Skye Thomas

Skye Thomas
Writer, Rebel, and Soapbox Ranter

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Children tell of encounters with angels

QUESTIONS OF FAITH


THE REV. LEANNE HADLEY runs First Steps Spirituality Center for grieving teens and children. For more information, go to www. 1ststeps.net.

Children tell of encounters with angels

Question: “Are there really such things as guardian angels?”

Answer: Angels are talked about often in the Bible, but they most often are messengers of God and not described as guardian angels. But in Matthew 18:10, Jesus says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

This Scripture seems to imply that children have personal angels, “their angels,” that sit very close to God. Is this a reference to guardian angels? I believe it is the closest we come.

In my m i n i s t r y w o r k i n g with hurting children and teens, I often ask them if they are having spiritual exp e r i e n ce s . And I would say that more than half of them experience the presence of angels caring for them during the rough times. Many of them can describe in detail their angels, what they look like, how they are dressed, how tall they are. Some even have names.

Other children only “feel” their angel. But when they speak of angels, it is clear that they are real and helpful, and that the children look to them for help and strength.
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When I worked as a chaplain in a children’s hospital, I had many experiences when children would ask, “Is it all right if I go with her — isn’t she beautiful?” minutes before they died. I watched children have conversations with angels for many days and hours before they died. Others had dreams where angels would tell them what disease they had and how long they would live.

These dreams were incredibly accurate. One of my favorite children, a 4-year-old who died of cancer, would ask every- one to leave his room so he could be alone with “her.” When we asked who “she” was, he would simply shake his head and say, “Her — I just want to be alone with her. I love her.” On the night he died, he asked everyone to leave his room again so he could be alone with “her.” He died moments later.

I am a believer in guardian angels — or at least angels that watch over and guide us — not because I have personally had much interaction with them, but because children have shared their powerful stories with me. They have shared them with such honesty and courage. I believe the children, so I believe in angels.

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readers answered by local clergy. See other responses to this question at www.gazette.com, click on “Questions of Faith.” Contact 636-0367 or pasay@gazette.com.

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