Snell, Joy – Ministry of Angels – A Premonition of her Father’s Death
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Joy Snell – Ministry of Angels
Meanwhile, more acute grew the feeling of someone, unseen, tender, loving, protecting, ever with me. So close, so real did this presence seem to me at times that often I fancied I could feel a breath upon my cheek and hear a whisper at my ear, and I would turn sharply around, fully expecting to see someone.
Then there came a change.
I became possessed of a feeling that something dreadful was going to happen to my father. This oppressive sense of impending disaster was strongest upon me when I was most keenly conscious of the presence of my unseen mentor. It seemed to me then that someone was striving to prepare me for an ordeal which could not be averted. But my father appeared to be in his usual health and buoyant spirits. There was nothing apparent to justify my anxiety concerning him. Some three or four weeks after this dread foreboding had come to me, I was sitting one night before the open window of my bedroom, inhaling the cool, exhilarating October air and enjoying the serene majesty of the night.
Suddenly I heard my father’s voice calling me by name and bidding me come to him. Then I lost all consciousness of my surroundings and a vision came to me. I saw my father lying in the garden, fully dressed and seemingly asleep. It was broad daylight. Along the road two friends were approaching the house. They were Dr.___, our family physician, and his brother. They were in the habit of dropping in at odd times. I saw them enter the garden gate and then, apparently catching sight of my father, run to him. One of them raised his head, and the other, the doctor, unfastened his collar and necktie and thrust a hand into his breast.
“He has gone”, I heard the doctor say, “He must have passed away without a moment’s pain. But who will tell his daughter? I cannot!”
Then the vision vanished and I became aware that I was still sitting at the open window.
I lit a lamp and went to my father’s bedroom, gently opened the door, and listened. I heard the deep, regular breathing that denotes sound slumber. I entered the room and walked softly to the bedside. I knelt there and prayed fervently that my father might be spared to me. But it was with a heart as heavy as when I entered the room that I left it so strong was my conviction that that which I had seen in the vision would soon come to pass. I did not return to bed that night, for the dread fear that possessed me had banished all possibility of sleep; but it was with a smile that I greeted my father at the breakfast table next morning, for I was resolved that no shadow of my anxiety and despair should fall upon him. And he was as cheerful, tender, loving and companionable as he had always been.
He left the house at two o’clock that afternoon for a walk, telling me he would be back at four to take tea with me. Before going he kissed me affectionately, as he always did when leaving me, even for a short time; but I felt that never again on earth should I receive a kiss from those dear lips. I betook myself to my room to await the blow that I knew was soon to fall. About half-past three a man-servant came in hastily and asked me if I knew where “the master” was. A little later the other man -servant asked me the same question. Then the stableman of a military friend came in, looking troubled and asked me if “the master” had come in, adding that Captain___ wanted to see him.
I was convinced that what I had seen in the vision had befallen; that my father was already dead and these men knew it, but were afraid to tell me.
“My father has not returned”, I answered, “but why do you look so alarmed, Andrew? Have you any bad news to tell me?”
“No, miss”, he replied, with downcast eyes, and hurried away.
He had been only a little while gone when Dr.___ came in. The moment I saw his face I knew that he had brought with him a message of death, but feared to tell it to me. I thought that I would make the telling of it easier for him.
“You have come to tell me that my father has met with an accident, or worse - that he is dead”, I said.
“He has been badly hurt”, he answered, “and - and they are bringing him in”.
“Why not tell me the truth now, Doctor?”, I said. “I know that my father has passed away”.
“I must not deny it to you”, he answered, falteringly. “He is dead”.
In a few minutes my dear father’s lifeless body was brought in.
After the funeral, Dr.___ asked me what had made me so positive, before I had been told of it, that my father was dead. Then I told him, of the vision I had seen. I learned from him that all I had seen in the vision had actually occurred; that he and his brother had done just what I had seen them do; that he had spoken the very words that I had heard him speak.
My father had died of heart disease. It was not until after his death I learned that for two years previously he had known of his ailment, and that at any moment he might be stricken dead. But, like the gallant soldier he was, and with the same calm courage that had carried him through all the horrors of the Indian Mutiny, he had received his death sentence, and had hidden all knowledge of it from his children that it might not mar their happiness.