Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Breath of Angels

A glimpse through the veil
   I know what angels sound like.

   One summer my friends and I were perched at a campground on the edge of a deep canyon in the Rocky Mountains, getting ready for a river trip in the morning. The night was cold and drenched in rain. In the middle of the night I woke to an ethereal sound.

   I’ll try to describe it, but I can’t conjure the sound in my mind, only what I remember thinking of it. I know there were notes I had never heard before. Some rang out for a moment while others sang for longer than a person could breathe, but all of them were pure and shockingly loud. At times there were more notes and melodies than I could follow, but the songs intertwined to create a feeling of longing. There were chords so strange, and so lovely, that it brought tears to my eyes. It was also frightening, but I didn’t want it to end.

   I was not believer at the time. I thought angels were something like unicorns, a pretty myth. But when I heard that sound, I knew without any doubt: this is what angels sound like. I know this sounds strange, but I recognized it.

   Under the chorus I heard the thunderous rumble of a train deep in the valley below, following the twisting river through the canyon. I knew the sound was coming from the train. I had heard of rails singing, but never imagined it could sound like that. The next morning when I was eager to ask my friends about it, not a single one had heard. How could they have slept through it?

   I knew some train aficionados at the time, and later they would look at me like I was insane when I tried to explain the complexity, or even the sheer volume of what I had heard. None had ever heard of rails singing like that.

   I can only share with you what my thoughts were when I heard that sound, and the things I tried to remember about it, but I can’t hear it anymore. That night, hours later, I was awakened again to the same chorus. The moment I heard it for a second time I realized I had forgotten it in the hours that had passed. It was too strange, too immense, for my mind to contain. As I listened to the chorus the second time I felt the sadness of knowing I would forget this, too.

   The intensity of such moments always fades. Even revelations require faith.

   But there are angels, and they sing God’s praises. Isn’t that amazing? God doesn’t forget, He is perfectly faithful. Someday He will remember that sound to me, not filtered through rails and canyons or any part of this earthly life, but from the breath of angels.

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  1. Beautiful! "Even revelations require faith." Isn't it true? And sad. I wonder what the breath of angels will sound like.

  2. Goose bumps! I have never heard that strange sound. How I wish I can get the chance to hear it too. We normally doubt what we see or hear. May it be a matter of faith or not. However, beyond such doubt, if we just know how to look and dig deeper, we'll realize that there's this little peace of heaven and miracle on this earth.

  3. What an experience, Cynthia! I have never heard or seen anything angelic, but I do know that it does happen. What a blessing!

    I've awarded you with "The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award" over at my blog It's okay if you'd rather not participate. I just wanted to let you know I think your blog's pretty great. :-) Congrats!