Jonahs by Jet

What Color Are God’s Angels?

“I’ve got a good story!” Keri said. David, Mom, and Dad were at worship remembering ways God had protected them and answered their prayers.

“I remember the time we had a flat tire on that very dangerous road to Jengre Hospital. People had told us there was a man robbed and hurt on that same road the week before. When our tired popped, I was scared! But we prayed, and right away a police car drove up. They weren’t supposed to be at that place for several hours, but someone had told them that a foreign family was stranded.

“The police stayed with us for a long time until we got our tire fixed.” Keri shared her memory. “I thought those police officers were African angels, Mom! I asked you if the angels in heaven would have dark skin too!”

David remembered another answer to prayer. “There was the time that Andrew was playing with the key to our bathroom door. We looked everywhere and couldn’t find it. Andrew and I had been all over the compound that morning. We figured we would never see it again. But then we all prayed, and Dad went to check where we had watched the trash burn. Dad was going to put away a rake he found there. He was dragging it to the garage, and it snagged on something tinkly!”

“The key!” Keri finished the story for her brother.

Then it was Mom’s turn. “My favorite story of all is the time that Dad had a sick baby named Laitus in the hospital. That baby was having such a struggle to breathe. Dad did everything he could, but he was so afraid the baby would die.

“A messenger came to our door in the morning while we were having breakfast and told us Laitus was breathing her last breaths. Dad said that the only thing left to do was pray. So we all bowed our heads and asked Jesus to heal her if it was His will. When Dad got to the hospital, the baby’s aunt was running out the front door crying, ‘My baby died! My baby died!’

“Dad walked sadly to the bedside, expecting to see a breathless baby, but when he got there Laitus was breathing! Dad was so surprised that he questioned the nurse. But the nurse said the baby had truly stopped breathing just when the messenger was sent to our house. Laitus was dead for ten minutes, but at the time we prayed, she started breathing again!” Mom smiled. “We have seen God work in some amazing ways, haven’t we?

“Sometimes He says Yes, and sometimes He says No, and sometimes He says Wait. But He always does what is best for us in His time.”

The next morning, Mom shook Keri gently. “Keri, wake up!” Keri groaned and rolled over. She wondered why Mom was trying to wake her up in the middle of the night. Usually Mom was coaxing her to sleep!

“Keri, wake up! There is something special in the sky! You’ve got to see it!”

“OK,” Keri yawned and sat up slowly. She could hear Dad waking up David too. Suddenly, Keri was curious. What could be so special that her parents would drag them out of bed in the middle of the night?

Dad had carried a camping mat and an old mattress out to the front lawn. A mosquito tent was set up on top of the mattress. David and Keri crawled inside the net tent. Then Keri looked where Dad pointed toward the sky. There was something as bright and big as the moon, but it had a beam streaming from it, like a huge spotlight covering a third of the sky. It was so strange that Keri caught her breath. “What is it, Dad?” she wondered in awe.

“It’s a comet!” Dad explained. “The most beautiful comet Mom and I have ever seen! That’s why we woke you and David up. We thought you might want to camp out tonight and enjoy it!”

“Wow!” David admired the comet in the dark sky for a long time before he dropped off to sleep.

The next day was Keri’s birthday, so the Skaus called the comet “Keri’s Comet!” All their African friends were wondering what the strange light was in the sky. One of the local villagers told Mom, “I can’t believe the wonderful things you batures (white folks) do!”

Mom assured the villager that no man could make a comet! “Only God does comets!” Mom explained.

A few months later, when the Newsweek magazine finally made its late way to Nigeria, David ran to show Dad an article about the comet Hiyakutake. “Look, Dad! I found an article about the comet we saw! We could call it Hi-ya-to-Keri, after Keri’s birthday. But a man named Hiyakutake really saw it first in Japan!”

Over the next few months David and Dad asked their friends and relatives about the comet. But David was disappointed. Most people hadn’t seen it at all and those who had, had only seen a dull spot in the sky, not the spectacular spotlight that David and Keri had watched.

“Why didn’t other people see what we did, Dad?” David wondered.

“Well, son,” Dad thought out loud. “We were at Jengre Hospital where there is no electricity. So there were no other lights to compete with the comet. And we were in a place where we could see well, with no clouds in the way. You know we’re at about 2,000 feet elevation. That may have made a difference too. And Mom was watching the sky also. Some people don’t pay much attention to the stars.”

Hmmm. David was thinking. “That’s kind of like a parable, huh, Dad?”

“What do you mean?” Dad was listening.

“Well, we saw the comet in the sky because we were watching, and we weren’t distracted by other lights. The wise men saw Jesus’ star over Bethlehem because they were studying the sky, too, and they didn’t let other things keep them from looking for Jesus’ coming.”

“That’s a good parable!” Dad agreed. “It will be like that in the end of time too. Like the story of the ten bridesmaids. Remember, five were ready with their lamps lighted when the bridegroom came, but five were sleeping! When Jesus comes again, some people will be watching and ready, with nothing to keep them from seeing the signs of Jesus’ soon return. But other people will miss the signs!”

“I’m glad we saw the comet, Dad!” David grinned. “But I want to be even more careful to watch for Jesus’ second coming!”

“You know what, David?” Mom smiled. “The way we will be ready is to study our Bibles so we know what to expect. Do you remember the Scripture song we sing ‘Thy word is a lamp to my feet . . . And a light to my path’?

I have another story to tell you that really helped me understand that verse. You know how dark it is after the generator goes off in Jengre? Well, I was finding my way to the bathroom one night, with only the dull, shadowy glow of our small kerosene lantern. I almost stepped on something, and it moved! I got a little chill up my spine, and I rushed to get the bright Coleman camping lantern. Guess what I saw?”

David was in suspense. “What, Mom?”

“I had almost stepped on a scorpion in the dark! There he was, a big brown creature with his stinger poised like a sword, ready to stab me! I came close to disaster walking around in the shadows! Then I realized that is how we are when we don’t read our Bibles. God has given us such a wonderful Book to warn us of dangers—just like a bright light to show us the way; but when we ignore it, we put ourselves into scary situations,” Mom concluded.

“Well, Mom, I guess we better keep our lights on at night and our Bibles handy to read, right?” David smiled.

“Good idea!” Mom agreed.

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