Living Among Ordinary Angels

Living Among Ordinary Angels

Ordinary AngelsFor the first time in a year, this weekend my wife and I will be back in a movie theater to see the new release, Ordinary Angels.

Just as Kelsey Grammar lent star power to the last theatrical release we saw, Jesus Revolution, Hilary Swank plays the lead role. And, like Jesus Revolution, this film relates a true story.

As chronicled recently by the Louisville Courier-Journal, Ordinary Angels is based on the memoir of a hairdresser. She went to extraordinary means to help a widower whose daughter needed to get to Omaha, Nebraska for a liver transplant.

The only problem: a 17-inch snowstorm had blanketed Louisville and effectively shut everything down. But hairdresser got on the phone to radio stations to rally the community.

After the news aired, volunteers braved nasty weather to get to Southeast Christian Church—a landmark with its 9,100-seat sanctuary next to I-64, about 10 miles east of downtown.

Once at the church, these ordinary angels helped clear the parking lot to allow a helicopter to land. The chopper ferried father and daughter to the airport for a live-saving flight to Omaha.

Historic Snowstorm

The reason I remember this blizzard so well is it happened on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, just after we moved to Louisville. Not settled in a church yet, the night before we had gone to visit one, only to discover it didn’t have a Sunday evening service.

As we headed back home, what had started as rain appeared to be morphing into sleet. I recalled a TV forecast of a dusting of snow followed by rain. Instead, we awoke to a foot of snow and more falling.

The storm paralyzed the city. That Thursday, we walked to a neighborhood market to pick up a few essentials. To stock up, that Saturday we made a bumpy drive to a superstore-type grocery market.

On the day of the storm, a friend in Colorado overnighted material for a quarterly newsletter I produced for his nonprofit. It took six days to arrive.

The week after I completed that project, I went to talk with someone about a “real” job with a steady salary. I had been busting my chops freelancing for six years and things weren’t getting any better.

“Depend on Me”

Ordinary Angels book coverSoon after that interview, I finished reading the memoir of a man I had met the previous summer. A motorcycle rider and bad dude, after turning over his life to Christ, he had become a positive force and eventually became the principal of a Christian school.

Although I had started the book, I then set it aside for a while. Then one morning I found myself compelled to finish the last 75 pages. Near the end, I learned the man had been suddenly fired as principal. As parents gathered to protest his firing, the Lord told him, “Tell them to stop. I don’t want you looking at a nice position or a good salary. I want you looking to Me.”

Those words leaped off the page like a tailor-made message. God didn’t want me depending on a steady income; He wanted me depending on Him.

Thirty years later, I have been through never-ending financial ups and downs. Sometimes they still wear on my nerves. Yet I know I can depend on the Creator of heaven and earth.

The irony here is that during the 12 years we lived in Louisville, I never heard about the angels who cleared the way for that helicopter. But the Lord who prompted them to take action was also working in my life at the same period of time.

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