Yesterday, my daughter arose in the wee hours of the morning to help with a special 5K race, Running with Angels. This race is the brainchild of a dear friend, Pam Hansen, who has two angel babies and a powerful personal story of healing from the effects of deep grief. Many of those who participate in this race do so on behalf of an angel baby. (See Pam’s blog for stories of families who participated in the race.)
I helped with this race a couple of times in its early years; there is a special spirit there, and I believe it’s because of the angels who are being celebrated and remembered.
Yesterday was also the anniversary of a horrible yet miraculous event in Cokeville, Wyoming. In 1986, an elementary school became the scene of a dangerous hostage situation. All of the children in the school were crammed into one classroom with a suicide bomber and his wife. The bomb went off, but miraculously, none of the children or teachers lost their lives.
My daughter and I recently got to see a prescreening of a film (The Cokeville Miracle) that depicts the events of this horrific/miraculous day. (Side note about the film: I am glad I saw it, but it won’t be one I will own. The horrific is too horrific to watch again, and the miraculous elements felt rushed. But obviously, the message lingered!)
My daughter and I both remembered and accepted the invitation the filmmakers extended to take three hours away from digital media to spend time with loved ones. She and I spent that time in the temple, doing sacred ordinance work for family members who died without having the opportunity to receive these ordinances.
On the way home, my daughter reflected on what an angel-filled day it had been for her. She served others at Running with Angels. She had time to reflect on the angels who were part of the Cokeville miracle. And she felt angels nearby as she did temple work for deceased family members. (My daughter has the gift of the tongue of angels when she shares like this. Words are inadequate to capture the clarity and simplicity and power of the connections that come to her mind…which is how I know it’s a gift of the Spirit.)
The above photo is of my favorite painting (by Brian Kershisnik). It hangs in my family room so I can look at it several times each day. I am grateful to know that angels are real, and am grateful for the way my daughter brought this truth into laser focus for me yesterday.
“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” 2 Kings 6:16