Angel at the Rainbow Blossom

Hebrews 13:2 ...some people have entertained angels without knowing.
Hebrews 13:2 …some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Angel at the Rainbow Blossom

Hebrews 13:2  …some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Some days are better than others. Other days are just stinkin’ hard. We’ve had a few of those hard days in recent months. Many days I feel like my mind is blown, and I have trouble grasping the fact that my husband has cancer again, just when we had reached the 5 year mark after the last cancer.  My concentration isn’t always what it should be and I make mistakes— I forget things. Sometimes I forget important things, like the other day.

On the way home from school, I had to stop by the art store to buy some supplies for my art classes. I shouldn’t say had to; I always enjoy stopping there. It’s inspiring for me to breathe in all of the colors of paints, pastels, and pencils lined up in neat rows just begging to be squeezed and splashed onto a canvas to create a masterpiece, and I look forward to the big smiles that will splash onto the faces of my students when they see the brand new materials….Ahhh! the pleasures of the art store…

Right next to the art store is the Rainbow Blossom health foods store.  With this second diagnosis of cancer, we’ve started seeing a biochemist, along with the regular doctors. He has us on quite a regimen of healthy eating, so I thought I’d stop into the store to see what organic foods they have available that our local Kroger might not carry. I struggled for a few minutes with choices and asked myself, “How much is too much to spend on these organic veggies?”  Finally resigned, I got in line behind a pleasant looking African-American lady. She paid for her groceries, but then she lingered behind to watch me check out.

“What are you going to do with all that?” she asked sweetly. I began to explain that my husband has cancer and is on a very strict diet.

“Yes,” she said. “I know what you’re going through.” I got the impression that she had first hand experience with cancer.

“But what are you going to do?” she asked.

Exactly what I had been thinking to myself, but not saying to anyone. “What am I going to do? How am I going to handle this?”

But who was this woman and what gave her the right to ask me such a personal question? Yet there was something in her manner that was so kind and so endearing that it made me want to open up to her.

“Well,” I answered, “I’m going to pray and trust God to take care of him. That’s all I can do.”

“Yes, that’s all any of us can do; trust God,” she replied slowly, thoughtfully, and with such caring, such sincerity, that the next thing I knew we were hugging–this lovely stranger and I in the front of the Rainbow Blossom!  There we were, having a intense moment in front of the whole store in the check out line surrounded by organic veggies!

After that mystifying encounter, I stumbled out of the store thinking, “What in the world just happened? Who was that felt-hatted lady?”

Her words and her gesture toward me touched me in deep, raw, vulnerable places. I felt blessed, but at the same time the concern for my husband was still there. I drove home pondering all these things, and wondering at the love and sovereignty of God—my God who allows cancer, but sends a word of encouragement and a random hug from a never-met-before-or-since grandmother at the health food checkout counter.

Ruminating on all of these things, driving home and then—

Woahhhh! There’s a car turning in front of me!!!  Screeching of my tires!! I tense up, straining with my muscles as if I could pull the car back and make it stop with the strength of my arms!! Can’t quite stop in time, and I crash into the back side of the car in front of me! A man gets out of his car, upset….

“You had a red light!!” he fumed.

“I got nothing.” I’m thinking to myself. “I guess I forgot to pay attention to the traffic light.”

Quietly, and I think rather meekly, I said, “Did I? Are you okay? I’m so sorry and I’m so glad you’re okay and I really couldn’t tell you what color the light was but I’m so sorry and I’m so glad you’re okay and I have insurance that will pay for it I was just driving on autopilot.…”

(I KNOW, RIGHT? THE STORY WASN’T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THAT!! AFTER THE ENCOUNTER AT THE RAINBOW BLOSSOM, I WAS SUPPOSED TO GO HOME AND HAVE A BLISSFUL TIME SHARING WITH MARTIN HOW GOD ENCOURAGED ME THAT DAY….)

But instead, I had to call Martin, because the insurance cards were not in the glove box like they were supposed to be, and the sticker on the license plate was expired, and the officer was writing me a citation…. A couple of hours later, exhausted, we  arrived at home together.  As I was scrounging around in the kitchen throwing together a late supper, I got a whiff of something foul.  After some investigation, we discovered that Martin’s shoe had found a dog pile that was by this time spread around the house and onto a couple of the throw rugs. This was getting ridiculous.

