Angels and Guns

I have seen angels.

I kid you not…and I’ll get to that in a moment.

Angels, from Genesis to Revelation, they’re sprinkled throughout scriptures.

Beautiful and frightening.

Wispy and fierce.

Holy and evil.

Oh. Evil? The angels that got kicked out of heaven didn’t suddenly grow horns or antlers, and turn red with pitchfork-tails. Those heaven-banished beings are still angels—just not the type you want to mess with. And for that matter, I’d guess you really don’t want to mess with any angel—good or bad. I mean, they really are unusual things; especially when reading the description of Seraphim, in Greek meaning “burning one”. If I ever came face-to-face with a six winged burning thing (Isaiah 6), I’d probably pass out.

I have always been fascinated by angels. They existed before we came to be. And I’ve often wondered what they did before we came around. For that matter I wonder what God did before He spun this little blue planet into being, with all us kids and our zillion little issues. Just think, God’s life without “prayer requests” must have been quiet. I suppose that’s one reason God created angels before us, He needed the company.

But one thing I know certain about angels, and is a promise I hold on to is this: God commands angels to guard us. (Psalm 91:11) I hold on to that promise from God so strongly. It is the basis for the name of this blog. Soiled Wings. It isn’t about my wings, although if I had some they’d be a tattered mess—rather it’s about all those holy angels who are obeying God the day He said, “See this one. She’ll be named Sherry. All of you watch over her, she’s got a messy journey and will need extra protection and care. Suit up!”

And from that day, I’ve been watched over. Some days I forget—and then there are the days when I know I’ve been in the presence of holy obedient angels; experiencing a first-hand account of God’s promise to me.

It was a Friday morning. I was on my way to work needing to buy donuts for the office. I grumbled over the task because one of the staff recently complained that I only got glazed donuts—I suppose they wanted rainbow-sprinkle-cake-donuts. I also suppose they had no idea that I was paying for these donuts with my money—not the company’s. I pulled into the deserted parking lot at 6:15am, parked in-front of the shop with the bright yellow sign that simply said “DONUTS”.  The sun was just waking up and dimly lit the sky. Stepping out of the car I saw one person on the far side of the parking lot walking towards me. I could tell their face was turned towards the ground; they wore a dark hooded sweatshirt.  My Spidey Sense went into high alert. I almost got back into my car thinking, “screw the donuts, they don’t even deserve the cheap glazed.” But then I thought that was wrong since it was only one bad apple of the bunch making me feel un-giving. And that ominous hooded person was at least a football field away.

The door-sensor chimed my arrival as a barely four-foot-tall Asian woman came out to greet me. I said, “two-dozen glazed”, and she shouted something to someone in the back of the store. Out came her husband who towered over her with nearly six more inches of height. He carried a tray of fresh glazed donuts. I tried to encompass their happiness at their fried creation, but I was terribly distracted as the hooded man was getting closer to the shop. My stomach was turning into knots.

I wanted to hurry the couple along, but it was too late. The hooded man entered. His hands in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. I knew what I saw and my heart raced. I saw the outline of a gun. I thought, “God not now, it’s too soon, I’m not ready, this can’t be how it ends!” And that’s all I could think.

I looked at the couple, they were oblivious—and taking too much time folding a pink box and gingerly placing donuts inside. I watched as the hooded man pulled a free hand out of his sweatshirt. I knew what was going to happen next. He’d grab his sweatshirt with his free hand while pulling out the hidden gun. I panicked, I didn’t want to die. This person looked dead inside and had nothing to lose. That’s when I blurted out, “Can I buy you a donut and coffee?”

Can. I. Buy. You. A. Donut. And. A. Coffee.

–seriously?

– that’s the best I’ve got?

Yup.

The hooded guy made eye contact with me and was—well—stunned. I looked intently at him, then to the placed where he concealed a gun, then back to his eyes. His covered hand shifted slightly. And I said, “Really, do you want something?” He didn’t reply. He just stared. My heart was in my throat and pounding in my ears.

At that moment seven large burly Hispanic men entered. They looked like gangsters. And while they appeared scary in their own right, I was thankful for them—because now I’d have a fighting chance when the gun came out.

What happened next makes no sense. The hooded guy sat down on one side of the store—fidgeting in his chair, hand still in pocket—while the Hispanic men stood on the other side. No one said anything. This all occurred while the Asian couple finally got to ringing up my order. My attention was shortly diverted to them as I offered my credit card with a badly shaking hand. The door chimed again and I watched the hooded-man leave the store. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I smiled at the Asian couple and received my pink box. They had no idea the disaster they just averted. The door chimed again, and the Hispanic men left. They didn’t get coffee or donuts.

No more than a few seconds passed as I signed the credit card slip, donuts in hand, exiting the shop. That’s when I noticed there were no Hispanic men. No band of trucks leaving the parking lot, no men walking down the sidewalk. Nothing. Just a quiet deserted lot with one single hooded person walking away.

