This is a story. An amazing story. A true story. An unbelievable story. A story of faith. A story that is still being written and yet…we already know the ending.
It all starts with a black angel.
Two and a half weeks ago, sitting in the waiting room, waiting to be taken back for his liver biopsy the mood was…sobering. Travis made jokes to ease the tension and Carrie and her mom Kris, of course, giggled. All the while, in the back of their minds, thinking what if? Certainly not. It’s an infection. It can’t be…the “C word“. But they nervously laughed along with Travis, if for no other reason, than to make him feel better.
Travis’ name was called and he and Carrie walked back. It was just Kris and I…hoping…praying. Kris turned to me and said “we should pray”. And so we did. Quietly. Discreetly. Holding hands in that waiting room praying for our dear loved ones.
And then the black angel appeared.
No. I don’t mean she appeared from no where. One minute not there and the next…there. She was actually a few chairs down and across from us and she got up and walked over. She was dressed in a gleaming white polyester suit and her skin and hair were black as night. She spoke softly.
“I saw you praying and The Lord spoke to me. He told me to tell you this sickness is not unto death. And then she walked back to her seat.
Ok. I’ll admit it. I’ll say it. I smiled and thanked her, along with Kris, but my first thought was “Cuckoo!” I mean she claimed to hear from God!?! And who talks like that anyway???
But then, a few minutes later, we noticed…she disappeared.
No. Not before-our-eyes-disappeared. But you notice the people around you in a waiting room. You notice when their loved one gets brought back and they sit there anxiously waiting. You notice when their loved ones come out and they gather their things and you listen in on what they say. You notice because you want it to be your loved one coming out. Giving good news. You notice.
But she was gone. Nobody had come out. She didn’t seem to be with, or waiting on, anybody. It was like she was there simply to deliver us a message. And then she was gone.
Suddenly. I wasn’t so sure she was “Cuckoo!”.
Suddenly. We were referring to her as “our black angel”.
Travis had better faith than I did. We told him about the black angel and he immediately believed. He believed in his black angel and her message.
But time has a funny way of messing with your mind.
Of making you forget.
When the news came in that it was “the C word” we said to each other, “what about our black angel?!?”
As the appointments delivered worse and worse news…we forgot about our black angel. And her message.
But God didn’t forget.
Since we began the blog Travis and Carrie have been emailed daily by a friend of Travis’ from high school – Kimberly. Travis has not spoken to Kimberly since high school but she still felt convicted to fervently pray for this family. And so she did.
Each day she has sent them an encouraging email with some encouraging bible verses. What the Roberts didn’t realize was that Kimberly only did so when she felt directed by The Lord. She never sought out a verse for encouragement but only included a verse that was laid upon her heart. Only emailed when she was prompted. Never on her own.
Yesterday was no different.
Yesterday morning she prayed and asked God to show her how she could encourage Travis and Carrie that day.
She was tempted a couple times to search for a verse that would bring them comfort but she remembered her conviction to only deliver what The Lord impressed upon her and so she resisted the temptation.
The day dragged on and there was still nothing. Perhaps she wasn’t supposed to email them today?
And then she received the latest blog update and she read about their pain. Their struggle to breathe. “Oh Lord…help me encourage them!”
As she and her husband put their children to bed, her husband prayed and read scripture while she silently asked God to please lay something on her heart because she wanted to encourage them but she did not want her words to be “of her”.
Immediately, she was reminded of an email from two years earlier.
Two years earlier, she received an email from a friend stating her husband had stage 4 cancer. What struck her was their faith. Her first thought was that she didn’t think he would make it.
She felt ashamed. Ashamed that she did not have their kind of faith. She immediately cried out to God. She confessed her lack of faith. She begged Him to comfort her. She was led to a daily devotional and she turned the pages to that date.
And then she wept.
She stared in utter amazement at the verse God led her to and she read and reread it. She underlined it and put a note by it. Because she did not want to forget it.
But time has a funny way of making you forget.
She sought out that same daily devotional last night. She couldn’t remember the day or even the exact month of that email but, as she opened it and turned the pages, she felt convicted to look only at today’s reading. She looked at the clock.
It was 12:04 AM. May 4th. May 4th by four minutes. So she turned to May 4th.
To her complete and utter amazement it was the same page she read two years earlier. The verse that taught her to have faith…despite the circumstances.
The verse? John 11:4
“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
The same words of our black angel.
Our minds may play tricks on us. Make us question. Make us forget.
But thankfully…God doesn’t.