In this excerpt from His Mysterious Ways, a grandmother-to-be is comforted by a heavenly angel.
- Posted on Nov 16, 2010
This is a hard night for me, Lord. I was saying my evening prayers, looking out the window, watching a tree sway back and forth. I should've been long asleep like my husband, but how could I relax? Our daughter Miriam was at a hospital two states away, about to give birth to her first child.
Like any other grandmother-to-be, I was filled with excitement and butterflies. I wished I knew how she was doing moment by moment, but since Miriam and her husband follow a strict Jewish tradition, they don't use the phone on holy days.
Just my luck it's a holy day! I thought. And I'd certainly pestered the nurses enough. I'd just have to wait it out and have faith that everything would work out okay.
I sat down on my bed. God, I whispered, give me strength and peace of mind to fall asleep tonight. By morning I would learn all about my beautiful new grandbaby and hear about the birth from my daughter. What would it be, a boy or a girl? Just so mother and baby were healthy, that's what mattered.
I slipped under the covers and glanced at the answering machine. Don't even look at it, I told myself. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath...
But what was this? I found myself sitting in my dining room. I had to be dreaming. That was it. But everything seemed so real. Suddenly an angel appeared before me. There was no question as to his nature. He had no wings but wore a yarmulke. A long, bright scroll unfurled in his hands, and he sang out, "You have a grandson."
I woke up with a start and looked around the dark bedroom. The clock radio read 5 a.m. My husband slept soundly beside me. I pulled the covers up to my chin, thinking how tremendously beautiful that voice was.
"The voice of an angel," I murmured. Was his announcement true? Somehow I felt that mother and baby were fine. As I drifted off to sleep again, I heard the phone ring. The answering machine picked up. The same wonderful voice again sang, "You have a grandson."
How nice of the hospital to call, I thought. I was elated. In my sleepy state, I supposed all good news sounded as if it came from an angel!
When I woke up later that morning I checked the message. There was no message at all. I looked down at the red, flashing zero. Of course there's no message, I realized. You were dreaming. Since when do hospitals leave singing messages on people's machines?
Soon we learned my healthy grandson had been born at exactly five o'clock in the morning. My daughter was doing just fine. Grandmother, never better! Surely this had been a holy day.
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-Rob Carter, Nyack Hospital's Director of Pastoral Care