I read a post by billgncs in his blog bwthoughts entitled “life changers”

Life changer: I took it as someone – other than family – who touches us with profound and positive consequences. That post by Bill, helped dig up a long forgotten page of my life. I shared it with him and would like to share it here. This is what I said:

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I always secured high grades in school but also hung out with the neighbourhood gang. Yeah, figure that out.

Walking past a coffee shop one day, a man beckoned to join him for a cuppa. I soon learnt he was a cop in plainclothes. He had a dossier on the gang, including me. The cops were going to bust the gang and he gave me a heads up on account of my school grades. He spent about half an hour laying out the two futures I had – one led straight to the slammer. Head strong and belligerent as I was, something struck.

Thanks to him, I think I took the right fork in the road. He was my life changer – 40 years later, I still remember his name.

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I never did speak about this for many years until I first shared it with my girlfriend, Lisa, now my wife of 32 years.

Many years later, another angel touched me. You can read the short post here > Remove One Straw.

I would love to hear you share your story – about how an angel touched you.

Don’t be shy, come on – you know the commenters here are all kind and considerate souls.

We need to hear uplifting stories – we need to hear yours 😀

************ Peace ************

Tom_No Post

************

51 comments

  1. In this experience, I suspect we encountered a real angel. Many years ago, my husband and I brought our two year old son with us to Madison Square Garden in New York to watch a Rangers Hockey Game. We only had two tickets, assuming our son could watch the game for free. At the turnstile, we were stopped by the usher who said only two people could go through. We did not know what to do. In the midst of all the commotion, in the sea of faces, there was a man dressed in a business suit, smiling, with his hand extended towards us. He was holding a ticket. My husband reached out to get the ticket, and thanked the man. After we got through the stile, we looked back, but the man was gone. We then had our three tickets, and were able to watch the hockey game, wondering all the while who that man was.

  2. I have had many over the years, some who have briefly touched down in my life to offer just a word and others who have stayed for decades and offered haven. There is no single story more profound than another, they each weave a tapestry.

    1. Very happy for you Val,

      You are right, it would be difficult to apportion value, as each would have been just what one needed.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

  3. I truly believe an Angel influenced that my son stayed the night I attempted suicide and he found me cold, blue and puffy, called an ambulance and saved my life. I genuinely sought to die, and he did not want to stay that night. Had he not stayed, I would be dead.

    I have another instance too, I am sure I felt the presence of an Angel, but there needs to be a story about it – to have you see it, you know. I believe. And I am grateful.

    1. Hello Noeleen,

      A terrible event in your life and what a saviour Daniel turned out to be. Very happy for you both.

      Thank you for this sharing and feel free to share the other “story” either here or in your blog.

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric

  4. I was fortunate for a brutal English teacher to fall ill. I realize how horrible that sounds, but karma is a bitch. Anyway, the extended substitute was very encouraging of my writing–based on my moderately horrible (but creative) 9th grade writing. I think that has stuck with me. Had I asked the regular teacher if I should write, I’m sure he would have recommended I start a plumbing internship as quickly as possible.

    1. Yes Bernie,

      For every William Forrester, there are hundreds of Prof Crawfords ready to dot the “i” and cross the “t”.

      In my 10th grade preliminary exams I wrote an essay and my local English teacher (whom I have had a few runs-in with) gave me a Fail. My form teacher was shocked as I had been a consistent “A” student for English. I reproduced a similar essay for my Finals. UK based examiners gave me an “A”.

      Reading your blog – you’ve done well.

      Cheers,
      Eric
      P/s There’s nothing wrong with being a plumber. At 16, I started work life – mopping shop floors.

  5. Angels appear in the strangest of forms, you were very lucky that your angel directed you on the right path, in fact we, your followers and those you mix and mingle with owe a lot to your angel.
    Chris.

    1. He touched me, I touch you, you touch others and out of those “others” one might have touched him — one never knows, but we can pass it on —

    2. At 00:30 on this Friday night I am just about to shut down and get some shut eye, raising a glass to you and yours – peace, until we blog again.
      Chris.

  6. What a lovely share Eric.

    I have had my share of angels and feel so blessed for that. If I could share one such life turning point from my childhood.

    I was never too good in studies but was really good in poetry, dance, music, acting..etc…But I didnt know how to show it or if I should even try…some how some of my teachers saw it in me. She knew what I could not do in class I could perhaps make up for in other things.

