The Hand of God by Leonard Day
The first time that I heard of Karl was from one of my students. She asked if Karl and his wife could attend the next weekly class session on angels held at the local community college. She explained that Karl was terminally ill and was interested in knowing more about angelic intervention at the time of death. Since this was to be the major topic of the session, I agreed to call Karl and invite him to attend.
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The following week the class convened but Karl and his wife had not arrived. I was assured that they were planning to come and for me to begin the class. About 10 minutes into the class, Karl and his wife entered the classroom and sat at one of the tables just opposite me. Karl was young, approximately 35, and he appeared frail. His face was drawn and his yellow color indicated the progress of the disease, yet despite all of these apparent physical changes, Karl projected a dynamic spiritual presence. Looking into his sunken eyes one could see his deep inner spiritual strength and I was astounded by his presence.
During the class I shared my belief that the angel of death was perhaps the most sensitive angel created by the hand
of God. I presented to the class actual accounts of angelic appearances at the time of death. I explained that death is
the ultimate healing of God and should be viewed as a spiritual journey. Although others in the class asked question during the lecture, Karl remained quiet, but I could detect that some questions were beginning to surface. As soon as I had finished, Karl's hand raised high into the air and I acknowledged his first question.
"Does everyone see these angels before they die or do they see other things as well," Karl asked.
In response I explained that several accounts had been shared with me when the individuals confirmed that they had seen God, while others had talked of seeing departed family members or friends. I further explained that during the death process any number of spiritual forms can be called forth by God and used to assist the departing spirit in its transition to the Kingdom of God. I explained that death is not to be feared and that the angels and the other spirits stand in attendance to abolish fear and to administer love.
Then Karl asked, "Do the angels know when it is time for you to die?"
I answered, "I don't believe that the angels have the knowledge given to them as to when your spirit will be called to God. I feel God alone holds the timetable for our lives and the angels await God's instructions. However, my research has shown me that angels do follow a time frame of sorts. Usually angels can appear any time from two weeks to a few hours before death."
Then Karl asked if he could share an angel encounter he had experienced just two days before. He cleared his throat and began, "Every night there is a routine in our household that I have to go on check on the children before I can go to sleep. I opened our bedroom door and stepped into the hallway and was immediately halted by what I saw. There, standing at the opposite end of the hallway, was an angel. This figure did not have wings, but was surrounded by the most beautiful light. There were no words spoken, but I knew that this was my guardian angel. Then it was gone and I continued down the hall and completed my routine check without any fear and in total peace."
As he finished, his eyes filled with tears as he stated, "I felt like God was all around me."
After the lecture, several class members thanked Karl for coming and sharing his encounter. Then Karl pulled me aside and asked, "Do you have any idea of how long I might have left? The doctors say that it will be no longer than two weeks, and I wanted to know if they are right."
Again I assured him that the timetable was not in anyone's hands but only in God's.
Then Karl asked, "Do you make house calls? I mean, will you come and be with me when the time comes? I have learned so much tonight, and I want you to be there with me and my family."
I agreed to come whenever he needed me.
Over the next two weeks I kept in contact with Karl and his family. I made several calls to Karl's home and always found
him upbeat and positive. Several times I questioned him about any possible discomfort or pain he may be experiencing. He assured me that he was taking his pain medication but that prayer seemed to be the best comfort to him. He told me that he was not afraid to die and that the prayers were mainly asking God to meet his family's needs.
Karl spent the last week of his life sitting in a chair, which allowed him to breathe easier. His appetite dwindled to almost nothing, yet he remained alert and very talkative. One night during that final week, he called me and wanted to talk. He stressed concern about an evil presence that was surrounding him and said that he felt a pressure within his chest. I asked him to try to recall part of the class that told of individual beings deluged by Satan before their deaths. I reminded him that Satan has one last chance to create fear in his heart and that he has to turn his face toward God and the angels. Then he asked me to pray with him and for the family he had to leave behind. Together we prayed for more than an hour and, when we finished, Karl had returned to his positive, gentle self.
The next day, just before noon, Karl's wife called and said that Karl had asked if I could come. I drove to their home immediately and found Karl resting in his chair, surrounded by family and friends. His face radiated and his lips were in
constant movement. He opened his eyes, looked at me and smiled. Then one by one he asked those in the room to pray.
When this rotation of prayer was complete, he asked if he could move to his bed. This request seemed unusual, since he had such a hard time breathing and had to sit upright in the chair. We assisted him, however, to the side of the bed, and as he laid his head against the pillow, he looked at me and said, "We are almost there."
I nodded my head in response as I tried to focus upon the spiritual eagerness that was portrayed within the clearness of his eyes.
Then Karl pointed toward the large window at the side of his bed, as he kept repeating, low at first, then louder and louder,
"I have touched God; I have touched the hand of God."
Then he looked at me with an expression of excitement and said, "I can't go any further. I need help."
"What do you need, Karl", I asked.
"Tell me that everything will be fine and that you will tell others not to be afraid," he answered.
Both Karl's wife and I assured him that all would be fine. Then he looked toward the window, closed his eyes and stepped into the Kingdom of God.
Karl's death has again reinforced my belief that death is a spiritual event. It is a time when the spirit separates completely and begins its journey into the Kingdom of God. The glory of angels and saints unite in preparing the spirit to touch the hand of the creator.