West Union United Methodist Church
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner


 Stirrings of the Waters*

(thoughts, observations, hopes, and/or movements of the Spirit)

Years ago, I was mowing the lawn at the church where I was appointed, and I got the lawnmower stuck in the mud in the ditch in front of the church. I knew better. I thought I was being careful, in fact, I repeated to myself, “Don’t get it stuck, don’t get it stuck, don’t get it stuck.” I repeated it as a mantra right up to the point when I got the lawnmower stuck. I called for help and help was on the way, so I wasn’t surprised when the truck and trailer carrying a tractor pulled into the parking lot. There were familiar faces present, although the faces of the two from the truck weren’t known to me. We helped unload the tractor and with a length of chain the mower was drawn easily from the mire. We helped load the tractor, thanked the two in the truck, and they departed. 

It was at that point those of us remaining realized that none of us knew who they were. Each of us thought the others knew who they were. The days following brought no answer to the mystery, other than they must have been angels. That thought brought smiles to our faces. For months we would joke about the angels.

Times when things seem to conspire to help us go by frequently enough that we often don’t give them much thought. With a light spirit, I read Irene Hannon, “A coincidence is a small miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous.” Similarly, though stepping up the intensity of the concept, Frederick Buechner, in Wishful Thinking, wrote: “Angels are powerful spirits whom God sends into the world to wish us well. Since we don’t expect to see them, we don’t.” 

In our Scriptures, angels bring messages, bring help, bring reminders of God’s love . . . all in times much more serious and difficult than the scenario I’ve described. Perhaps my story about an embarrassing inconvenience shines a light on the times when we were truly in crisis and an angel appeared. Each of us may recall a time of pain, fear, or heartbreak when someone was there for us just when we needed them. When we couldn’t bear another moment, someone was sent to be our angel.  Thank God they were there for us.

We’re not always in pain, or afraid, or broken-hearted. Actually, most of the time we’re none of those things. What we are—are God’s children in the positions to be angelic for those in need of angels. Your wings may not be spread and your halo may be a bit tarnished and askew, and neither will matter to this person when you stop to help. Everything you’ve learned and lived has been given to you by God to respond to this moment. Trust that God sent you and that you are enough to meet the need of the moment. You don’t have to be perfect. 

You just have to be there.

I never saw my angels again. I pray they know how much I appreciated their “pull.”

Grace and peace,




*Refers to John 5:2-9, especially verse 4, concerning the pool at Bethesda within which, according to legend, when the water was stirred by an angel one might enter and be healed.