Nancy Kool is not a regular church-goer, and has rarely thought about angels or angelic visitations…. But about ten years ago, she was traveling from Washington State to visit friends in Michigan. “To save money, I decided to fly to Chicago, which had cheaper fares, and then take the train from Chicago to Ann Arbor,” Nancy says. “But that involved getting from the airport downtown to the train station via rapid transit, and then walking.”
Nancy has worked in big cities and normally is not afraid of people of different races or nationalities. But right now she was tired, alone, not exactly sure of where she was going, without much money, and feeling very vulnerable. “The public transit train car that I was on was soon filled with poor people, some of whom looked a little dangerous to me,” Nancy remembers. “No one was making eye contact, and there was a definite feeling of mutual alienation and mistrust.” Struggling to keep her baggage close to her, Nancy became very frightened. She would be no match for a thief who might want to steal her suitcases, or worse.
“My fear was profound,” she says. “Then suddenly, I could feel an angel standing behind me on the seat, and he folded his wings around me to comfort me. I felt enclosed with a warm, white feeling, and my fear completely disappeared.”
What happened next was remarkable. One of the people in the car, a black man of obviously little means, looked at Nancy, and with a warm reassuring smile, he said, "It's a nice day, isn't it?"
Nancy was convinced that he could tell she was uncomfortable, and wanted to put her at ease. Hesitantly, she smiled back.
“Then other people in the car began smiling and talking----just general comments---but there was an energy of love that said, "Be not afraid" in that car,” Nancy says. “And as people got off at their stops, they even wished each other a good day. It was just wonderful.” A feeling of safety had come over her, a shining goodness and a glorious power. By the time she reached her stop, she was filled with joy, which lasted all the way to Ann Arbor.
Nancy had a strong feeling, then and today, that the angel’s name was Michael. “Even at the time, it seemed grandiose to think that an archangel would bother about me, let alone what was happening in an ordinary train car,” she says, “and it still seems silly. Yet I’m sure that was his name.”
Was there an unknown danger lurking that needed to be vanquished? We’ll never know. But as the prayer goes, “St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle….” Why should we be surprised when he does?