    Will never forget the day my English teacher took time out of her lunch to talk to me about what I liked, how I should join the school choir and dance group. She even spoke to other teachers about it and from then on there was no looking back.

    George Mam and Basu mam…I still believe they were sent just for me and others like me – the rebels who would have taken a completely wrong turn had they not been there for us.

    And in a way I feel I became a specialist educator because I had them as examples.

    1. First off, Soma my dear,

      Thank you for this lovely sharing.

      You must have been quite a handful for “strait-jacket teachers”. Most educators do have a narrow view of what entails “education” but this is often dictated by the system, I suppose.

      You are fortunate to have found two angels who recognised your true talents.

      I am very sure you bring dollops of joy to all your charges.

      Did you say “dance” – I wonder – Hmmm, perhaps for another time 🙂

      Luv and blessings,
      Eric

  7. The most recent earth angel experience was really for our now deceased cocker spaniel Blondie. We had taken her to the vet office thinking it was going to be the last time because she wasn’t doing so well again and we couldn’t afford the frequent vet bills. We talked to a man in the lobby who was waiting with his dogs to be seen. We told him what was going on and that because of finances, this may be our last visit. We saw the vet and decided to try some different pills and see if they helped and when we came out the same man was still in the lobby. When I was going to pay the bill he suddenly asked how much it was and said, “I got it.” I was completely overwhelmed by his generosity…I’m a very proud person who doesn’t like to ask for help. His only stipulation…”Take care of your dog.” He was Blondie’s angel.

    1. Wow!

      That is something. And the beauty is, you accepted the gesture, when ordinarily you would not have. That is understandable as love transcends much.

      And I believe you probably never did run into that kind gentleman again.

      All good blessings,
      Eric

  8. It’s so wonderful to read yours and many others encounter above, they are truly miraculous and touching.

    The incident I remember was when both my colleagues from overseas lost their personal belongings including their passports in a coach. It was supposed to be our weekend holiday. The embassies were closed and the police could not help us. The coach had driven off and there was no way for us to contact the driver. Strangely all of us could not remember the number plate or the color of the coach. A taxi driver in Malaysia who miraculously appeared, by some unexpected chance happened to be the friend of the coach driver. He made a call to him, drove me from KL all the way to Batu Pahat in Johor (the coach station), met his friend and I got everything back intact, not a single cent less. Then he drove me back to KL, almost five hour drive to and fro.

    My friends thought I was the hero of the day but I think the taxi driver was the angel.

    1. What a wonderful sharing my dear dear Jasey 🙂

      Your humility shines through. I can well imagine how traumatic it must have been for your two friends, having lost their passports – and on a weekend to boot.

      I know Malaysia and Johore quite well – wow, you really criss crossed the country didn’t you.

      And what a miracle, indeed 🙂

      God bless and look after you,
      Eric

  9. Can’t think of one profound encounter Eric, but there were countless ‘angels’ who contributed to who I am today.

    So happy yours pulled you away from that abyss. Like Bill above I think it would have pleased him to know that he made a difference 🙂

    1. Hello Madhu,

      I always look forward to your presence and comment 🙂

      Sometimes we need angels and sometimes we are angels.

      Looking at your travel photography, think of all the people – children, elderly men and women, the poor, the “nobodies” of this world – you made happy when you snapped their pictures.

      You’ve been spreading joy, my dear and been an angel to many.

      Peace and blessings to a friend,
      Eric
      P/s That police officer – perhaps he knows. Singapore is a tiny island state.

  10. Thank you Eric for this post and the links – I have read them also. I have to admit I barely acknowledge those small voices – that make me think again – as angels. Yet they are increasingly there, and I recognise their wisdom.

    Thank you for reminding me of who/what they are. And where I most often find them – in friends, family, strangers. And in myself.

    It is a joyful thought

    1. Hello Ann,

      Thank you very much for reading all the linked posts. I truly appreciate you setting aside your time to do this.

      We – including you – are all (and have been and will be) angels at one time or more. Of this, I am convinced. Look in the mirror please – yes, that person is capable of being an angel and has been one to many. The beauty is, we don’t even realise it – this is true giving, without expectations.

      Sometimes our smile might uplift somebody – it can be as ordinary as that.

