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Thursday, 20 March 2014

My Angel

By Lyn Burnstine

It was a steaming hot day to be driving in a car with no air conditioning. I had presented a musical worship service for a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship two and-a-half hours away from my home, as part of my long-time lay ministry of music.

Of all the venues where I sang and played traditional American folk music and contemporary songs of universal meaning (peace, love, justice, civil rights, death, and joy, among many), these churches and fellowships were my favorites.

In these services, I sang about angels in beautiful gospel songs for 40 years. One that was almost my signature song was Angel Band whose chorus says “O, Come, angel band, come and around me stand, bear me away on your snow white wings to my immortal home.”

When I wasn’t singing about them, I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe in them until that hot August day when my front tire decided to give up the ghost!

I was in a hurry to get home to greet my best friends whom I hadn’t seen in years and who were visiting me from California due to arrive in mid-afternoon. I was on a busy four-lane highway tootling along as fast as I dared.

Having never had a tire go flat while driving, I at first didn’t recognize the flapping sound as that; I thought it was a helicopter and stuck my head out the window to look up overhead.

I then looked to my left, sure it was the guy traveling beside me, but he was gesturing and pointing at MY tire and signaling me to pull over.

This being before the era of cell phones, I decided to proceed to the next exit where I could call someone. He kept signaling me and when I finally pulled off at the exit, he pulled up ahead of me and stopped.

With a sinking heart, I realized that I had misjudged, and there was nobody around at the exit - no houses, no service stations, nothing. As he got out of his car and came toward me, I thought, “Well, there is nobody here to save me; I’m alone here with a strange man; but if I roll up my windows and lock myself in the car, I’ll die from the heat, so I’ll have to just trust that he won’t rob, rape or kill me.”

This scruffy, long-haired and bearded young man (actually not that different from many of the people in my folk music world) came to my window and offered to change my tire. I really had no choice but to accept his offer, so I did – graciously, I hope.

I told him there was a spare in the trunk, and when he opened the lid and saw the sound equipment, he came running back to the window, almost jumping up and down with excitement, saying “Are you a MUSICIAN! I’m a musician, too.”

From that moment on, we chatted happily about our music careers as he deftly changed my tire. I offered to pay him but he adamantly refused to take anything but my thanks.

I drove home slowly on my spare puzzling over what had happened and allowing a thought to gradually form in my mind: “I think I just met an angel!”

To this day, I believe that to be true. Albert Einstein is credited as saying “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” I would add, “Or maybe an angel’s.”

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


An angel, indeed! And more than a coincidence. Your doing music services is wonderful. My favorite services at our local Unitarian Universalist church.

Beautiful story, Lyn.
I love the Einstein quote about coincidences -- especially powerful coming from one of the greatest mathematician/scientists of all time.

Thank God for all the angels right here on earth.

Loved it..often this page is my angel for the day, comes along the right message just when needed the most...I have had many such angels in my life, sorry I never told them how I felt..Of course, they knew now, didn't they?

Angels seem to pop up in the most unexpected places. Knowing how important music is to you and your soul, I'm just glad your angle also liked music. Lucky you.

Nifty story about celebrating the unexpected blessings that fall on us if we acknowledge them. I, too, hadn't encountered the Einstein quote.
Thanks for sharing. My most spiritual friend always reminds that if we just put away fear, we are open to accept blessings.

I usually ignore talk about angels but when it comes to the near misses I've had when driving I think twice, "Well, maybe." I do feel that I'm cared for, that I lead a 'charmed' life!

Wonderfully written, by the way!!!

Love your work, Lyn. I think most humans have the capacity to do angelic work. Great post!

Thanks, everyone--I love getting your comments.I was in the hospital so couldn't respond till now.Am okay.

Lyn, thank you for always sharing your stories with us. This one is especially encouraging and hopeful!


I was away so I am very late in reading your story.

It was wonderful and I was happy to hear that you believe in angels, too.

When we were in Catholic Elementary School, the Sisters always told us to sit over on your chair so there was room for your Guardian Angel to sit beside you.

Sorry you were in hospital but happy to hear that you are OK.

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