Friday, November 30, 2012

Angel Team Six

One evening I was standing in the laundry room amidst the Himalayan mass of unclean clothes that four children and one husband produce, wondering just what I had done to deserve the special privilege of dealing with that mess. With furrowed brow, inhaling the scent of Downy dryer sheets and dirty socks, I reveled in my own little pity party. Exactly 13 seconds into my self-inflicted funk I was interrupted by a ruckus going on in the living room next door. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the classification levels of familial dramatic events, a ruckus is right between a commotion and a full blown riot. As my ears swiveled around to locate the exact nature of the aforementioned ruckus, the door burst open and in galloped a pink dog; a pink dog wearing a tutu. The canine was closely followed by two shrieking children, one three year old boy who was not wearing a stitch of clothing, and the other a six year old girl who was covered in pink paint thus explaining the unusual color of the dog. 

The three of them flew through the laundry room in a high speed blur, circled me two-and-a-half times and then exited at rocket velocity. I immediately headed out the door in hot pursuit. 

I arrived in the living room to witness my small clothing deprived son climbing up the front of our large entertainment center as deftly as a lemur going up a tree. As he reached the third cubby hole up on the center he grabbed hold of a large round fish bowl we were collecting change in. It was nearly full and was approximately the same weight as a baby elephant. 

Before I could even process what was happening the fish bowl started to slide off of its perch and directly towards Sam’s small head. Panic set in and I lurched towards my baby, knowing that he was probably going to be killed by the impact of the falling object. 

Then something incredible happened. Somehow, someway that defied the laws of physics, my little boy jerked to the right as if pulled out of the air by an unseen force. The fish bowl continued on its path downward and smashed into the hardwood floor with sickening explosion. Sam landed softly on an armchair well out of the way of any harm. 

My husband Buns said to me after this experience that there must be Swat Teams of angels that are assigned to toddlers and I think he is not far off. The same little boy who had this happen also managed not long after to punch through a 75 year old plate glass window and came away with only scratches. 

Knowing how the Lord feels about little children, it isn't such a stretch to think that the best and brightest would be sent to watch over these precious little ones. And not just any angels will do, they are most likely people who know and love those children better than anyone else, their family. 

Elder Kent F. Richards recounted the following story. “Thirteen-year-old Sherrie underwent a 14-hour operation for a tumor on her spinal cord. As she regained consciousness in the intensive care unit, she said: “Daddy, Aunt Cheryl is here, … and … Grandpa Norman … and Grandma Brown … are here. And Daddy, who is that standing beside you? … He looks like you, only taller. … He says he’s your brother, Jimmy.” Her uncle Jimmy had died at age 13 of cystic fibrosis. 

“For nearly an hour, Sherrie … described her visitors, all deceased family members. Exhausted, she then fell asleep.” 

Later she told her father, “Daddy, all of the children here in the intensive care unit have angels helping them.” 

What can be difficult to remember as we are thrown against the realities of life, is that we ourselves are children. 

“Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. 

Fear not, little children, for you are mine…” 

The great creator of the universe has the same love for us that he has for these sweet and wonderful little children. He sends the same help for us that he does for them. This doesn't mean that bad things never happen, that pain and loss and devastation will never touch us, but what it does mean is that he sends love and help in the form of ministering angels and a lot more often than we are aware of. 

“Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times.” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

I know this to be true. I've seen and felt the presence of departed family members in times of need as well as times of joy. I know that they have protected and warned and celebrated with us. They are not far from us and undoubtedly they shield us. It is comforting to know that the Lord sends the best Special Forces in the universe to help and protect us. 

How grateful I am for their assistance, now if I could just get them to convince Sam to keep his clothes on. 



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