      The value of a gift is not decided by the giver – but by the recipient, I reckon.

      Peace, Eric

  11. I am not sure if I have met my angel yet or if I have been lucky enough to have been helped gently and quietly so as not to notice.
    I do however remember my sister telling me that when she was a young nurse in casualty she had to deal with a young man who came in at least once a fortnight having tried to commit suicide.
    One particularly busy night he was brought in and my sister was taken off a road accident victim to deal with him.
    As she worked he told her his tale again after she had listened she told him that he had two options one was to sort his life out get help and move on. The other was easier and she told him the most effective way to kill himself. Either way she told him she did not want to see him in casualty again because she was rushed off her feet.
    She did not see him again and she worried that she may of pushed him over the edge. Time passed and a after a couple of years she became a ward sister. One day the ward secretary said that there was someone to see her in casualty.
    When she went down to casualty she was met by a young couple wit a baby. The man hugged and said “thank you Nurse, I took your advice. This is my family. Thanks to you.” She is retired now and knowing her she’s helped more than one person.

    1. Wow! Your sister sailed close to the wind on that one.

      I can imagine how it must have wrecked her to think she could have just given that little push. Isn’t it fortunate and praiseworthy that the young man sought out your sister to thank her. Must have been an immense relief for her too.

      I suppose when we are constantly reaching out to help, we do risk mistakes. But in this case, obviously the young man needed a wake-up call and your sister was there. Lovely.

      Thank you for this uplifting story. I’m sure your sister has been an angel for many.

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric

    1. Hello and thank you Susan,

      You are kind.

      On hindsight I dread to think what it could have been if I’ve let my pride rule. You know how teenagers can be, especially when they have a “gang” behind them.

      All good wishes,
      Eric
      P/s Happy Birthday again 🙂

  12. My angel story would be a repeat on a blog I published some time ago.

    I was a passenger in a car driven at high speed by someone who should have had more sense. We hit a bridge at 70 mph and I took full impact on my passenger side. The car leaped over the bridge, flew over the stream and rolled several times on the other bank. When my head cleared I checked to see if I still had mobility in my limbs, then noticed smoke coming through the remaining slit in the squashed windscreen. The door on my side was folded back and the car rested on the passenger side door with about one foot clearance. It was the only possible way out as seats were firmly wedged in the drivers windows now above me. Sensing the smoke meant a possible fire I desperately rocked the car up and down on the folded door with feet planted on the ground until there was just enough room to slide under and out. Under normal circumstances I would not have the strength to rock a large car, so I’m firmly of the opinion that an Angel must have been the one to get me out.

    I also believe that Divine intervention only comes where there is some positive work for us to do in this life. I carry the physical effects of that experience even to this day.

    1. Yes, that was a nasty and scary bind you got into. Thank God you got out safe – though hurt. Thank you for sharing, Ian.

      It is amazing what one can do when facing imminent danger – until recollection reveals that the “one” was not us or of our doing.

      In the 1970s, coming down a slope near HMS Terror, my motorcycle skidded on sand. With me still on the seat, my bike skittered towards an on-coming lorry. I still remember vividly the ashen face of the driver as he hit his brakes. You’ve heard the term – looking death in its face. As I hung on, I did not even know that I twisted the grip accelerator. The bike righted and shot off with me on it, missing the truck by inches.

      Both the lorry driver and I paused to catch our breath and nerves. Then, the man came at me and spewed Hokkien vulgarities. After a few moments, we both burst out laughing. All I suffered was a huge shock and a tiny bruise to my calf – when riding bikes, I’m always fully leathered up.

      As you said Ian, until today I am convinced of some intervention other than luck.

      Peace, Eric

    2. Reminds me of another narrow escape, this time in Pune India. I was returning from the University about 9 pm one night and going full throttle on my scooter when a drunk villager ran out in front of me. As you know scooters are not very stable and while I managed to miss him by inches and stay on the scooter it gave me such a fright I sold the scooter that very week.

    3. We seem to have identical experiences – or perhaps these parallels are more widespread than we think.

      I hate to think how the villagers would have reacted if you had run into that drunk. Perhaps, and especially during that time compared to now, as a Caucasian, you might have gotten away with a heavy “composition” fine. But it could have turned nasty and physical.

