| Three year. old Elizabeth finished her prayers and crawled into
bed as I tucked her smooth sheets and blanket snugly around her. "Can we play
in the snow tomorrow, Mommy?" she asked, watching the fat, white flakes fly by the
window. "We'll see," I said. I looked out the window too. The tall
trees surrounding our house were being buffeted by the storm, their branches sagging under
the weight of the snow.
I kissed her good night and closed the door. The wind
whistled, and as I went downstairs I could hear the pines and oaks creak and groan.
Ever since we bought the house I'd been anxious about the
trees. That afternoon our neighbor had lost an ancient pine. I worried the
storm would knock more down.
Before my husband left to watch a basketball game at a friends
house, I asked him to say a prayer with me about the trees. "God keep us safe
In the family room I started picking up dolls and toys and
just then I heard a loud crash above me. The whole house trembled. Even the
floorboards beneath my feet shook. I dropped the toys and ran upstairs.
God, don't let it be one of the trees. Elizabeth! that towering pine outside her
What if under the weight of the heavy snow.... Heart
Hammering, I flung her door wide open. A blast of cold air hit me. The window
near her bed was gone. The upper part of the pine tree had knocked it out, leaving
behind branches and snow.
I felt glass crunch beneath my slippered feet. Oh my God,
Elizabeth must be scared to death. I turned on the lights and rushed to her bedside
to lift her from danger. But to my amazement she was still sleeping
peacefully. There wasn't any glass on her coverlet or pajamas.
saw them surrounding her. Layer upon layer of wings forming a feathery canopy above
her sleeping form. Luminescent angels bowed their heads, spreading their wings over
her, shielding Elizabeth from harm. She was nestled in the center of this celestial
cocoon, warm and safe.
As I stood there, the shimmering glow suddenly vanished. I
scooped Elizabeth into my arms, hearing her mumble sleepily, and rushed her out of the
damaged, cold room.
The next morning Elizabeth and I ventured back to her
bedroom. Holding her hand, I gingerly stepped over the threshold. My husband was
tacking a tarp over the broken window. His eyes filling with tears, he said,
Together we walked over to the bed. Thousands of pieces of
broken glass lay on the floor, sparkling in the morning sun. Needle-sharp shards
were scattered on all 4 sides of her bed. My husband ran his hands over the
blankets, sheets and pillows. Not a single splinter of glass was on Elizabeth's bed.
"Last night when I came into your room," I said to
Elizabeth, "I saw layer upon layer of wings wrapped around you, protecting you and
she interrupted, "I know
about the angels. One of them patted me on the head before it left!"