STOP READING THIS if you haven’t read Acting Christian when someone deletes your pictures. It won’t make much sense until you read the first article.
I posted that original article last Thursday. It’s about what happened when a lady looking at the photos and videos on my camera accidentally deleted all of them—over 400, including pictures and video of my granddaughter’s first birthday party.
One day after posting that article, I called the lady. I wanted to see if she had read the piece, and if we were still friends. I didn’t identify her in that article, but my family and close friends know who she is.
Good news. She read the article and we’re still friends.
She accidentally deleted my photos and videos on Friday, March 17, during a spring break visit we made to family in Ohio.
As I spoke to the lady over the phone, she said, “I want to tell you something. When you realized what had happened [that the photos had been deleted], you walked away without saying anything. That wasn’t like you.”
Sadly, she meant that as a compliment.
She figured I’d get mad, because I have been known to do that. See Christian vs. a flat tire.
Angels in Ohio?
“As you walked away,” she said, “I felt that you had angels surrounding you.”
She said she could see me down the hall, in the other room. She said my face was resting in my hands.
I was sitting on the armrest of the couch, she said, facing the snowy backyard. The backyard is where a few deer would gather several times a day to eat corn we put out for them.
I sat there for just a minute or two.
She said, “I heard you say, ‘Oh no. Oh no.’”
That surprised me. I didn’t think I said that loud enough for anyone to hear.
I remember saying it, though. I said it when I suddenly remembered that the lost photos and videos included everything I shot at the first birthday party of my granddaughter. My son and his wife had trusted me to take those pictures. I should have backed the pictures up, but we left on the trip to Ohio shortly after the party.
I sat on the armrest of the couch for no more than a couple of minutes, until it dawned on me that the lady must be feeling terrible. That’s when I got up, walked over to her in the other room, gave her a hug and said, “I know you feel bad. But people are more important than pictures.”
In my follow-up phone call with her on Friday, she said, “When you came walking back over to me, your face was red and there was a glow about you.”
I figured she wasn’t talking Transfiguration White. I’m guessing she was referring more to my demeanor or something. Actually, I was numb at the time. Running on Automatic Pilot. I wasn’t quite myself.
One fleeting thought
When she told me about this mystical sense she got about angels surrounding me, I said, “Let me tell you something I haven’t told anyone because it seemed so random.
When I left you with the camera for a minute, while you were looking at the pictures and I went to the sliding glass doors to check on the deer in the backyard, I had a fleeting thought. I passed it off as just one of those random, crazy ideas that pop into our head from time to time.
The thought was just a short sentence:
“She may delete your pictures.”
Now I know that could have been a coincidence.
It could have been the negative, cynical subconscious inside my person. Bad Steve slinging mud.
Angels treating high anxiety
I taught a Sunday School lesson last Sunday. In the Bible passage, we read about what happened to Jesus when he faced a moment of high anxiety. He had stepped away from his disciples to pray alone in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion.
“An angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength for what was coming,” (Luke 22:43, Casual English Bible).
Could it be that the single, random sentence I heard inside my head wasn’t random at all?
Could it have been whispered to prepare me for what was coming two minutes later, to somehow lessen the shock and anger?
Does God, on occasion, do for us the kind of thing he did for Jesus? Does God still work like that today?
I don’t know if what I experienced was angelic. And I don’t know if the lady was right when she said that the glow on my face was there because I was filled with the Holy Spirit.
What I know is that I felt numb. I felt sad. And I felt like I was running on Automatic Pilot as I walked over to forgive the lady.
I’d like to think that angels helped keep me calm and that the Holy Spirit is my Pilot. But I’m not sure that’s what happened.
I do know that I’ve been complaining to God recently that he’s invisible and that I’ve never even had a chance to shake his hand.
I’m wondering now, is this how God shakes hands?