Snell, Joy – Ministry of Angels – The Angels of Death and Renewed Life
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Joy Snell – Ministry of Angels
.....there was admitted to the hospital a young boy whose thigh had been broken in an accident. He was not under my charge, but I was greatly drawn to him, for he had one of the sweetest natures I have ever known in a child, and he bore excruciating pain with extraordinary fortitude. Once he said to me: “I shall be so glad when the time comes for me to go away from all this suffering. My father is waiting for me to come to him”.
“Where is your father, child?” I asked.
“He is up in the sky with the angels”, he answered, with a smile on his wan little face.
“The angels took him away and I shall be glad when the time comes for them to take me to him, for I love him best”.
That same night I was standing by the child’s bedside when I became conscious of a dark, shadowy form standing at the foot of the bed. Looking at it intently, I perceived that the form was like that of a human being, but dimly visible, as a man or woman appears seen through a thick fog. It was enveloped in a long robe and its features were veiled. I stretched out my hand to touch it, but could feel nothing, although I could see that it was still there. A moment later it vanished.
A feeling of dread came over me and I could not shake off the impression that the apparition portended something dire.
Ere the morning dawned, as I learned next day, the child died.
Afterwards I often saw the dark, veiled form standing at the foot of a bed in which lay some patient whose condition was critical. I came in time to recognize that it portended the speedy death of the patient at the foot of whose bed it appeared, for it was always there it stood. Never since it first appeared to me, has anybody died who has been in my care, whether at the hospital or in private houses where I have been engaged as a nurse, that it has not appeared to me before the death occurred. And generally the death has followed within two or three days after its appearance.
But it was not long after I had first seen the dark, veiled form in the hospital that another apparition appeared to me, in every way presenting a striking contrast to the veiled one. It was a bright figure, clad in a cloud-like, luminous robe and with a youthful face of joyous aspect. It first appeared to me when I was watching by the bedside of a patient whose condition was very serious. It stood at the head of the bed with the right arm upraised and the index finger pointing upward, the gesture and expression indicative of hope. That was the feeling with which it inspired me.
All my fears for the patient were dispelled. His condition immediately began to improve and he soon recovered. After this the bright form appeared to me often, invariably in the same place at the head of a patient’s bed, and always the gesture and expression were the same.
As I came to regard the dark form as the harbinger of death, so, after repeatedly noting that the patient always got better by whose bed I had seen the bright form appear, I came to regard the latter as the harbinger of renewed life. I do not mean by this that I considered its appearance constituted a positive assurance that the patient would recover under any circumstances and quite independent of any human agency. The message which it seemed always to convey to me was,
“Hope - and work”.
Its effect upon me was to make me strive all the harder to do what lay in my power to assist the patient’s recovery.
In all my experience as a nurse I never knew a patient to die with whom I had seen the radiant figure. It must not be inferred from this that in every instance the recovery of a patient in my care was preceded by its appearance. It appeared only when the patient’s condition denoted serious danger.
With those who were suffering from ailments or accidents that were not dangerous - and such, happily, constitute the majority of those who undergo hospital treatment - their recovery, when under my care, was not preceded by the appearance of the bright one.
But always, as I have stated, when anyone died who was in my care, the death was preceded by the appearance of the dark veiled form.
Neither the best surgical or medical skill, nor the most conscientious and devoted nursing, ever availed to save one by whose bedside I had seen it.
I never told any of the doctors or nurses in the hospital what it was that made me so sure certain patients would recover and that certain other patients would die, because I was convinced they would not believe that I could really see what they could not see; but as time went on in the hospital - and always my predictions of recovery or death were verified - it came to be generally recognized amongst the nurses, and to some extent among the doctors, that I possessed some weird gift which enabled me to foretell such things.
Often I was asked by other nurses who had serious cases in their care to look at the patients and tell them what I thought of their chances of recovery. Sometimes as I stood by their beds the dark, veiled form would appear, and sometimes the radiant form, and my opinion would be given accordingly. But often neither would appear, and then I would venture no opinion.