Where Angels Walk: Preventing tragedy

Rebekah Manthei was glad to have a job in her family’s hardwood flooring business in northern Michigan, even though it was physically demanding. Part of her job was to get flooring orders together in the warehouse, and she did this by finding the product and moving it with a forklift. Different woods were arranged in different locations so, depending on the products, it took a lot of moving and rearranging to get an order together.

“One day, we received an order very late, that needed to be ready first thing in the morning,” said Rebekah. “I decided to stay late to get it ready, since it involved an hour or so of moving large stacks of flooring by forklift to get to what I needed. One of these stacks of flooring was piled almost to the ceiling of the warehouse.”

Rebekah was unaware that someone had left a loose hardwood board on top of the flooring she had started to move. As she began to lift the top bundle from the stack, the loose board fell vertically, aimed right at her head.

“I knew I was done for,” Rebekah recalled. “I closed my eyes and waited for it to hit me.”

A few seconds passed and nothing happened. A couple more seconds… Then, Rebekah heard the board land, but it sounded very far away.

Slowly, she opened her eyes. Everything seemed normal. But where was the board?

“Baffled, I got off the forklift and went to find where the board had landed,” Rebekah said. She walked the entire length of the large warehouse, and finally, at the other end of the warehouse, behind more stacks of flooring, lay the board. There was no way it could possibly have landed there. No way except for one.

“I knew right then that God had sent my guardian angel to protect me,” Rebekah said. To this day, she still envisions her angel catching the board in mid-air and throwing it across the warehouse.

Thank you, angels. Wherever we are, you are there with us.

Joan’s new book Where Angels Walk is the 25th Anniversary Edition, available now at Loyola Press. She can be reached at joanwanderson67@gmail.com.

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