      My encounter with the lorry was the third that particular year. In all three instances, I got away with nothing more than scratches. After this lorry incident – I mean, I actually stared at Death – I decided to listen to Him and sold my bike too.

    4. You got it right. Even if you are in the right and not to blame a Caucasian could be killed for someone being hurt or killed in an accident in a village. I was stoned in Bombay when the US fleet sailed into the Indian Ocean when India and Pakistan were having one of their frequent wars. For some reason its assumed all Caucasians are from the USA it seems even if you’re from Australia or another English speaking country. On the whole Indians are a very tolerant lot, but it’s understandable there will be lingering angst at the way they were treated during English rule.

    1. Thank you Bill,

      For triggering this post with your “live changer” post.

      You may be right. He struck me as a man who, having grown up during the Japanese Occupation and missing out on some decent schooling, did not want to see more kids throwing away that opportunity.

      But as we never met again —

      All good wishes for the weekend,
      Eric

  13. Dearest Eric,

    I have quickly come by your blog (I am still on hiatus) to approve comments, could not resist reading your post! Shall drop by at weekend to continue reading the few posts I have missed of you, my dear friend.

    Until then….keep shining and lots of love & hugs.

    1. My dearest Shaheen,

      This is so very sweet of you.

      You know that all your regular “readers” are missing you and in the foremost group jostling to catch a glimpse of their heroine you might see yours truly hopping up and down behind taller heads 🙂

      Looking forward to your visit this weekend.

      Luv and hugz to a talented friend,
      Eric

  14. I loved your story of the angel, in plain clothes, who helped you avoid the slammer!

    Well since my angel phoned me today I will tell you a bit about her. I’ve known her for many years (since grade 2), and one day after not having been around her for a couple of years she phoned me out of the blue and invited me to a Bible study at her house. I had just begun being curious about God and had asked him that week that if He was real would He please get her to call me, as I sensed she knew something I didn’t. I did not know how to get hold of her since she had married. I wasn’t sure if she even lived in town anymore.

    Yes, I went to the study and have not stopped studying the Word since.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. This is positive affirmation, Wendy, and thank you for sharing.

      He knocked. You answered the door. You were ready and willing. He revealed. You recognised Him.

      All good wishes with your journey,
      Eric

  15. In some inexplicable way, Eric, your two pieces: ‘Touched by an Angel’ and ‘Remove one straw’ touched me and brought tears to my eyes (and believe me that does NOT happen often.)

    I got to do some soul searching looking for my encounters, which I am sure that I have had, but somehow missed. I know that I’ve experienced a few Heng moments in my time but didn’t pause to treasure them as you, obviously, did and do.

    Congratulations.

    The more that I think about the angels the more I draw a blank and I’ve had a good life, blessed in multiple ways. It is odd for I can quote my encounters with demons even the ones who seduced me!

    Thank you again for this very precious perspective.

    Cheerio
    Jane

    1. Jane my dear,

      I started drafting a longer reply but decided against it. Instead, may I suggest you read this 10 second post CRY > http://wp.me/s1YE83-cry

      It sheds some light on what I think about spontaneous tears. I know you will not take this in any other way than as one of love and sharing.

      You might have been an angel for many without knowing it.

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric

  16. My life was changed at fourteen when a woman, a stranger to my world, took a look at how I interacted with my family, and how they interacted with me, and realized something was wrong. She listened and, more importantly, understood. Even when I couldn’t find the words. My life changed because, for the first time in my life, someone cared.

    1. That is marvellous Jessica and you rightly recognised it as such.

      Most people look for epiphanic events – dramas for public consumption.

      But the greatest dramas are those that unravel within us, I reckon – for these are meant for an audience of one – us.

      Peace, Eric

  17. Wonderful idea and story, Eric. I’m thinking of all my angels and I’m recalling many angelic faces. I’m recalling all sorts of people, sort of free associating. Maybe every one has a bit of an angel in them. Actually, there’s no maybe. Lots of angels out there. Life changers? Well, I need to think about that.

    1. Sometimes, it is a big bang and most times, it is a spark. Some see the spark, others miss the bonfire.

      You are fortunate to have encountered many sparks, I reckon.

      Peace, Eric

    2. I’ve been thinking about the angels. Yes, an amazing number of sparks. I’m recalling all sorts of people who wished me well, who were a light for me.

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