Angel Guide

Violet Hay wrote a poem which has been set to music in the Christian Science Hymnal (#9).  The third verse reads:  O longing hearts that wait on God
Through all the world so wide
He knows the angels that you need,
And sends them to your side,
To comfort guard and guide.:

Here’s an example of how God sent an angel guide.

                Communities around the US annually select one person to represent their town as a community ambassador to an overseas destination.  These ambassadors travel to that destination and live with a host family there for about two months.  They learn as much as they can about their host country and host family.  They are often sponsored by  local civic organizations and work through THE EXPERIMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LIVING in Brattleboro, VT.  After two months, they return home and share their learnings with their home community – thus enhancing global  education.

            In 1968, I was privileged to be chosen as Community Ambassador from Battle Creek, MI, to Prague, Czechoslovakia.  My host family was an extended family —mom, dad, son, daughter-in-law, and their two young children  (ages 6 and 4).  It was a wonderful summer with kind and caring folks who showed us all around their country on daytrips by bus, who enjoyed drinking Tang (which I gave them as the drink of US astronauts).  All together there were twelve Americans, each living with a host family in Prague.  Later in the summer, one member of each host family would represent Prague in an American city for a two-month homestay.  It was an exciting time to be in Prague—the year of the ‘Prague Spring’.

            On the evening before their departure, we all (about 25 of us) held a farewell picnic  on a remote and unpopulated hilltop clearing several miles south of Prague.  We arrived by train, then hiked to the edge of the little town and up a mile (or so) in a dry riverbed to a clearing, gathering firewood for our ‘hotdog/bratwurst’ picnic.  Those leaving for the US in the morning left before dark for last-minute packing. The rest of us stayed longer singing folk songs around the campfire.

            When it was time for us to make our way down to the train station and catch the last train back to Prague,  mild panic set in.   I could feel the fear growing among my fellow picnickers.  It had rained earlier in the day and the sky was still overcast—no moonlight and no one had brought a flashlight.  We had used up all our matches to light a fire of dampish firewood.  So how to get to the train station safely in the dark? My habit was to turn to prayer in any time of need.

Prayer had worked well for me in the past, so again I prayed.   The words of that hymn came to mind.  In the Christian Science Sunday School, I had also learned this passage from the Christian Science textbook, SCIENCE & HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES by Mary Baker Eddy, “Divine Love [God] always has met and always will meet every human need.”  Our current need was to get to the train station safely and quickly.  We would all be in BIG trouble if we didn’t catch that last train. I also learned a poem in Sunday School which I prayed, “Shepherd, show me how to go…”Immediately, someone took my left hand and pulled me toward the riverbed.  I couldn’t see who was pulling me — male? Female?  Czech? American? Who???   I spoke to my guide in Czech: “zpomulu prosim” and in English: “Slowly please”,  but no response ——except we walked a little faster. I spoke to Linda ( from Kalamazoo) holding my right hand:  Duck when you get here. there’s a branch overhead,”Puddle on the left,”Careful, boulder on the right”  etc. She passed these messages back to those behind her.

                At the base of the riverbed, there was a streetlight. We all dropped hands and ran to the train station.  None of us entered the station.  We gathered on the platform because we could hear the train coming.  It arrived in about 30 seconds and we all scrambled aboard.  When we were all settled, someone asked me,  “Judy how could you see where you were going?”  I explained, “ I just followed the one in front of me.”  Then we verbally reconstructed our single-file line. – Who was holding hands with whom?  To our amazement, our guide was neither American nor Czech.  It was someone that none of us knew.  Safely back in Prague,  we later learned that our plans had been changed.  We were to leave for New York a couple of days early.  So I was in my parents’ home on August 21 when Warsaw Pact troops and tanks invaded Prague.  Could that have been the work of my angel/guide again keeping me safe?  I have no doubt.  We are all always safe with God who sends angel guides.