Several years ago I took my children on a church camp-out. Being new to camping and the Northwest, I decided that—despite the approach of both dusk and a rainstorm—the first thing I should do, after emptying everything from the Suburban into a heap on the ground, was blow up my air mattress. That’s when I discovered that I had lost the cap. I piled everyone into the truck and headed for the nearest hardware store, where they managed to rig up a solution using a cork and duct tape.
I returned to the campground in a darkening drizzle and realized that I had no idea how to assemble my equipment. But as members of my community strolled by in small groups to say hello, one group assembled my tent, another the children’s tent, another the dining canopy, and another my cookstove.
Things were going impressively well when a pain episode came on. Friends gathered around, held me and prayed, and soon there was pain only when I took a step. Sitting down and resting seemed wise, but it was time to hook up my IV and there was no one with the experience or even, understandably, the willingness to do it for me.
I gathered my supplies and started for a bathroom several hundred yards away. Each step caused such excruciating pain that I often cried out or fell as my legs buckled beneath me. I finally arrived and went into a stall to use the toilet. I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to bring paper towels. Once I scrubbed for two minutes, I wouldn’t be able to operate the paper towel dispenser, and I knew if I went back to the campsite to get paper towels, I wouldn’t be able to make another trip back.
I mused that the only possible solution would be Divine, or possibly angelic, intervention. I needed someone to come in and dispense a length of paper towels for me to use. As I left the stall and approached the sink I saw about 18 inches of paper toweling hanging from the dispenser. Two women were standing nearby, quietly talking. They hadn’t been in the room when I got there, and I hadn’t heard them come in. I hadn’t heard water running or the dispenser being activated
“Who are these paper towels for?” I asked.
“They’re for you,” one of them replied as they continued talking. I scrubbed, hooked up the IV, and returned to my campsite.
For me, these women, and all of the friends on that trip, exemplified Divine help. Were they angels? Perhaps not strictly speaking. But for me the darkest times have often been those when I was trying to have a ‘regular’ life despite my physical limitations. And it has been ‘regular’ people, not necessarily angelic but definitely divine, who have been Light for me at those times.