I have decided to do a series of blogs on Angels, a subject that has always been close to my heart.
Throughout my life I have been extremely blessed to have experienced mystical synchronicity on many occasions. I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering I have survived death on more than one occasion. The truth is that sometimes, even when you feel you are close to GOD, you can also feel far away. I guess that is what comes with being human and choosing this intense approach to spiritual development.
When we are born we come to this earth with amnesia. I’m not sure why we choose this, I can’t remember (wink:). As children we have eyes to see the unseen, and emotions to feel what others have chosen to block out for fear of judgement. It’s sad that this happens as often as it does because children give us the opportunity to remember miracles, if we just listen.
I have always felt close to angels. I used to talk about them all the time after my near death experience. One day I was in my mother’s room and I was recording my voice on my cassette player talking about my angelic encounters when my mother abruptly interrupted me and turned off the recorder.
“Honey, you can’t talk like that anymore,” she explained sitting on the bed and looking me in the eye.
“Why?” I questioned unsure of what was happening.
Why was my mother upset over something as wonderful as angels?
“Because honey,” she continued, “people don’t understand and will treat you differently if you talk about these things.”
I’m sure shame is a common emotion to feel as a child but for some reason that moment was the first recollection I had of its potency. I did not speak of angels again for a very long time.
Over the years I had lots of encounters that I will one day share, but today I want to tell you about the angel intervention I had in Japan.
It was 2001 and I had accepted a teaching contract in South Korea. I had just completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts and I joined my best friend in the city, Cheongju, to begin my journey of teaching English as a second language to young children.
This was my first time travelling abroad and that alone was a miracle. During my first week of teaching I often would stand at the front of the classroom and wonder how I got there? It wasn’t just the culture shock but the realization that I had achieved the unthinkable and survived Epilepsy, graduated from university and now I was in charge of a group of children on the other side of the world. It was scary, exciting and overwhelming.
New food, no English, strange smells, toilets in the ground that you hover over. I couldn’t help but think during that first week, “What the heck have I gotten myself into?”
The second week my boss was preparing me to travel to Japan by myself to get my work visa. In order for the visa to be valid you had to leave the country and then re-enter. He wrote down instructions that explained that I could exchange my Korean Won in the airport, or I could wait until I arrived in Japan. He also gave me a map that showed me how to get to the visa office in Osaka. To say I was nervous about the whole trip would be an understatement, I was terrified.
My cab was late picking me up so I decided I would wait until I arrived in Japan to exchange my money. Upon arrival I made my way to the exchange booth only to find out that JAPAN WILL NOT ACCEPT KOREAN WON!
“Oh SHIT!” I thought as I broke out in a cold sweat immediately after being given this news. “What the hell am I going to do now?” I said outloud looking down at my money and trying to fight back tears.
Then out of nowhere an English gentleman approached me and tapped me on the shoulder.
“Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear, is there any way I can help you?” Shocked by his gesture I responded, “I would love your help but I’m not sure what you can do for me?”
When I told him I was trying to get to Osaka but that I didn’t have a credit card he began searching his pockets. Pulling out his wallet he handed me three ten dollar bills.
“I have thirty American dollars I can give you, that should be enough to get you on the train to Osaka. From there I am sure one of the banks will exchange your money.”
I was speechless. “Thank you so much!” I said while wrapping my arms around him in gratitude. He smiled and chatted with me while escorting me to the train terminal. I felt so comforted by his kindness that I sat back in my seat on the train and enjoyed the scenery of the beautiful Japanese countryside. I felt calm and confident that I would be able to exchange my money at a bank in the city, but soon that calmness, like the train, would come to a screeching halt.
As I left the train terminal I made my way to the exit clearly marked on the map that my boss had provided for me. On the map it said, “go out the exit and continue down the street straight in front of you”.
Opening the door I was showered in the bustling Japanese experience of thousands of people, skyscrapers, bright colourful signs in every direction and hundreds of bicycles everywhere. The problem was, there was no street straight in front of me, there were several.
“Oh no!” I thought with my heart in my stomach, and began walking along the shops looking for banks to exchange my money. Four banks later I had been turned down by every one of them, nobody would accept Korean Won and, besides the Englishman I met in the airport, I had yet to find anyone who spoke English.
I walked up to strangers, “English?” I asked almost begging. One by one they shook their heads “No”. I officially was freaking out by this point. What was I going to do? I had no money, no way back to the airport and nobody understood me. As I walked around the corner of a building I saw a payphone and did what any self-respecting 20 year old would do in this situation, I made a collect call to my mother in Canada and cried.
I felt terrible because I could only imagine how helpless she must have felt hearing her daughter crying from a payphone in Japan with no way to help me. She did calm me down and gave me a few suggestion I knew wouldn’t work, so I did what I knew how to do best, I prayed.
Standing in that tiny phone booth I clasped my hands and closed my eyes. “God, please help me, I’m in big trouble. Please send me your angels, I am so scared!” Then as always I felt clear, calm and left the phone booth with faith and hope that I could get myself out of this situation.
As I turned the corner to go back towards the train station I kid you not, walking towards me were four Western people in their twenties, the only ones I saw the entire day. I immediately walked up to them and asked them if they spoke English.
“We sure do,” they responded in a friendly upbeat manner, “Are you okay?” they asked.
I continued to explain my situation to them and their empathetic looks of fear helped calm me down and validate my situation. “Wow,” said one of the girls, “you really must have been scared!”
“Where in Canada are you from?” I asked the group.
“We are from a little place called The Valley, in Nova Scotia.” I nearly fell over from her response. I couldn’t believe it! Of all the places in the world they could have been from they end up being from my own tiny province in Canada. A warm feeling washed over me and I knew my prayer had been heard.
I found out the group was going to the same visa office as me and they were also heading back to Korea on the same flight. One of the girls went into the bank and took out enough money on her Visa card and exchanged it with my Korean Won. The rest of the day we enjoyed the sights of Osaka, Japan. I felt extremely blessed and grateful to experience another episode of divine intervention and to have a little piece of home meet me in on the other side of the world.
#AI truly believe that there is no such thing as coincidence and if we open our eyes, and our hearts, we can witness small miracles every day.