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Tracking Angels

When we hear of someone who claims to have seen an angel, our ears tune in.  Curiosity and skepticism are engaged and we weigh the truth and likelihood of the encounter. I am a deep believer in the Lord. I trust Him implicitly. I have always believed angels are real, but have never seen one.  Apparently I sat next to one at a track meet and never knew it. 

I was at the NY Armory indoor track cheering for my daughter. She had qualified to run two events in the 2012 Eastern high school championships. I was there with her father and we were excited to watch her run in this nationally ranked team relay race. She waved to us from the 'holding pen' signaling that she knew where we were sitting as she waited for her race to start. There were no angels or angel like creatures that I could see, just a lot of athletes, parents and grandparents in the stands around us.

Her leg of the relay was the 800m, which is four laps around the indoor track. The gun went off and the first two teammates ran hard. Her father and I cheered and screamed for our girl as she took the baton, keeping up with this elite set of runners. When she passed the baton off to the final runner, I looked at my stopwatch and saw that she had clocked her fastest time to date - 2:20! Her father and I were so proud of her. A few minutes after the race, she hurried up to where we were sitting. We hugged her and heard all about what happened on the track. But then she asked a weird question...

She asked, “Mom, who was that man standing next to you cheering for me while I ran? Did you know him?” I looked confused and turned toward her father. I asked, “Did you see anyone next to me?” He said, “No, we were the only two cheering for you sweetheart.”

She looked perplexed and said, “MOM! (as only a frustrated 16 year old can say) A really tall man was standing next to you wearing a trench coat and he screamed MY name and I heard it as clear as day. I looked right at him. He turned to you smiling, slapped you on the arm and pointed to me, and it looked like he said, ‘Look at her run!’… You are joking with me, right?”  

Her father confirmed that no one had been next to me. No one had hit me on the arm and we heard no one else shouting or cheering for our daughter. Then it occurred to me. Tears came to my eyes. I said, “Honey, I think you saw an angel.” Not wanting to seem weird or crazy, she said, “Mom, you are dreaming. Keep this on the low down, OK?”   I winked and said, “Maybe.” as I hugged her through my tears as she left to rejoin the team. 

I sat in awe for the next hour, spilling tears of joy and wondering about the angel The Lord had sent to cheer on my daughter. My own small voice was lost in the crowd but she heard the booming voice of the angel clear and strong. This track meet changed my perspective. Yes, I have always believed that angels exist, but this was the first time I could say that they are real and engaged in our lives. Angels are described in scripture as standing in the gap and fighting for us or preparing the way. In Hebrews 1:14, it says:

  Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

I don't know why, but I never imagined that angels attended track meets. My daughter and her team did not win either of their events but each girl ran her best time of the season. Winning isn’t everything, nor should we make it our only goal. Sometimes it’s the joy of running and doing our best that’s the prize. I’m convinced that the angel was there because he loved my daughter and wanted to cheer her on in the biggest race of her season.

For me, this encounter solidified my belief that angels are real. (I also discovered that they apparently like to have fun and wear trench coats too!) They are there to help us, encourage us and fight for us when we can’t see what to fight or cheer loud enough to be heard. We have only to ask the Lord to deploy his angelic troops to intervene in ways we cannot see as we partner with these invisible teammates. They are not our salvation, nor should we worship them. They are merely invisible partners sent to help us achieve what God wants us to do on Earth.

I may not have seen the angel with my own eyes, but I will treasure that night for the rest of my life and this verse has new meaning in my heart:

  Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me. 

                                                                                                                                Acts 27:23

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Suzanne Rahn is the Editor in Chief of InnerVoice magazine. Suzanne is a freelance writer by day and a mother of 4 great kids. Suzanne lives in Somerset County and attends Liquid Church, Morristown campus.
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