Angel in Disguise

by | May 26, 2002 | Angels, Miracles, Protection, Provision

Unseeing, hurriedly, I raced out the elevator into the hospitals’ corridor, nearly colliding with him. “Sorry”, I muttered as I quickly glanced at my victim. Automatically, I recoiled, aghast and in revulsion. Quickly, I darted my eyes, attempting to look past this grossly disfigured guise of a human being and sped away.

That was my first encounter with Dennis. Even now, I am washed over with shame as I reflect upon my actions and reactions. I was guilty along with the rest of society, for passing judgment, rejecting, shunning and scorning another human being, based not on a crime or anything he did, but rather on circumstantial evidence, appearances, a birth defect.

Although bound in a wheelchair, his body contorted, facial features distorted; his mind remained intact, his brain unaffected. As I came to know and respect, admire and even love him, I never failed to be amazed at how he never complained about his condition, never spoke of the pain he endured. Instead, he was a volunteer at the Children’s Hospital, reaching out to, consoling others who suffered others in pain.

Countless times, I unwitting became a witness to his selfless love, his devotion, his prayers and the mysterious miracles that took place in his presence. I’ve observed him cooing gently to newborns, encouraging them, telling them of Gods’ love for them. I’ve seen despondent children, others rejected by society because of a birth defect or maiming accident become alive, vibrate in his presence. One image stands prominently in my mind to this day. A once beautiful teen was severely burned and scarred for life. One day, searching for Dennis, I began to walk into her room only to quickly and silently slip back out the door. Dennis had a mirror in his twisted hands, encouraging the girl to look at her reflection. His words to her were so full of love, conviction. “Don’t look at yourself at others see you, but rather as God sees you, beautiful, perfect and unblemished.” And when he held the mirror up to her, she smiled, radiantly! Somehow, she saw past the ugly burns, the scarred flesh, visualizing herself as Yahweh, God, Himself saw her.

Dennis had the ability to discern who would live and those who would succumb to death. To those that would live, he gave encouragement, wisdom, hope and faith. To those who were to die, he gave the same. One day, a little boy, badly beaten and abandoned by his parents was lying in bed, fighting for life, gasping for breath. Dennis sat by his side, gently took the child’s hand and guided him to the other side. “There is nothing to fear,” he softly whispered, “God is waiting for you, wanting to take you home with Him. Just hold onto my hand, I’ll walk with you to Him”. A look of utter, complete peace spread upon his youthful face as he surrendered his young, battered life into Gods’ hands.

Parents of these special children also were benefactors of Dennis outreaching. He instilled in them a sense of hope and even acceptance of their children and their limitations. He would pray with them, for them. He taught them how not to rely on their own selves, but, rather to call upon Our Father for the strength they needed, for guidance. Group prayers, with parents, families and friends, holding hands became frequent scenes. Parents and relatives began to reach out to other parents and relatives, unknowingly creating their own support groups.

When I asked Dennis about his own parents, he relayed to me an extraordinary and peculiar story. He was adopted. His parents prayed for a child to bestow their love upon. They vowed to God that if he would bless them with a child, they would always nurture and cherish this gift. One day his mother had the urge to go check her car. She attempted to dissuade this foolishness, but finally gave in to its persistence. In the backseat, lying in a makeshift cardboard box for a crib, atop a pillow for a mattress and swaddled in blankets, she found him, a newborn, umbilical cord still intact.

I cannot help but wonder if Yahweh, in His divine love looked down and saw His children in their suffering, and sent His angel to bestow comfort and hope. I believe that this outcast, who faced rejection by society, yet in return, gave not bitterness and anger, but rather unreserved love was in fact an angel in disguise.

Kathleen Ann Shelton


Angel in Disguise