Philippians 2:13 (NIV)
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Bill Korducki of Burlington, Wisconsin is convinced that from time to time God uses us, instead of angels, to keep one another from harm. It's happened to him. Some years ago, Bill was paying for his college tuition and books by working at a local department store. One day he was sent across town to another mall to fill in for a person on his day off.
"The mall across town was much larger than the place where I usually worked," Bill recalls. "It had two floors, and a big open area in the middle with a railing and benches all around overlooking the galleria below." After completing the morning shift Bill went to a restaurant in the mall for lunch. As he made his way back towards his store, he noticed a little girl, her mother and grandmother on a bench set against the railing overlooking the galleria.
"The mother and grandmother were engaged in an intense discussion, completely focused on each another," Bill says. "As I continued in their direction, I noticed that the little girl, perhaps three years of age, was trying to climb over the railing. She had succeeded in swinging her left leg over the railing and was trying to shift her weight and push off the bench with her right leg. Neither of the women noticed her."
Bill was stunned. Of course he was hesitant to grab someone else's child. He had learned in the retail business that it's important to be gentle with children, no matter what they're doing. And it was important not to offend the parents too. But this child was going to topple over in a moment, and if he shouted. Bill quickened his pace, reached the girl, and gently pulled her off the railing. "You shouldn't be climbing on the railing like that," he told her, just loud enough for the adults to hear. "You could fall and get hurt. That would upset your mother very much."
Suddenly Bill had the mother and grandmother's full attention. They were very embarrassed as he handed the child back to them. "Her guardian angel sent me," he told them, brushing off their thanks, and hurried on to his department. ("After all, I was paid on commission and I needed all the sales I could get to pay for college!") He was starting to realize that he might have saved the little girl's life. A 50-foot fall into the galleria could have certainly injured her seriously, if it didn't kill her.
Awhile later, the store was abuzz with another wild customer tale---there were always a few to share. A clerk from another department came to Bill, laughing. "Have you heard?" she asked. "An old lady and her daughter went to Security, claiming an angel saved her granddaughter from a fall, and when she looked up after he handed the little girl to her, he disappeared!"
Bill wondered what to do. Apparently, he was the only one who knew the truth, yet how could he stop a false story from spreading? But later, as he was stationed near the store exit, he saw the women and the little girl walking through his department! He called to them. They were astounded, and rushed over to him.
"I'm not an angel," Bill assured them. "But your granddaughter's guardian angel had me at that place at that time to do what I did. Just remember to continue to pray. It does work." The women thanked Bill again, said goodnight and left the store with a bewildered look on their faces. "As for me," says Bill, "I thanked God for giving me the chance to do an angel's work."
Being an earth angel doesn't always involve something major, such as saving a life. Sometimes we're just needed to hold a hand, whisper a word of comfort or even provide food or drink. As one writer put it, "If people were more like angels, earth would be more like heaven." Will you let God use you today to do His work.
Dear Lord, we pray that when the opportunities come our way to help someone we would do our part. Help us not turn away and do nothing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.