23: The Eyes of an Angel

23: The Eyes of an Angel

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

The Eyes of an Angel

We should pray to the angels, for they are given to us as guardians.

~Saint Ambrose

I was lost and terrified in the middle of the bustling Munich train station. An overconfident twenty-two-year-old, I was traveling in Germany without knowing the language. I fully expected to make my way through the country with a combination of grit and determination. So it came as a shock when I found myself in this dire situation.

The year was 1989, and I was traveling from Munich to Düsseldorf to meet my brother. We had organized our timing prior to my trip and confirmed our plans the night before. Now, I had no way of contacting him, because this was long before cell phones. When something like this went wrong, there was no quick fix, no simple communication. My brother would be worried sick when I didn’t arrive in Düsseldorf on my train.

I tried desperately to make sense of the German signs. Speaking in English, I asked several people for help, but was met with blank stares. What was I going to do? Could I get myself out of this situation? How would I contact my brother?

I began to pray. Since childhood, I had felt a strong connection to my guardian angel, so in the midst of the frenzied train station, I focused my attention on prayer.

“Please, dear guardian angel, help me! I’m alone, scared and in way over my head. Please help me find my train. It doesn’t seem anyone else here can help me but you.”

Within minutes, an elderly man emerged from the dense crowd. He walked toward me with a tender expression on his face, carrying a hot dog and a soda. When he reached me, he gently extended his arms and, in German, seemed to be offering me the food and drink. I listened to him and then replied, “Ich spreche kein Deutsch.” (“I don’t speak German.”) This was one of the very few German phrases I had learned. He nodded and then offered me the food again.

Then I noticed the man’s eyes. They were my grandfather’s eyes! Although he had died two years before, my grandfather’s eyes were emblazoned in my memory: crystal blue and shimmering with glee, kindness and the deepest love. I’d never forget my grandfather’s eyes.

I should have been terrified but those eyes reassured me. I was safe, and this man was taking care of me.

I suddenly realized how hungry I was. Where did this man come from and how did he know I needed food? I gratefully accepted the hot dog and soda from him and choked out my best, “Danke schön.” (“Thank you very much.”)

Suddenly, I felt guided to ask him this one-word question: “Düsseldorf?”

With my grandfather’s smile and the shimmering blue eyes to match, this German angel waved for me to follow him. I obliged, and after rounding several corners and traveling down a few ramps, he led me to a train platform. His mesmerizing eyes guided mine to a sign that read “Düsseldorf.”

With a heart full of gratitude, I repeated several times, “Danke schön!”

The familiar smile filled the gentleman’s face again, and he leaned down and gently kissed my hand. As he drew his face upward, my grandfather’s beautiful blue eyes met mine and shone with great affection. Then, with no further words, he drifted back into the crowd and seemed to evaporate.

Soon afterward, I was comfortably situated on the correct train traveling northwest across Germany to meet my brother, marveling at what had just occurred. With my belly full and my senses calmed, I drew a deep breath and said another prayer. This time, my prayer was one of thanksgiving. I prayed to my guardian angel and to my grandfather, thanking them for providing their love and protection when I needed it most.

~Jen Flick

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