In our traditional Christian theology, we seem to have lost sight of the importance of angels and their availability to meet our needs. In fact, most Christians can name only two members of the Heavenly Host: Gabriel and Michael. I came to be acquainted with the name of a third archangel in a most impressive way.
Every so often, The Lord will cross your path someone who touches you so deeply that it seems that your soul is crying on their behalf. We sometimes use the phrase "laying a burden on the heart". Such was the case for me in 1984 when I met Melvin.
He was the street-wise 13 year old little brother of a friend of mine. Melvin had a remarkable talent for charm. With his red hair, blue eyes, and broad smile; he was nearly a stand-in for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.
He never seemed to stay in one place for very long. You might say that his life's tactic was to "hit and run". I came to realize that Melvin's constant motion was fueled by years of abuse and emotional trauma. If you could hold eye-contact with him long enough (a rare occasion) you would see that behind his bright blue eyes was a flood of tears that had been blocked by his internal resolution that he would forever be fated to live in society's gutter.
Wouldn't you know it!... Melvin decided - from the day we met - that he and I should be best friends. So from then on, Melvin became a persistent presence in my life.
He would call me, sometimes several times a day, often asking me to come to see him or to take him for a ride. Anything (I later realized) to get him away from his irreverently abusive alcoholic father and uncles.
At that time, it was clear to me that Melvin's life could go one of two ways. He would either rise above the pain and degradation to become a great intellect with a successful life. Or, he would spiral deeper into the world of drug abuse and alcohol which he saw as his inherited destiny.
As the years passed, my contact with Melvin seemed to come and go in waves. He frequently bounced among relatives who changed residences often. I began to notice that Melvin was becoming more and more involved with marijuana and street drugs. However, I didn't stop praying for him... I COULDN'T!!! There was something about him that just would not let go of me. Besides, if I ever wanted to find him, all I had to do was to get in my car and follow my first impulses. Sure enough, I would drive straight to wherever he was at that moment. (Freaky!) He also acknowledged the psychic bond that we shared. He referred to it as "that weird hocus-pocus".
By 1988, his drug addictions had taken over in him to the point where he had become involved with street gangs and was an active member in a burglary ring. He had also begun to shift his rage on to me. Although I never feared for my physical welfare (He was now 17; 6 feet tall; 170 lbs. and a very adept fighter; skilled in the use of nun-chucks) I was subjected to so much mental abuse that I finally ended that phase of our relationship by secretly moving and not informing him of my new address or phone number.
I reluctantly threw in the towel and determined to never again have to deal with Melvin and his disjointed personality. ...(Right!)
There is a German word, doppleganger, that is used to describe a person's "etheric double". That is to say that the astral (non-physical) energies of a person can manifest in a location separate from their physical body. Following my move away from Melvin's life, I began to be haunted by his etheric double.
It would be a simple matter to try to explain away such a phenomena as my own sense of guilt over having run away from him that caused me to "imagine" Melvin's sporadic appearances from that time forward. Whenever he would manifest, I got the sense that he was demonstrating his grief and subtly reminding me that, "I can find you if I want to." Very unnerving!
By 1996, the "hauntings" from Melvin had seemed to subside. He was then 25. I learned in the mean time had he had since married; fathered 3 children, but had not been able to keep the marriage in tact.
My job at that time had me driving directly past a house in a rough neighborhood that I came to realize was where Melvin was living. It was also clear to me that he was living in a "crack house".
Of course, I developed a new burden of guilt, wondering if I could possibly have helped to prevent his current situation by having been there for him through the intervening years. I tried several times to talk with him. Each time he would rudely send me on my way without giving me any acknowledgment.
One day, I was browsing around in a Catholic supply store when I found a prayer card for the Archangel Ariel (Intercessor of New Beginnings). Because I was exhausted from my efforts to reach- out to Melvin. (And honestly tired of trying). I decided to turn Melvin's life over to God and to call upon the intervention of the Archangel Ariel. As part of my petition, I asked that Melvin move away from the house where he had been staying so that he could find a new beginning in his life.
Four days later, I was on my way home from work when I got stuck waiting for a freight train to pass. I was sitting within sight of the crack house where Melvin had been living. I suddenly became aware of a blue truck coming up behind me at an almost dangerous speed. I braced my hands on the steering wheel of my car, convinced that the truck was about to make impact. At the last second, the driver of the truck swerved behind me with just enough room to turn the corner and stop in front of Melvin's residence.
I was able to watch for a couple of minutes as the driver (Melvin) and a friend began loading the back of the truck with Melvin's belongings. I began giving thanks to God for answered prayer as I sat, still waiting for the train to pass. On the side of one of the passing box cars, in very large letters. was spray-painted the name ARIEL.
This rapid response had obviously been accomplished by a SWAT team...
Swift Winged And Through