One of our family members at Neighborhood Church, Derek Hastings passed on a story this week that was published in a book some years ago. It was so compelling, I felt led to send it out today and remind you that we sometimes entertain angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2). God loves us so much that He takes great joy in blessing, helping and strengthening us!
- Andrew Burchett, Lead Pastor
Derek’s story, “Angel at the Bus” was included in a book written by Jerry Orthner, entitledAngels: Friends in High Places.
“January 5, 1980 dawned cold and cloudy, snow gently falling on the empty street. Only a few days earlier I had publicly acknowledged Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And today I was to catch a city bus that would take me to the Port Authority in New York City and on to Coast Guard training in Yorktown. Nancy and I moved slowly, trying not to think of the four months we would be apart.
Finally, with my duffel bag, a carry-on and my new Bible in the car, we headed for the bus station. About five minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive, I realized I had left my uniform hat back at the house. Nancy jumped in the car and drove back to get it, leaving me to wait for the bus. By the time she returned, I had missed the bus that would have allowed me to make connections in New York.
I finally boarded the next “86” and arrived at the Port Authority precisely at 10:30. I jumped off in a panic, my mind swimming with images of showing up late for Officer Candidate School.
Once inside, I found the ticket area, got in line and bought my ticket. My bus, they said, was leaving from Gate 36. I ran the full length of the building before I saw a sign that indicated that Gate 36 was downstairs and all the way back at the other end.
I glanced down at my watch. It was 10:45 and there were no people waiting in line! I crashed into the metal door with all the weight of my body and luggage. There sat the bus, engine idling. “Is this the bus to Baltimore?” I asked breathlessly as the driver opened the door. “Yes, it is,” he replied.
The man climbed down from his seat and proceeded to the cargo compartment to stow my bag. He was a big man, over six feet tall with broad shoulders, a big smile and white hair. As I turned to climb into the bus, he asked, “What’s that book you have there?”
“It’s my new Bible,” I replied. “I just bought it last weekend.” The driver smiled. “Read Psalm 91:11 and you will see why I waited for you.”
I climbed on board, found a seat on the left side about halfway back near the window and opened my Bible: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
I looked up. The driver was watching me in the large rearview mirror. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” he said as our eyes met.
Sometime later, in Baltimore, I watched as the bus pulled out of the station and stopped at a traffic signal a short distance down the road. The driver turned, locked eyes with me and, with another big smile, waved. Amazed, I waved back.
When I finally reached the motel, I called Nancy and told her about the incident on the bus. “Maybe the man was your guardian angel,” she suggested.
At first such a thing was difficult to believe, but when I thought about it, I realized that I had not pre-purchased my tickets and no one knew I was coming. Although I arrived almost fifteen minutes past the departure time, the driver said he had specifically waited just for me! And, what’s more, he had waited because God had commanded His angel to guard me along my way.
Throughout the years I have held onto this memory as a very personal and special gift from my Heavenly Father. I believe the Lord sent His angel to establish in my heart whose child I had become.”