Finally sitting down to dinner with Martin, I apologized, “I’m so sorry to add to your stress, Honey!”

“I’m not stressed!” he replied, at which we both exploded with hysterical laughter.

My laughter was mixed with tears, but it felt good to laugh and to cry; and as I sat with the love of my life and told him about the angel at the Rainbow Blossom, I began to feel that this crazy, painful, wonderful, stinky, messy, beautiful story that I’m living in will somehow, one day have a happy ending. And in the mean time, I’m watching out for the next angel, and I’m taking all the hugs I can get!

29 thoughts on “Angel at the Rainbow Blossom”

  1. Thanks for sharing Susan. It felt like you were passing on that hug you got. Life has a way of getting the best of us sometimes but as you know God is still in charge and knows we need those hugs even before we do. Such a Wonderful Savior! I’m so sorry to hear about Martin’s health struggles. God’s ways are not our ways. It’s so hard to understand. We should get together sometime!

  2. Beautiful story Susan. Isnt it wonderful when we get to entertain an angel and feel the wonderful presence of our Father. I love you and God bless you and Martin with many more hugs!

  3. What a wonderful story. Sometimes I think God sends us those Angels first because He knows what’s on the way, like fender-benders and dog poo, and we need a little boost to handle it with grace. I am so sorry to hear about Martin. The two of you inspired me so much growing up and have helped grow my faith to what it is today. I still have the Bible with notes in the margins from all our trips and studies

  4. I cried and laughed and was exasperated with you while reading your account. I feel like a terrible friend though. Earl told us at church and we’ve been praying for you all but I meant to get in touch with you. Love you both so much. Wish I could be there to hug you both every day! Know that we would love to help, in whatever way necessary.

    1. You’re not a terrible friend!! I’m the one who never looks at Facebook. I’m so bad at communicating and keeping up with everyone. Thanks so much for your prayers! We’ll enjoy catching up whenever God gives us the opportunity. Love you both!

  5. I loved your story!! Thank you for sharing. It is hard some days to see the positives in our crazy, busy, sometimes heart breaking days. Hearing others experiences is enlightening and gives insight on ways to deal with them. Hugs to you and Martin. Daily prayers will go out for you guys. God bless.

  6. So sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Isn’t it encouraging how much God loves us? That he sent this angel to lift you up when he knew you would need it? We all have days, weeks, years like this but faith, hope, prayers and friends are the answer. Praying that God in His wisdom heals Martin and that you both continue to feel His presence.

  7. What a story. What a storyteller! What a sweethearted God, to send an angel in the midst of all the crap there is to track around in this broken world. You and Martin are on my mind and in my prayers every day. There will be beauty from ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of despair. Oh how He loves you

  8. Dear Lord, You know my cousin Martin so much better than I do. You know his sickness and the burden he carries. You also know his heart. Lord, I ask you to be with my cousin now as you work in his life.
    Lord, I pray for Martin just as your Word tells me to pray, for healing. I believe you hear this earnest prayer from my heart and that it is powerful because of your promise. I have faith in you, Lord, to heal my cousin, but I also trust in the plan you have for his life.
    Lord, I don’t always understand your ways. I don’t know why my cousin has to suffer, but I trust you. I ask that you look with mercy and grace toward Martin. Nourish his spirit and soul in this time of suffering and comfort him with your presence.
    Let Martin and Susan know you are there with them both through this difficulty. Give them strength. And may you, through this difficulty, be glorified in their life and also in mine.
    Amen

    Susan.

  9. Just now seeing this. What an emotional day for you both! I shared some tears and laughter with you. Lots of love and continued prayers to both of you:)

  10. My dearest Susan, How blessed I was to stumble onto FB tonight and be given the joy of seeing your art and reading your story! Please know that we are standing in faith, praying with expectation and thanking God for the work he is doing and will do in your life because we know whatever it is God’s glory will come from it and you will share it! I miss you and love you. Tell Martin and the family Hello and you are all in our prayers!

  11. Susan,our prays with you and Martin.
    “Love is an elixir; a human lives with love, is made happy by love and makes those around him or her happy with love. “

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