Touched by An Angel
Some stories of encounters with the supernatural are so incredible you’d be forgiven for being skeptical if you did not personally know the teller - if you did not actually witness the physical transformation.
The following incident occurred March 1 on Interstate 40E near Marion, North Carolina. I heard from friends at home that something incredible had happened to our mutual friend Rebecca. Via video chat, she told us exactly what took place.
I share the story here with Rebecca’s permission and the assistance of Sallie Jamieson, who transcribed Rebecca’s verbal testimony.
I first met Rebecca in the fall of 2018, shortly after our move to western North Carolina.
A vibrant woman with dark curls and brilliant blue eyes framed by stylish red glasses, Rebecca was a regular in our adult class at church and our weekly women’s luncheons and Bible studies.
Except for the many times she couldn’t be.
There were occasions – too many to number – that chronic pain kept Rebecca home chained to her bed or chair. By May of 2018, the pain had become debilitating, and over the course of the next four years Rebecca and her husband, Robert, would travel as far as Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, in search of specialists who might help her.
Seven different neurosurgeons. High-level back surgery in 2020. Nothing worked.
The diagnosis? Three tumors pressing on her spine at L5.
The pain level? Excruciating.
A former nurse and a woman of strong faith, Rebecca believed in the power of prayer and the importance of seeking expert medical care. She’d had plenty of both, yet the searing pain continued unabated.
On Tuesday, March 1, Robert and Rebecca headed to Charlotte for a consultation with yet another neurosurgeon. Even fortified with prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants, riding in the car was so painful for Rebecca they could only travel for an hour before needing to stop.
On that beautiful late winter morning, Robert pulled into a Loves gas station at exit 86 on I-40E. As he refueled, Rebecca struggled out of the car gasping in pain, using her cane for support. As she slowly entered the station, she noticed a young woman wearing a gray App State T-shirt who appeared to be looking for someone.
They exchanged smiles. Rebecca walked around her and headed for the bathroom.
The young woman followed her.
As Rebecca entered the bathroom, two other young women were waiting.
“It was apparent they were together,” Rebecca said. “The other two had on gray T-shirts with bright pink words like ‘Blessed.’ All three appeared to be in their late twenties or early thirties.”
A born Southerner, Rebecca has never met a stranger.
“What are you girls doin’?” she asked.
“Nothing much,” the first young woman replied. “Are you in pain?”
When Rebecca responded with a simple, “Yes, I am,” the same young woman asked if she would like them to pray for her.
Another affirmative. The pain was so fierce Rebecca leaned on the lavatory counter for support.
“Where are y’all from?” she asked.
“What is your name?”
“Oh, Angel, like “angels”!” Rebecca commented.
The response came softly. “My name is Angel.”
Angel asked Rebecca what her pain level was (“A nine”), and asked permission to touch the source.
With Angel’s hand on Rebecca’s lower back, the other two women joined them, also touching.
And then Angel began to pray, praising God and asking for Rebecca’s healing.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been around this type of praying,” Rebecca told us later. “She was praying down heaven and denouncing Satan like crazy! And then she just said ‘Amen’ and asked what my pain level was.”
“Well,” said Angel, “we’re not done praying yet.”
Again, hands on Rebecca’s back.
Again, praying down heaven and denouncing Satan in the name of Jesus.
“Now, what is your pain level?” Angel asked.
“I have no pain!” Rebecca exclaimed. The four women lifted their hands and thanked God together.
Rebecca used the toilet, and when she came out the women were still there.
“Your pain level?” Angel asked once more.
Rebecca waved her cane in the air like a baton. “ZERO!”
More praise, more thanks.
As they walked out together, a woman was entering the bathroom.
“How odd,” Rebecca mused later, “that during that entire time not a single person came in.”
Robert was waiting for Rebecca at the counter.
“The ‘angels’ were behind me, and I gave Robert my cane and said, “Honey, you take this. I don’t need it anymore. I am healed in the name of Jesus!”
As he paid for Rebecca’s coffee, the three young women were walking out.
“I asked them where they were going,” Rebecca told us, “and Angel said, ‘We don’t know yet.’
"I watched, and I never saw them get in a car or truck. I turned to pick up my coffee and they were not there. I have no idea where they went.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Perhaps somewhere in western North Carolina there is a young woman named Angel – a graduate of Appalachian State - who simply likes hanging around in interstate gas stations with her friends on late winter mornings. A flesh and blood woman who doesn’t need gas because she doesn’t travel by car. Or perhaps there is another explanation more extraordinary still. We don’t know Angel’s last name, where she was from or where she was going. But we do know this:
Rebecca Rogers Taft was healed four weeks ago today. The pain has not returned. She was touched by an angel. Can’t you tell from the radiance on her face?
- Maggie Wallem Rowe
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