Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Where Angels Walk, by Joan Wester Anderson

By Christina VanGinkel

I purchased this book when my youngest son was a toddler, probably about ten years ago, and it has held a permanent spot on my bookshelf ever since. It is a compilation of angel stories, collected through the years by many different people, which tell of what many believe to be visits from real angels, or divine intervention. It was a New York Times Bestseller and stayed on the list for over a year, and I can completely understand why. Who would not want to read the inspiring angel stories in its pages!

In this busy world, which we live in, whether one is religious or not, it is always calming and uplifting to hear or in this case read, of instances that at the least show there can be hope when in many times there would be none. Some of the stories are a bit mundane actually, with a thread of urban legend almost resonating from them. One such story is about a tow truck driver who after rescuing some young men disappeared into the snowy night without even leaving tire tracks. Even this story though was still a good read, especially for those parents who might have young family members driving under conditions that might not always be the best.

However, other stories within the pages of this book will leave you with the thought that in this crazy, mixed up world, there might be a chance that angels really do exist. One story that I love to read, and reread, and get a glimmer of hope from every time I do, is one that relays the story of a young three year old boy who drowned, and after being under water for close to an hour, makes a miraculous recovery. That he survived was enough to make me smile and think that just maybe, there really are angels. The story continues though, and when he is a bit older, even though he supposedly has no recollection of the accident itself, he makes a stunning revelation about the time he was under the water that really makes one think about why we are here and if there really are angels amongst us. You will have to read the book though to find out exactly what he said!

Another story in the pages of this book that really touched my heart tells about a family who find themselves caught in a tornado, with their youngest family member still at school. When the father finally sets out through the devastation to reach the school, and find out the condition of it and his child, the mother, frantic for information after seeing on the news that that area around the school was hit much worse than by their home, starts calling the school. She cannot get through because of downed telephone lines, but still frantically keeps dialing. Suddenly, with her other children standing by her, someone eventually does answer the school's line and, very calmly, informs her that all the children are safe, and that they were moved to another building before the tornado actually hit. Her husband meanwhile, does eventually arrive at the school after traversing downed power and phone lines the whole way, making the trip that should have take fifteen minutes, last over two hours. He is greeted by notes pinned to what was left of the building telling where the children are located, and that they are safe. When the mother finally talks to someone at the school days later, she wants to thank the person she talked to, just to tell them how much she appreciated their calmness when she was literally losing it. She is stunned when she is told that, well; again, you will have to read the book to find out just what she was told.

Whether in the end you find yourself believing in angels or not, or you already do, this book is one that you will want to share with others, yet always make sure that you get it back. If you enjoy reading uplifting, inspirational stories of hope, and like a book format that allows you to read an entire story even if you only have a few spare moments, then this book definitely needs a spot on your bookshelf!

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