Wednesday, April 9, 2014

RADAR ALERT

Psalm 91:11  He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. (MSG)  

    I was twenty-three, a young wife preparing to live overseas in Japan, with a two-year old daughter and a son (still baking in the oven), that we expected to arrive within a few months.  Our family rented a third story room to save on expenses before our departure 
     We literally lived on the third floor of a couple's home.  Entering the front door, we quietly climbed the winding wooden staircase, then turned to the right down a narrow hallway.  When we ran out of hall, we ducked our heads to the left, climbing a creaky padded stairway up into our humble home: the attic's efficiency apartment.
     To the far left, was an area where we placed a large white crib for our adorable little blond-haired Jennifer.  Close by, waited a smaller brown port-a-crib for our second born, Nathaniel.  We literally rented one large room with a small kitchen and bath, but there was a lined curtain that we drew across to darken and separate the area at night. This gave us a little privacy and helped Jennie to fall asleep easier, without the distraction of our lights or me cleaning up the kitchen.
     Tonight was like any other.  Jennie carefully picked up her toys to put them into our make shift cardboard toy box decorated with adhesive shelf liner.  I chose her favorite pink "ducky" pajamas, as we called them, with the feet attached.  
     Then, since our tiny bath only had a shower, she and I descended to the second floor to use a shared bathroom to bathe her in a claw footed tub that we'd asked to use for her at bedtime.  
     After watching her play and "swim" amongst the bubbles, I wrapped her up in a towel and creaked up the stairs to get dressed. She padded over to pick out a couple of stories from her bookshelf and then hopped up in my lap as we snuggled in for stories and our nightly conversation before bed. 
     After this we said a prayer, then hugged and kissed.  Tonight's routine ended by me tucking the fluffy comforter all around her.  With a pat and a gentle rubbing on her back until I slowly backed away.  
     Usually, this did the trick.  She would doze off soon after, worn out from the day.  
     This evening, however, I heard her giggle a little at first, and then louder, the same way she did when someone was playing with her.
     Tiptoeing closer, I peeked through the crack in the damask curtains to see what was going on.
     My little cherub reached up toward the ceiling with her eyes focused intently on something very specific that kept her attention.  Pointing upward she laughed uncontrollably.  Next, she placed both her palms up against her mouth and just laughed and laughed.  
     I glanced up, squinting to detect a spider web, or shadows on the ceiling from traffic lights on the street below, but I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary that would capture her attention like that.
     Motioning for my husband to come over, I pointed through the crack in the drapes. I wanted him to peer through and share the scene on the other side.  Shrugging, I arched my eyebrows in wonder at what could be possibly causing her to giggle so.  
     Still as statues we watched until finally she lowered her arms and settled herself down.  Chubby arms finally rested.  They lay stretched above her blond curls as she breathed steadily.
     There were only a few other nights that we heard her giggling like this.  All that I could figure was that after praying all her life for the God to send angels to watch over her through the night, that just perhaps at times she had been aware of the presence of her heavenly guardians.  Playfully, they entertained her before she dropped off to sleep.
     This never occurred during nap time, nor did this happen ever happen at any other location.  
     To this day, I remember these gentle ones, often as I pray for each of my children, their spouses, and the my grandchildren.  At times, I sense the presence of angels as they watch over me, making me thankful and confident. 

Radar alert: God in His love beckons to me, soothes my soul, as I am blanketed with this cozy homespun warmth.  I am safe in His arms.