It was 2AM and I was tired. I’d finally finished studying, and just wanted to go to bed. But, as I left the School of Government building and headed for the dorm, I heard a calm, clear voice say, “Go to Cox Cottage” (the infirmary on campus in the opposite direction). I recognized the voice as an angel – I’d always known angels as “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect…”* I’d listened and followed angel thoughts before, and they’d never steered me wrong. But this time, I just wanted to go to bed. So, I argued, “I feel fine; I don’t need to go to Cox; I’m not sick!” The angel insisted, “Go to Cox.”
In my experience, I’d always tried to be obedient to angel thoughts, even if they didn’t make sense humanly. But this time, I kept arguing.
It just didn’t make sense. Why would I walk clear to the other side of campus at two in the morning? And besides, everyone knew they locked the front door of Cox at 11PM and you had to ring the buzzer to wake the nurse if you arrived after that. There was no way I was going to wake the nurse to open the door – I wasn’t sick! But I wanted to be obedient to the angel thought. And even though there didn’t seem to be a reason to go to Cox, I walked clear across campus in the cold darkness (telling the angel the whole way, I wouldn’t ring the buzzer), and felt content that I was listening and following – being obedient.
After twenty minutes, I finally got to Cox. I looked at the door – the little sign said, “Door locked at 11PM – Ring bell.” I looked up, “I’m not ringing the bell!” The voice said, “Try the door.” “It’s locked,” I retorted, gesturing at the sign. “Try the knob,” the voice returned. I hesitated – then reached for the knob, fulling expecting it to be locked – but the knob turned! I gingerly swung open the door into the dark entryway. And as I stepped in, heard sobbing coming from one of the back rooms. I followed the sobbing through the dark halls, back to the kitchen. And there on the floor, was a nurse who had collapsed and was unable to get up. Surprised, she looked up at me with tear-filled eyes, and in a trembling voice mixed with pain and joy, she said, “How did you know to come? I’ve been praying that someone would come and help me.”
I was able to help her to a bed, prayed through the rest of the night, and stayed with her until the morning nurse arrived. I honestly don’t remember much of the details of her condition, but left her in good hands and was able to go on with my day.
The experience has been a seminal one for me. I’ve often thought back on it. And if I’m ever tempted to ignore an angel thought and not follow what it’s telling me to do, I remember this experience, and then I follow.
* Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 581