An angel in disguise?

March 21, 2017

A Royal Albert New Country Roses teacup arrived on my doorstep last week, a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. 

I went for a walk a couple weeks ago feeling kind of sad and discouraged. I found a bench and sat on it, kind of half hoping the Lord would send an angel in disguise to come sit with me and comfort me. I remembered a friend who told me that once, when she was sitting alone at a park feeling very sad, a perfect stranger came and sat with her and talked with her for a long time, encouraging her and blessing her with kind and helpful words. She told me later that she was convinced that an angel had visited her.

That's what I'd like right now, Lord. Just a few words of encouragement. Just a simple reminder of the things I already know but need to hear again.

But there was just silence. 

As I sat there in the chill of the early spring morning, my son's little dog at my feet, I saw a woman emerge from a townhouse across the commons area from my bench. She was carrying a large pair of very sharp trimmers and I saw her try to trim a branch from a tree just behind her house. The branch was large and just a little beyond a comfortable reach.

After a few futile attempts, she went back in the house. I thought she'd given up. But the next moment I saw her come out again carrying a ladder and the trimmers.

Uh-oh, I thought. That doesn't look safe.

I walked across the grassy area to her and asked if I could help. She looked a little startled and uncomfortable at having a perfect stranger approach her. She'd never seen me before. After all, I was visiting from another state and had never walked this way before. But I didn't think I looked too threatening, what with my silver hair and all, and a little dog with me on her leash.

I tried to put her at ease, explaining that my brother-in-law had injured himself quite badly a few years ago falling from a ladder. I offered to hold it for her while she cut the branch.

While I held the ladder, she explained that some neighborhood boys had been coming around, hanging on the branch, swinging from it, and that she was afraid they would eventually break it. She was having quite a hard time so I offered to trade her the dog leash for the trimmers and have a go at it.

Now I don't have a lot of upper body strength at all, and what's more, I was working from the ground at a very awkward angle.  But I felt I had to make good after my offer. And I did eventually manage to cut the branch, although not quite as neatly as might be hoped.

She was about my age and I made some joke about us and our tree-trimming adventure. But still feeling that she felt a bit awkward, I just wished her a good day and retrieved my little dog and went on my way.

She'd never seen me before and will most likely never see me again. 

So I smiled a little as I walked away. I had prayed for an angel to visit me. Who knows if she didn't wonder later if maybe I was an angel in disguise sent to help her?

We pray for things. But sometimes the Lord knows better than we what we need. I wanted someone to encourage and sympathize with me, someone to help me out. But instead I was given an opportunity to help someone else.

 I felt encouraged and uplifted. My prayer had been answered.


  1. Oh Deborah, I can't help but grin from ear to ear right now! What a precious story and a beautiful testimony of how God answers prayer....not always how we think He will, but indeed He answers. Thank you for sharing, dear one.

    Have a beautiful and blessed day! Love and hugs to you!

  2. Ah yes, you never know when someone else has made the same prayer and you become their answer. A nice story to share Deborah, shows that you are a caring person, not afraid to approach a stranger to offer help.

  3. How special is that? Thank you for sharing the story. Yes, I can imagine that she might think something like that. An angel with a little dog on a leash...

  4. What a beautiful story! So unusual to have a stranger be nice! She'll probably always remember the ladder holder lady!

  5. So glad both of you are safe and yes, God has a plan. Over the last five plus years, all too often I've prayed for someone to encourage angel in disguise...but it's never happened. What has happened is God has kept me, the animals and the farm safe. Well, except for the mess in When I'm discouraged, I try to count my blessings. Earlier this month, I experienced more than two weeks of extreme discouragement; it was during the cold snap when I was feeding the wood stove around the clock. Again, no angels but God kept me safe. I'll take it.

  6. What a wonderful story. I do think God uses perfect strangers as angels to each other sometimes. I have comforted and been comforted by people I know I will never see again. I hope you are feeling better now and the bit of sadness or angst you were experiencing has passed. Blessings- xo Diana

  7. So instead YOU were the angel. That is just plain awesome! Thank you for this very encouraging post!

  8. I was just about to go to bed but I'm so glad I read this. I'll go to bed with a smile on my face thinking of you volunteering to help a stranger. It's good to be someone else's angel, isn't it?

