Angels Among Us

by Tony Harrington

The belief in guardian angels is not something new.  In fact, guardian and tutelary angels and their hierarchy was introduced into Christianity in the 5th century by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.

Since then, there has been a firm and unwavering belief among Christians that God assigns guardian angels to serve, protect, and provide prayer to their earthly charges. The concept itself pre-dates Christianity and can be seen in ancient Roman and Greek mythology.

In fact, every religion has some instance of angelic intervention.

However, among Christians, the fact that every soul on earth is assigned a guardian angel is debated and is inconsistent among the many denominations. The belief that a guardian angel was assigned to a soul the moment it was placed into an earthly vessel was first realized by Honorious of Autun in the 12th century. His theological views were upheld and slightly augmented by Scholastic Theologian Thomas Aquinas to include that it was the lowest order of angels assigned to guard the living.

Regardless of the station of Angel, many Christians dare not cast disbelief upon the existence of angels, to do so is to live contrary to the Bible. Instead, there seems to be a resounding belief that we are not alone and we are being watched over by a presence assigned by the hand of God.

When I was nineteen years old I was in the Army. During that particular period in my life I was having a crisis of faith. I was coming to terms with who I am as a person and began shaping my life to become the person I am today.

I was attending church regularly though my faith was never particularly strong. I preferred the world to living a sanctified life and I began to realize that religion was not for me.

I tell you this, dear reader, to drive home the point that I am not a religious person and do not believe we are protected by angels. But, on one particular night seventeen years ago something happened that gave me pause.  It was a night of drinking and debauchery for me. The beer ran out and my friend, the only soldier I knew with a car, demanded we go on a beer run.  I opened the passenger door and got halfway in and I simply could not make it into the car. It was as if I was being restrained, I could not physically contort my body into the shape it needed to be in order to lower myself into the vehicle.

After trying to get in, I wrote it off as being too drunk to perform a simple task such as getting into a car. I stepped away from the car a bit disgruntled and headed back toward the barracks, deciding to call it a night. As I walked away, another soldier with whom I was unfamiliar took my spot in the passenger seat.  My buddy and this young guy in the passenger seat took off around the corner at a reckless speed heading toward the Class VI.

They collided with a light post and in a freak and unfortunate circumstance, a street sign broke free from the post, sliced through the windshield and partially decapitated the soldier sitting in the passenger seat. He was dead by the time medics arrived on the scene.

All I kept thinking about, and think about to this day, was the inability for me to get into the passenger seat. I clearly remember not being able to get into the seat no matter how hard I tried.

I shared this story with some friends and this led to a lengthy discussion of similar stories where a crisis was averted because of a feeling, a voice inside someone’s head, or physical intervention by an unseen force.

The skeptic in me prevents me from attributing this to some type of divine intervention and I cling tightly to the more earthly explanation, in my case at least, that I was simply too drunk to maneuver into a car seat. I can not answer for other people’s experiences.

All I know is that somehow, my number should have been called on that day and somehow I was saved. If my life being spared was the act of a guardian angel, I can’t help but wonder, just where was the guardian angel of the unfortunate soldier who took my place? Was it his time all along and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the fates corrected themselves? Was it some cosmic joke?  I don’t know.

But, I do know, that for millions of people, they believe that there is protection and peace afforded to us by God in the form of guardian angels. They provide words of wisdom, they intervene when we get too far off our course. They are the voice of reason.

What say you? What are your personal stories involving guardian angels? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.


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