If my hands were shaking before, it was nothing compared to how they were as I tried to put the key into my car’s ignition. I was suddenly aware that God had just protected me from death. If “evil” was bound to end my life that day, God said, “Not yet. Greater things are yet to come. Angels suit up!” And they did, as gangsters. I shook inside and out. I could begin to imagine how Isaiah felt when he encountered the Seraphim. He was visibly and mentally shaken. So was I.

The rest of that day, nothing could get me down. Not a snide comment from an employee about glazed donuts, or anything else. Because I was in the presence of holy that day. A promise was kept; and I was filled with wonder at why…and what greater thing was yet to come. And in my heart I concluded and whispered, “Here am I. Send me.”

Copyright © 2009- 2011 Sherry Meneley . All Rights Reserved . soiledwings.com . sherrymeneley.com . soiled wings

20 thoughts on “Angels and Guns

  1. What an amazing story! I love the question you asked the perpetrator. I’m not sure I would have had the wherewithall to keep it together in that situation. And, yes, it is so crazy the forms angels will take on to protect us. What an affirmation from God as to what you are doing and what you are going to do. He knows just how important your accomplishments are to His plan. Go Sherry!!!! And thank you for sharing your story. What an inspiration. 🙂 Michelle

    • Thanks Michelle – I really felt spared for a reason. Of course I keep waiting for the huge “ah-ha this is it” moment, but I just don’t think it works that way…

    • Michelle – I seriously could have fainted from fear. Blurting out ‘can I buy you…’ was the only way I thought I might live. Thanks for you kind encouraging words.

  2. Could it be that from the hooded mans perspective…you were the angel that day? Angel is the Greek word for messenger. You didn’t intend to buy a robber a donut, but God spoke through you…like a messenger and that’s what stopped him. Creepy/cool.

    By the way, were those legal or illegal aliens? Ha Ha!

  3. FA – A – BULOUS story! Best of all was your role in the scene, diffusing the situation by offering to buy the fellow a donut. Though your first reaction was fear, your second was kindness. You passed the test!
    I’m glad that happened to you because you had the right instincts for the moment and the ability to write about it in your special way.
    As usual, well done. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while…And I’ll share this story if you don’t mind.

  4. Hello Sherry,

    Great story! So, if I am reading this right, you have the ability to feel other people’s emotions, you have the courage and clarity to address them (address and not confront), you know that you have plenty of support, and you have received the call of Ministry. Given my perspective that Ministry is as much about deed as it is about logic and words… have you ever seen the movie “Unbreakable”? I’m not suggesting that you should go hunting for crazies with guns (I’m fairly certain that invincibility is not one of your gifts 😉 ) However, given the gifts that you do have…. perhaps the call to Ministry includes looking for a way to share those gifts.

    Just writing off the top of my head. Have good day.
    Craig

    • Craig…you are spot on in many ways. I’m impressed you kinda put all that together, because I’m never one to come out and say it. Thanks for making me feel understood in a world that rarely understands..

  5. Fascinating event “Angels and Guns”! The Universe reveals many things that peak our curiosity. As Doug said, you could very well have been the Angel. The hispanic guys were just your back up. Just think about the couple who waited on you with such care. They may have been the intended target and you came along. You live in a Universe that knows exactly how to cultivate the Energy within. You were called to Duty and they were just your back up. Sherry, thanx for sharing. Another good read….LTL

    • Thanks – I often think of that couple and how they never even knew… I drive by that shop almost every week, and it always fill my heart with a little joy that that elderly couple, so small and meek, still exist to make donuts.

  6. Awesome story, Sherry. You are one incredible lady. So did you buy the guy a sprinkled cake donut or plain glazed? 🙂

  7. What a great story. Can you imagine the confusion going on in that mans head when you tried to buy him a donut? I really, really like the perspective thrown out there by Doug….very thought provoking. BTW, Craig, I’ve read your comments on Soiled Wings a couple times now and I just have to say, you are one heck of a perceptive guy.

  8. Amazing story! I am so impressed with your courage and your actions! I want to believe that the guy never robbed a store after that day because of the non-judgmental way you interacted with him.

    One thing I know for sure – You truly have been an angel in my life!

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you! Honestly it didn’t feel courageous at all… In fact I was hoping he’d get into it with those real angels so I could run out the door… Or behind the counter and out the back door with the owners.
      I always tease that writers look for adventure In their lives to create story… But this was a bit overboard!

  9. I almost made myself yack reading this post … holy smokes, angels is RIGHT! You are amazing Sherry Meneley, AWESOME! 🙂 *hug* for your quick wit and positive energy surge to make them re-think bad decisions. You might have saved quite a few people.

    • Ya’ll crack me up with your perspectives. I felt like such a pawn in that store. The real ‘savers’ were the big gangster dudes, without them I fear there would have been more holes around than just in donuts!

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