My dad lived by himself in a small town in Pennsylvania. He fell in his apartment. When he was found and taken to the hospital, they discovered several old and new blood clots on his brain and he was immediately airlifted to a hospital in Pittsburgh. The next morning he had brain surgery.
I sat there in ICU with him. At first he could talk and joke around. But then he got much worse. The clock ticked as hour after hour went by. The hours turned into a day and then another. The future for him looked grim. I was watching him die.
About the third day into this I left ICU and tried to find a quiet place in the hospital where I could call my husband. I found a long hall with no one in sight. I stood midway down the hall and called John to tell him what was going on. Through tears I told him, "I wish you were here to give me a hug." And suddenly, and I mean suddenly, there was a large black woman beside me. She said, "Oh honey, come here." And she threw her arms around me and engulfed me in a huge bear hug. I broke down sobbing in her arms. She told me that I would be OK. Then she was gone.
I do believe at that very moment I encountered an angel of the Lord.
I believe there are myriads of angels in the heavens. Sometimes they interact with humans.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Angels have specific purposes. They always glorify God. At times they deliver messages from God, provide for our physical needs, and protect us and deliver us from dangerous situations. Sometimes God uses them to answer prayers and to destroy His enemies. Angels carry the spirits of believers in Christ to heaven. But in this instance the angel strengthened and encouraged.
Angels are ministering spirits.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)
And what did that bear hug from an angel do for me? It strengthened me to go back and spend the last moments of my dad's life with him. I experienced God's lovingkindness when I most needed it. I felt carried in His arms. And I knew that what was going to happen would be alright and that He would never leave my side through it all.
The next day my father passed away.