Sometimes when I am going through a difficult time in my life, I think back to the time I was in an elevator with an angel.
In the late 1990s, I was in the Navy, stationed out of Minneapolis, and on official government business when I made a trip to Milwaukee with a fellow sailor named John. We were dressed in our working blue uniforms (which are actually black).
John and I had a meeting to get to on one of the upper floors of a large building in the downtown area. We entered the elevator on the ground floor and pushed the button for our desired floor.
The elevator doors closed and we began our journey upwards. The elevator stopped on the third floor and a young man got on. From the moment the young man got on until the moment he got off and the doors closed, he never took his eyes off of me. In fact, he didn’t even look at the numbers to push the button for his floor and he never looked at John.
At some point, I looked over at John as if to say, “Look at this strange guy,” but John seemed deep in thought and oblivious to anything around him.
I believed the young man’s behavior was strange, but then I thought to myself that maybe he has never seen sailors dressed in that kind of uniform before. After all, we were in Milwaukee and not by any ocean.
The elevator reached his floor, but instead of turning around to face the doors and walk away, he took one step backwards (still facing me)!
As the doors were closing, he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Jesus loves you.”
I instantly felt warmth throughout my body and extreme happiness. Those feelings would stay with me the entire day.
I tried telling him, “Thank you.” However, it was too late. The doors had closed just as he finished speaking.
John turned to me and said, “Why did you say thank you?”
“Are you serious!?” I replied, “Didn’t you hear what he said to me?”
John said he didn’t hear the man say anything.
Now, I know many people go around telling other people about God, the Bible and Jesus, but this was not like that. When people want to spread God’s word, they don’t wait until you have no opportunity to reply to them before saying something. And they most certainly want more time to talk to you about their beliefs in God.
Additionally, this young man’s (angel’s) words were clearly meant for me and only me. John was inches away from me, but he didn’t hear anything from the angel. John did hear my thank you though.
The instant physical (warmth) and emotional (happiness) changes I felt after the angel spoke only confirmed my belief that he was there to deliver a message from God.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to go through a very difficult period of my life.
The angel’s message reaffirmed my belief in God, and has helped me overcome some of life’s challenges.
I believe that is the way God works. He doesn’t necessarily speak to people, but rather from time to time sends his angels disguised as other people to give us the helpful nudge or advice that we need.
When people say God works in mysterious ways, it is true. And I will always be grateful for my experience with the angel in the elevator.