Guardian angels? I’d heard of them, but had never experienced them personally until Father’s Day, 1996. That afternoon, we were carrying out our final basement loads and cleaning up as we concluded our move from northeast Des Moines to our new home in Pleasant Hill, five miles away. This was the final day our entire family was to be together at our old place. Vacuuming my old office area downstairs, I noticed something small and shiny. It was a gold-colored angel pin, one I had never seen before. I stuck it in my pocket.
Shortly afterward, the guy who bought our place arrived with a sectional sofa. I helped him wrestle it into the living room and offered to ride with him to his mom’s place to move some other large items. Following this, the plan was to reunite at our new place for a barbeque. Deb and the kids were nearly ready to leave as Scott and I left to head across town.
By the time we sipped ice tea with his mom, loaded up, and arrived back in Des Moines, nearly two hours had elapsed. Our driveway was blocked by several cars, the garage door was wide open, our Tempo and van were still there, and something seemed odd. My wife, daughters, and half the neighborhood kids greeted us with some disturbing news.
Within minutes after Scott and I had left, Deb had taken the kids across the street to say goodbye to some playmates and see a puppy. Getting ready to cross back, three year old Matt impulsively bolted into the street! He had nearly crossed in front of a slow-moving car when his head was clipped by the headlight molding, knocking him to the pavement and gashing open his head. An ambulance quickly arrived and rushed him to ER. The checked him out, closed his cut with two surgical staples, bandaged his knee, and released him to Deb. Returning home, he was his usual goofy self. I picked him up and gave him a numb hug.
Much later that night, Deb snuggled in bed with a sleeping Matt, tearfully thanking God for the slightness of his injuries.
And as I emptied my pocket…I pulled out the angel pin.