embarrassed not knowing if people noticed my antics; but then I realized once again I had been blessed to have been comforted and healed by such a distinguished visitor.

I did take his advice and slowed down to smell the roses. I know Bob would have approved.

 

Judith Rost

I had been a grant writer for many years, writing and managing grant monies, until the ugly word of Cancer took away my ability to continue to write effectively. Because the chemotherapy was so devastating to my body, it took over ten years to regain my love of reading and writing. I am now again an avid reader. With the help of a local writers' group, Women of Words (WOW), I've been encouraged to write again only this time for myself. I have been published in several newspapers including God's Town - Our Town with some of my non-fiction stories. My first Christian-based novel is completed and hope to have it published in 2017 with a sequel to follow within the same year.

All posts by Judith Rost
10 Comments
  • Ah, Judith, reading this blessed and comforted my heart. I believe God sent you an angel. Who cares if no one else saw him as you were wildly waving your hands. I absolutely love the idea of that!
    Blessings to you as you continue to write for the glory of God!
    Beckie

  • Great story, makes me believe all is possible. I loved the part where she actually wondered what everyone saw. If the passerby’s actually just saw her or if she was standing next to someone.

  • Stephanie Thompson March 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    What a powerful story. I have a friend who experienced something similar. What a mysterious, sovereign, holy God we have! One who isn’t afraid to speak through burning bushes, whispers, and angelic messengers.

  • Judi, your story was so inspiring! Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a loving God that would send His angel to comfort this woman. Your story truly blessed me today. I am excited to read more of your stories in the future!

  • This story is so encouraging. I’ve longed all my life to see an angel and never have, but I am heartened by Judith’s words. Thank you!

  • Judi, I was truly blessed today to read your story. What a loving God we have to send an angel to comfort a woman in her grief. I could feel the warmth and joy of the man’s touch and his striking brown eyes. I do believe she saw an angel that day! How neat that God is always looking out for us! Thank you for your wonderful story!

  • Jeannie Prinsen March 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing – this was really moving.

  • Thanks for the great story and for serving a Great God! Grandma Irma an I both enjoyed it and love the Minnesota connection.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful message. Our God is indeed a powerful God who knows our needs and sends us what we need when we need it.

    The Women of Words are an amazing group. I’m sorry I had such a short time with them before moving for my Darlin’s job. Take comfort in the words of your Heavenly visitor. Bob is indeed in a better place, out of pain, and waiting for the day in far distant future when you will be reunited in the Glory of God.

    Keep writing and sharing your gift with us all.

  • Judith, I look forward to hearing more of your wonderful stories at WOW and am so proud of your writing gift, restored by God after your cancer ordeal.

Leave a Reply