Snell, Joy – Ministry of Angels – The little crippled girl and her spirit helpers
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Joy Snell – Ministry of Angels
In the course of my work as a nurse, several persons came under my observation in whom, through angel ministry, the burden of a great affliction was greatly lightened and wretchedness and despair made to give way to peace and hope.
Perhaps the most striking of these happy transformations was that wrought in a crippled girl of sixteen who had been born practically without legs. She was one of several children but she alone of them was deformed. Because of her deformity her parents seemed to be ashamed of her and showed her little affection. She was never taken out of the house and, as far as possible, the neighbour were kept in ignorance of her existence.
She never had been taught even to read or write, and had received no religious instruction whatever. I never should have known her but for a serious illness in the family which led to my being called in and staying in the house for six months.
My heart was touched by her pathetic face and big wistful eyes. At first she shrank from me, as she did from all strangers, because the neglect with which she had been treated had led her to believe that her deformity must arouse feelings of aversion in all who beheld her. That, naturally, only increased my pity for her, and I set myself to work to break down the barriers of her sensitiveness and timidity.
In that I soon succeeded, for her famished heart was hungry for affection. When I had won from her some measure of trust and love, I told her something of God’s love and the story of the Saviour and His work on earth. …………………
“Tell me more! Tell me more about it!” she would frequently exclaim, her big eyes lit up with joyous expectancy, when I talked to her of the ministry of the angels and told her that she, too, would someday be as one of them.
“And shall I be able to walk like other people?” she asked me.
“Yes,” I answered, “when you go to their world you will be given a beautiful spirit body, perfect in every way and be freed from all pain and weariness.”
“Oh.” she cried, “I do wish that I could see the shining angels, too. I wouldn’t feel so lonely then!”
I told her that she might see them some day; that she might even be able to hear them, too; but if she did not she would be able to feel that they were about her. She, too, was one who possessed rare latent powers, which, it seemed, needed only the awakening of her spiritual nature to develop and reveal to her the reality of the ministry of angels.
I had not been in the house quite a month when she told me that she had seen the “shining angels” in a dream. For several nights thereafter she dreamed about them and used to look forward to her slumber with delight because of the comfort these dreams brought her. And one morning when I went to her room to enquire how she had slept, she sat up in her bed, her eyes dancing with delight, and clapped her hands.
“What do you think? What do you think?” she exclaimed gleefully, “I have seen one of the shining angels!”
“In a dream?” I asked.
“No, it wasn’t a dream; it was real,” she answered. “The angel stood by my bed, where you are standing, and talked to me.”
“And what did the angel talk to you about?”
“He talked to me about God’s love, like you have done, and he made me feel that God really does love me. And he told me that I should be a shining angel, too, some day, and that I should be able to move about just as they do. Oh, I am so happy, because I know that it is all really, really true.”
She clapped her hands and I clapped my hands, too, and a prayer of thanksgiving went up from my heart that the companionship of the angels had been granted her, for I knew that they would bring her greater comfort and peace than could any earthly friends.
After that hardly a day went by, as long as I remained with the family, that she did not tell me that she had seen and talked with one of the angels. I taught her to read and write. She learned rapidly, for she had naturally a quick mind and thirsted for knowledge.
She … told me that the angels used to talk to her .. and explained things to her and made her feel very happy. Both by day and by night she experienced, at times, this beautiful angel ministry. And she often heard, too, she told me, beautiful music, which I doubt not was the same that I heard. These revelations wrought a great change in her. The depression which had become habitual to her gave way to a quiet joy which had in it something that was contagious, so that her parents, who before had shunned her, grew to like her and to find pleasure in her society. But they were in no sense spiritually-minded people. They could not believe in the ministry of the angels. They were sure that the girl only imagined that she saw them and talked with them. But since it made her happy they concluded that it would be well to let her cultivate the “delusion”, as they termed it.
Her father and mother had been talking to me one day about the matter, and expressing the opinion that it was “contrary to common-sense and all nonsense, of course,” when something caused us to go together to the girl’s room. There I saw a radiant angel bending over her. Because the time was drawing near when I should have to leave her and I wished to fortify her against the skepticism of her own family, and, if possible, shake a bit of her parents‟ faith in their own blindness and ignorance, I announced that I could see the angel and I described its appearance.
“Oh, I am so glad that you see the shining angel just as I do,” exclaimed the daughter, “for now father and mother will know that it isn’t just my imagination.”
I was very sorry to leave the girl, for she had developed into a sweet and lovable character. She wept when I bade her good-bye, and said that she would miss me very much.
“But you will never again feel so lonely as you used to feel,” I said, “You will always have the angels to comfort you.”
“Yes, I know that,” she replied, brightening. “They have promised me that so long as I live they will never desert me, and that after I die I shall be with them always.”