Underwater Angels

In this excerpt from Best Angel Stories 2014, Mary C. Neal describes a miraculous rescue that reassured her of God's presence.

By Mary C. Neal, MD, Jackson Hole, Wyoming


I completed my first scuba course and became passionate about the sport. I gave up my paychecks and began working in exchange for equipment. When the shop sponsored a trip to the Florida Springs, I couldn’t wait to go. The drive from Lexington to Florida was long and our group arrived after dark, but the water was beautiful, calm, and inviting that evening.

We novices were so eager to make our first open-water dive that we compelled our instructors to break the first rule of night diving: Never dive at night where you haven’t yet dived during the daytime. We impatiently donned our equipment and enthusiastically jumped into the water.

Once under the surface, I stuck to my instructor like glue. We cruised along the bottom and I was thrilled with the splendor of the fish and the variety of the colors and shapes of the coral. My first open-water dive was living up to all of my expectations and, too soon for me, the air in our tanks neared empty and it was time to surface.

When we inflated our vests and kicked toward the surface, we did not pop through the water’s surface as expected, but we solidly struck rock. We swam in another direction and again struck rock. We had inadvertently entered a cave to which the exit was not obvious.

My instructor and I searched for the opening, but the visibility had been diminished when, in my inexperience, I kicked the bottom of the lake with my fins and raised a cloud of silt. We were running out of air and the tank alarms were echoing.

That’s when I remembered to pray. I called out to God and I was immediately filled with the feeling of God’s presence and the knowledge that He would show us the way out. He would see me through.

The silt began to clear and we saw several fish darting back and forth before lining up together, swimming in the current. They seemed to beckon us to follow, which we did. We made one last dive down to the bottom of the water in the direction of the fish, then swam upward and broke through the surface of the lake just as my instructor’s air tank emptied completely.

My instructor and I discussed our shared experience at length. He was entirely focused on himself, and was distraught at having lost control of the situation. He felt responsible for the mistakes that were made and what he thought was his poor judgment. He believed that we had survived because of pure luck. He judged himself a failure and proceeded to drink himself into a state of oblivion.

For my part, I had a profoundly different response to our survival. I did not believe that luck was involved. I had experienced a profound sense of calm and a knowledge that God was with us in the cave. I believed we had survived because God intervened, even though we had been such knuckleheads and He essentially had to push us out of the cave.

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"we saw several fish darting back and forth before lining up together, swimming in the current."

So you were being observant of your surroundings which helped you escape. Nothing magical there. You figured out the way the current was going.

So God intervened for you but not for the victims of the Oso mudslide or the passengers of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, or the victims of the Korean Ferry disaster.

Wow, how special you must be and how worthless all those before mentioned people must be.

Love all the stories, and so glad that people are not so afraid to tell their stories. I too have a story to tell.

I worked at a store as the main cashier, and had met many people over the past four years. Most of them knew I was a Christian and I often talked with some of them about the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the ladies after talking for a while, leaned over the counter and in a low voice asked me if I believed in Angeles. I told her that I surely did, she said that she was going to tell me her encounter with three angles. She said she's never told anyone, not even her own family. She was afraid they would think her crazy. She was so pleased to be able to talk with me.

Her story: she said that one night she woke up and after a time she realized she was on the floor beside her bed. She also realized she could hear singing, and that she was singing also. She said it was the most beautiful singing she had ever heard, and she said she was singing to although she had no idea how she could do that when she had never even heard the song before.

Then she felt the present of someone in the room with her. She looked up and saw three men standing by the door to her room, and they were pointing to the window. She said she was very scared of the men and didn't know what to do, but she said she knew that they were telling to go to the window.

She then looked at the men once more and the faces of the men changed to the faces of her three daughters, and they were pointing to the window again. When she looked up she saw that the window now was broken and most of it was gone. She climbed out of the window and went to the next door neighbors house realizing then that her house was on fire.

The sad part of the story is, that her husband who was in another room didn't make it out.

I'm grateful that I was the one she thought she could tell her story to, because she saw the Christian in me. She had told me later that by telling me her story, she felt like she wasn't holding on to a secret anymore. I told her that she was very blessed by God,if he sent three angles to save her. I said she wasn't done here on Earth, and I was also blessed by her telling me her story.

God is good-All the time!

"God is good-All the time!"

Except to her husband.

I guess her husband had incompetent Angels. She had "Three angels". Too bad one of them didn't decide to save her husband. You would have thought that two or even one of them could have broken the window.

Either that or they should have been able to have stopped the fire before it even started. Then neither the wife or the husband would need saving.

Crazy is too harsh a word. It is just when many people are in an extreme situation they can see stuff that's not there or because of the trauma they fill stuff in that weren't there. Actually it probably shows that she has a very creative mind for it to act in such a way to give her comfort.

Crazy, that denotes a long term situation. A temporary mental break during this extreme situation is certainly understandable.