Angel on an Airliner

Angels: True Stories

I hope you can join us Sunday at The Donelson Fellowship as we tackle the question of guardian angels. In last Sunday’s sermon on Six Questions About Angels, I shared the story of the beloved Southern Baptist evangelist Sam Cathey . Something unusual happened to him several years ago, and he later wrote up the account of it for the Southern Baptist magazine, SBC Life. He was in the middle of a revival meeting when he got word that his daughter had been felled by a life-threatening appendicitis. He knew he had to rush home, and he boarded a flight in Los Angeles in the middle of the night for the “red eye” flight to Detroit. He was weary and distraught.

Sam was seated at the front of the tourist class section, and he could see through the curtain that no one was in first class. He asked the flight attendant if he could sit up there and rest, for he was facing an emergency. She said no. She told him there was no flight attendant up there, and it was against the rules. She made her way on down the row, but suddenly the curtain parted and another flight attendant entered the cabin. She invited him to come up to the first class section and sit with her. She brought him some supper. As they flew through the night, she talked to him about the Lord, and she reassured him of God’s promises, of His grace, of His sovereign control over the affairs of our lives.

When they passed over Chicago, she said him, “See all of those lights down there? Put your hands like so.” Sam did as she said, cupping his hands. “See, from way up here, it looks like you’ve got the whole city of Chicago in your hands, doesn’t it?” She reassured him that God had his daughter and his family in the hollow of His hand. She told him not to worry any more about it. Then she rose and disappeared through the curtain.

By and by the first flight attendant came through and saw him sitting in first class. She was upset. He told her the other flight attendant had given him permission. The woman replied, “There is no other flight attendant on this plane.” Sam looked but could find no trace of the other woman. It’s as though she had vanished. But when he got off the plane, he learned that his daughter had come through the crisis and would be just fine.

Who was this mysterious stranger? I don’t know. Dr. Cathey suspicioned it was an angel, and so do I. Angels are ministering spirits, our fellow-workers, our celestial family.

For more stories like this — and for good biblical material on the subject of angels — check out my newest book, “Angels: True Stories” and its free downloadable study guide.