    Lovely writing, Deborah,

  9. What a great encounter! You're right, it OFTEN doesn't happen in our time OR in our expected way. Blessings for you!

  10. LOVE this post, Debbie! So you...and so true. God's ways are better than our ways and it was so good that you recognized the gift He had put in front of you with the stranger who needed help. I have always thought of the ripple effect-how your one act of kindness to a stranger made waves to her and others you don't even know about. What a gift to be able to see the beauty in helping others and how that ultimately helps you as well. Not surprising though, you have always been like that! Love you, Friend!

  11. Deborah,
    This is the perfect story to begin my day with! Yes, you were that angel, dog on leash and all....I know many angels that take that form! ;) Thanks for the very uplifting story! xo

  12. Oh Deborah, what a beautiful post. We just never know how the Lord plans to use us do we? I am sure that you made that lady's day and you will most likely never know the effect that your act of kindness had on her. Thank you for sharing this sweet story! Blessings on your week!

  13. How often to do we answers in different ways than we expect. How could of you to help were a blessing to her. And I appreciate your prayers for us right now. Sweet hugs, Diane

  14. Dearest Deborah,
    Yes, at times this works out the very best and as long as it makes us feel good, or maybe 'better' it works.
    It was very kind of you for stepping up for this to you complete stranger.
    Sending you hugs,

  15. What a lovely story about your simple encounter. I'm sure it will be one you'll think of often and make you smile. Wishing you a beautiful day... Brenda

  16. This was such a lovely post, Deborah. I do believe that God answered your prayers, but not in the way you expected. You were sad and he gave you the joy of helping someone. That, my friend, is beautiful :)

    Happy belated birthday to your daughter. She's beautiful and so was that lovely tea party.


  17. I personally think that you were an angel in disguise when you went to help your daughter in law, Deborah. That was so very kind of you. Yes, God always knows what He's doing, and you lending a helping hand must've made that lady's day.
    What a pretty teacup you received. That was such a thoughtful gift for showing appreciation. Love and hugs, sweet friend.

  18. Oh, such a wonderful and uplifting story, Deborah! The world needs more Angels like you! I'm sure that dear lady will forever remember your kindness. I know that I always remember those little acts of kindness thrown my way and try to pay it forward. That is what makes the world a better place. You are a blessing, my dear. Hugs xo Karen

  19. This was a beautiful and powerful story. How often do we pray for a gift, only to be given one we would never even imagine asking for! And yet, coming from the Supreme Giver of all Gifts, what we receive is always Perfect answer to our every prayer.

  20. What a lovely story, Deborah! We all need encouragement especially at some times more than others. You felt good about lending a hand and I'm sure she thought it was lovely of you to offer to help. No, we don't always get what we pray for in the way we wish but the Lord always knows what we need. I have shed a few tears lately whenever I read the comments left on my latest post. I know without a doubt it is the Lord's way of letting me know that what I do matters. I have some beautiful friends in Blogland. Be encouraged dear friend. What you do also matters. Like your blog says, "The Beautiful Matters," and you, my dear are beautiful!


  21. That is such a special encounter and a twist to your own prayers. Thank you for sharing this Deborah. I do hope all these comments have also now helped to lift your spirits a bit too. Hugs to you,
    Wendy xox

  22. Thank you for sharing your inspiring angel act, Deborah!

  23. What an awesome post! Just like the Lord, to take a difficult situation (to us anyway) and turn it into something amazing! I never cease to be amazed at how the Lord works in unexpected ways in our lives! What a blessing that you were able to be a blessing, and both of you to have your needs met in an unexpected way - again, only GOD! Have a blessed and lovely week my friend :)

  24. Deborah, this is the sweetest post. I am so sorry I haven't been around much - catching up and sooooo glad I read this tonight.

    You are such a dear - and what a sweet and kind thing to do for her. ♥


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