Published 6:37 am Monday, March 18, 2013
To: Emma Faith Ward – If you still desire to see an angel, the best advice is to either look within your heart or reach out and physically touch someone close to you.
Recently, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald had an unstamped letter, sealed within a small envelope, placed in our Ahoskie Post Office box. Written in red ink on the exterior of the envelope were these words….To: God from Emma Faith Ward; I am 8 years old.
Inside was a precious handwritten note (5” x 5”) in black ink. The note was folded in half. Written on part was the following….XOXOXO To: God (with a smiley face drawn inside the o). At the bottom were seven drawn hearts, each with either an x or an o inside.
Upon opening the half-fold was this message (printed here without corrections to the spelling):
“Can you send me a picture of an angle. I have alwase wanted to se a picture of one. I amagen thay are very pretty. Thanks I love you xoxo from: Emma Faith Ward”
How does one answer that? The initial thought process pictured angels from the heavens, but, as we all should know, there are angels here on Earth…people that touch a life, young or old, in a special way.
“You are absolutely right, there are angels all around us, physically and spiritually,” said the Rev. Suzanne Cobb, pastor of Bethany United Methodist Church in Milwaukee. “Individuals have different thoughts, feelings and understanding about angels here on Earth, people that do good things.”
Cobb said she has a guardian angel looking over her shoulder…her grandmother who passed away in 1985.
“Her warm, caring spirit remains with me to this very day,” she said. “I especially feel her presence when I do things today that I remember her doing years ago. It gives me an inner peace to think of her and the wonderful life she lived.”
In times of helping families cope with the death of a loved one, Rev. Cobb said she never overlooks the young survivors.
“I will ask them what do they remember the most about a grandparent or another close family member,” she noted. “Sometimes it’s the simplest thing you can hold on to. I remember in one case where a young child said what he remembered the most about his now deceased grandmother was her making chocolate chips cookies. I told him to find her recipe and hold on to it for the rest of his life. When he’s old enough to make a batch of those cookies he can remember the sights and the smells of his grandmother in the kitchen. That will be his angel in life.”
Cobb said some angels are invisible.
“It’s like the wind, you can feel it, but you can’t see it,” she noted. “But just because you cannot see an angel, their spirit is there, you can feel that spirit.
“Some individuals are more visual in nature, they can look at a photo or sculpture rather than reading the written word in the Bible and then form their own vision of an angel, or of Jesus, or one of the apostles,” Cobb continued. “Those photos, drawings or sculptures are creations by an artist of what they visualize in their heart and mind.
“I would encourage little Emma to let her imagination create a visual image of what she perceives to be an angel. An angel comes from within or she could see an angel working in her life, one she can physically touch because there are angels all around us, all here with a purpose to help mold and shape our lives no matter what age we are,” Cobb concluded.
Rev. C. David Stackhouse, pastor of New Ahoskie Baptist Church, agreed with Rev. Cobb’s thinking.
“It appears to me that this young girl is searching for something more in life,” he said. “I would hope she would first look within her soul for the answer, there she’ll find God and his hands can guide that pen for her to craft her own image of an angel.”
Stackhouse said he felt most 8-year-olds would visualize an angel like they are typically portrayed in drawings….a female creature, with wings and a halo, descending from the clouds.
“We’ve been told since we were children that angels are heavenly beings, but as adults we’ve learned they can be someone special in a person’s life, someone that impacts a person’s life in a positive way,” he stressed. “Angels can reach out and touch you at age 8 or age 80.
“We’re always telling our children, go on to school, there’s an angel watching over you. We say those simple words, but we mean them because we, as adults, believe there are angels watching over us, making us feel safe and secure. That’s the angel little Miss Emma needs to draw from her heart,” Rev. Stackhouse concluded.