Some people don’t believe in angels. I do.
This is a story of how one entered my life, left it … only to return again, years later. But, this is no Hollywood presentation with soft music and predictable outcomes.
When I first met this woman, she was an austere person: strict and countenancing a matronly manner. Mercifully, she wasn’t my boss, but everyone witnessed the harm she inflicted on the life of an associate (who later became a close family friend) who worked for her in another department. Seemingly, drunk on the new supervisory power entrusted to her by the company, she looked for problems where none existed.
My friend, who I knew was Christian, kept her beliefs to herself, but for some unknown reason this new supervisor made it her mission to harass her at every turn. Not that my friend stood by passively: she vigorously defended herself on every occasion. My friend didn’t know what to expect next – with facts always secondary to speculation.
Finally, it all came to a head when a serious allegation – representing potential dismissal – was lodged by the supervisor, which later proved to be anything but true. My friend’s faith was tested as never before, but – with senior management’s involvement – this unnecessary vendetta was finally ended.
Yet, miraculously, over the years, the supervisor morphed into a different person: set on atoning for her past mistakes. At one point, the supervisor asked for forgiveness, and like an ‘earth angel’ (a true Mona Lisa), my friend said she had already forgiven her – so very long ago.
Then something unexpected happened to the supervisor: cancer.
When she came through the usual interventions like radiation and chemotherapy, her cancer went into remission. And, something else … when you looked into her eyes … you could see godliness shining forth from within. A bridge of trust was eventually cemented with mutual respect enjoyed by everyone.
One time, she left me a note, in her beautiful calligraphy, referencing a couple of biblical passages she used whenever she felt the need for safety and security: Romans 8:26-28; Psalm 91.
Our life paths eventually parted and it was 23 years later when I received an email about her passing. Instinctively, I open an old, unused bible – only to have that same, but faded, handwritten note fall out. I hadn’t seen it for all those years.
“Take it or leave it or try to believe it / If you’ve been down too long” – Rainy Day People by Gordon Lightfoot
Many people will write this off as a co-incidence, but how do they explain away several enjoining incidents: the conversion from strangers to friends; receiving that email out of the blue; the re-discovery of her note; and perhaps the greatest question of all … having earned her wings … is the transformed supervisor an angel still reaching out from beyond the past?