Where Angels Walk: Be careful what you pray for

She isn’t sure of the year, but Helen Kron will never forget the fires that kept spreading for what seemed like weeks in rural Indiana. She knew full-well that she should not get herself in any dangerous situation—not at her age. But when her son—who had been visiting her in Indiana—invited her to come back with him to Florida for a while, she decided to go. Surely the fires she had been reading about would be out by then. And her son drove a large and sturdy van, probably fireproof. She thought they would be fine.

They were, for the first day. But as they drove farther south, Helen saw smoke wafting through what usually was a bright path. Gradually, as miles passed, she started to see little tongues of flames dancing in the sky.

“I was very concerned about these fires along both sides of the road,” Helen recalled. “From time to time, the wind would pick up some burning item and blow it across the street. That piece would start something else burning.”

Helen fell back on her remedy for fear—serious prayer. “I began to pray that God would send rain,” she said. She and He were old friends, and Helen frequently prayed about weather conditions but this situation was becoming dangerous. “Oh Lord, how about a flood?” she murmured at one point.

Then, although she could hardly believe her eyes, rain came. There was no warning—the deluge simply started as if a dam had burst. Rain pounded the van’s windshield, poured on everything in sight. The fires alongside the roads were quickly extinguished. “Isn’t this wonderful!” Helen cried out in amazement. Who would believe this timing? She thanked God and praised him. The rain kept falling.

Soon, however, the roads seemed to be flooding. Helen noticed that several cars were driving through puddles almost half as high as their tires. Traffic immediately slowed and cars began to stall.

“Mom,” Helen’s son said, “I can’t see the road—the wipers can’t keep up. I’m going to have to pull off and wait it out.” There was a parking lot near them, and he splashed into it. The engine sputtered and died. Now what?

Helen had prayed that rain would come, and now she was praying that it would leave. The old saying, “Be careful what you pray for—you just might get it” popped into her head. How did one ask God to stop the blessings?

Then, through the windshield on the driver’s side, Helen saw a bright light. Was it lightening? This made her even more uneasy. “Then I saw the figure of an angel,” Helen recalled. “Oh! how beautiful she was. She seemed fully grown wearing a white dress that was either eyelet or lace. She had tight blonde curls—like Shirley Temple when she was a child—and she wore a tiara.”

Helen could no longer see the windshield, as the angel’s light was filling the van’s interior. Her arms were outstretched, showing the full sleeves flowing from her dress, and she was looking at Helen. “I felt as if she was saying that everything would be all right,” Helen said. “There was no doubt in my mind what I was seeing.”

The vision lasted just a few minutes. By now, the rain had stopped, and drivers seemed to be getting back on the road. “That was a lucky break,” Helen’s son mused as he turned the key and the engine sprang to life. “Look—the sun is even coming out.”

“Didn’t you see her?” Helen demanded, still awed by the vision.

“See who, Mom?”

Warmth flooded Helen. She would tell her son in a few minutes about what had happened. Right now, she wished only to hold the miracle close to her heart. “This memory is still very clear to me,” she said recently. “I praised God, and wondered ‘why me?’ I know I will never forget her.”

Joan’s new book Where Angels Walk is the 25th Anniversary Edition,
available now at Loyola Press.
Joan Wester Anderson has written many books on angels and miracles.
She can be reached at P.O. Box 127, Prospect Heights, IL 60070.

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