Dryers were convenient, sure, but I didn’t mind not having one. Especially on a morning like this. Blue sky, warm sun, a cool breeze ruffling my hair. The smell of clean clothes and grass. I reached for a fat wooden clothespin and clipped it to the shoulder of the white blouse I’d just washed. The one I planned to wear on the plane…
I suddenly shivered. Not because of the breeze. In just a few days I’d have to get on an airplane for Florida. My sister was scheduled for gall bladder surgery and needed me to help watch her kids. She’d bought me a ticket as soon as I’d agreed to fly out, but as the departure date neared, I got more and more terrified.
I’d never liked flying, but over the last couple of years I’d come to hate it. I’d had one bad experience too many. The worst happened on my honeymoon flight to Cancun. I was hoping to settle my nervous stomach with a cup of ginger ale while we flew over the ocean. With no warning whatsoever, the plane seemed to drop like a stone from the sky. For a moment the ginger ale actually hovered over the cup. I would never forget the feeling. And I’d arrived on my honeymoon in a shirt soaked completely through with ginger ale.
I pinned the other sleeve of my fresh, clean blouse to the line. Perhaps white isn’t the best clothing choice for flying, I thought.
I pulled a sheet from the laundry basket, trying to comfort myself with the soft feel of the cotton fabric. Instead, the memory of another terrible flight over Missouri muscled its way into my thoughts. “This is the worst rain and lightning I’ve ever experienced!” the pilot announced as I gripped the armrests, my knuckles going white as the plane shook.
I’d sworn never to get on a plane again. But I couldn’t let my sister down. Even if the thought of sitting in a plane seemed impossible.
I straightened the sheet out in the breeze and laid it over the clothesline. “God, you know how scared I am of flying,” I said, bending down for two more clothespins. “Is this some kind of test? Or a punishment?” I clipped a clothespin to one end of the sheet. I couldn’t figure out why God would do this to me. “Have I done something wrong?”
I walked to the other end of the sheet and smoothed it flat. I reached up with the clothespin to secure it in place—
But I was somewhere else. Instead of standing in front of the clothesline, I was floating 20 feet above it. As if my whole body had been lifted into the air, hovering like a helium balloon while my feet dangled above the grass. What was going on?
I noticed something very odd just to the left of where I’d stood moments ago. There in my place were two beings. They were surrounded by an otherworldly light that obscured their features. They felt male, somehow, but they didn’t look like men.
I studied the beings from above. They were almost transparent. But I could still make out their figures inside of those brilliant glowing auras that were radiating from them. Is this really happening? I thought. Am I dreaming?
A voice seemed to answer: “Why are you so surprised? They are with you everywhere you go.”
They? I stared down at the glowing figures. What else could they be but angels? Angels who were always with me. The moment I understood that truth, I was back at the clothesline. Standing on solid ground. A clothespin in my hands, the sheet waiting to be clipped. Shirts and socks blew gently on the breeze.
I leaned close to the wash and breathed in the scent of cleanliness, the scent of green grass on a warm sunny morning. Nothing had changed. Nothing at all.
Except me. And I didn’t realize how much until I was at the airport. When my flight was called for boarding, I wasn’t afraid. I felt as safe and comforted as I had breathing in the scent of those fresh clothes drying on the line. If God had gone to all this trouble to show me the angels that traveled with me everywhere, how could I doubt he was watching over me now? Walking, driving or flying, I was in good hands.
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