We hear about them in church and Sunday school. We see images of them during holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. We see them depicted (often unflatteringly) in movies and TV shows. But do we recognize their hands in our lives? Would we know an angel if we saw one? Have you ever experienced an angelic visitation?
Several years ago, a couple of friends of mine did… and in a big way.
March 6, 1996
Dana and Julie had almost completed building their brand new two-story home. The lower level would house Dana’s recording studio and business, while their family would live on the second level. Dana and Julie had done much of the work during the construction of their dream home, along with the help of friends and family. The house was 98 percent complete; all that was needed were gutters, drainage, and some backfill work.
When they went to bed that spring evening, a storm was starting to brew. By 3:45 a.m., it had reached full force. “There was a huge clap of thunder that shook the house and woke me up,” recalled Dana, a very sound sleeper who had actually slept through an earthquake once. “Something inside of me told me to go to the basement. I looked out the window, and it looked like a waterfall coming off of the roof—a solid sheet of water.” Dana went down to the then-unfinished recording studio. “We had just moved in four days before, and the studio space was just a big, open room.” Except for a couple of support walls and some boxes stacked against the east wall, there was nothing there.
Dana walked across to the opposing wall and looked at it. First shock gripped him, then horror set in as he saw the first signs of impending disaster. “When I looked at the wall,” Dana said, “I saw a crack beginning to form.” The crack was about five feet up the ten-foot block wall and was running horizontal the entire length of the fifty-two foot foundation wall. When the rain came off of the roof, it poured down along the foundation of the new house. Several tons of loose fill dirt unexpectedly settled instantly and created a trap for the water where it could not escape from around the foundation. More water poured off of the roof, but with no place to go other than to put extreme amounts of pressure on the foundation walls—walls that were never meant to withstand the untold tons of water pressure being exerted on them.
Dana ran up the stairs and woke Julie with the news that the walls were cracking. Julie got out of the bed, put on a robe, sat down on the couch, and began praying. Dana was immediately on the phone with Mike, his good friend and builder, who assured him that he was on the way. Within ten minutes, Mike was there, assessing the situation. “This is really bad. I’m going to get my work van [with all of the tools], and I will be right back,” Mike declared. The crack in the wall had opened up to about a half-inch and showed no signs of stopping. To make matters infinitely worse, the thirty-two-foot end wall was beginning to show signs of stress and was beginning to crack as well. As Mike flew down the dark, wet streets, formulating a plan of action in a mind that just went from peaceful sleep to waking nightmare, Dana went out into the maelstrom to attempt to divert the potential disaster that was coming, fighting the rain, mud, wind, cold, and the desire to fall facedown in the mud and scream.
But all the while, Julie prayed.
And God showed up.
Actually, to be more precise, He sent His angelic messengers. As Julie sat inside praying, wide-awake at this point, she suddenly had a vision.
“I saw the downstairs, and there were angels standing around the perimeter, lining the walls of the basement.”
She initially thought that they were there to support the walls so they would not cave in. As their true purpose was revealed, the reality of the situation became even more miraculous.
At about 4:30 a.m., forty-five minutes after the whole series of disastrous events began, Mike pulled back into the driveway with his work van. A cold, wet, and muddy Dana met him as they walked into the basement (the house was built into a hill, so one end of the house actually had an outside door, with three sides being predominantly underground). When Mike saw the wall and the crack that had tripled in size since the time he left, he exclaimed, “Get Julie out of the house NOW!” Dana sprinted up the stairs, picked Julie up, and got her out into Mike’s still-running van. Mike escaped right behind them.
Then it happened . . .
Within sixty seconds of getting out of the house, the entire fifty-two-foot span of foundation wall collapsed. A tidal wave of mud, rock, water, and various other objects came flooding into the basement. As Dana stood in the rain and watched his dreams cave in with the wall, he recalls thinking, “God, if the whole thing is coming down, just let me be in there when it does.”
Now, normally in such a situation, once one wall caves in, the house above it would, at the very least, sag several inches. This would create a chain-reaction of cracked drywall, broken tile, misaligned doorways, broken glass, and a host of other problems. However, since the far end wall had extreme amounts of pressure against it, was cracking, and had already lost one side support wall, once the end wall collapsed, the house would basically shift, and the whole thing would cave into the hole that had been the basement. “I was at my wits end. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Dana recalls.
It never did.
Julie later realized that although she thought the angels in her vision were there to keep the walls from collapsing, they were, in fact, holding the house up. God supernaturally showed her the angelic hosts who were there protecting them from what could have been catastrophic loss. The end wall, as damaged as it was and with as much pressure as it was bearing, never let go. The side of the house that was suddenly left with no support under it sagged less than three-eighths of an inch. There was virtually no damage to the inside of the house. “Unless you knew exactly where to look,” Dana stated, “there was no damage. In fact, all of the damage that was done was hairline fractures in drywall joints and a couple of bathroom tiles that have almost unnoticeable fractures in them. Basically, the kind of stuff that would have happened over time as the house settled anyway.”
Over the next several hours, as the cavalry of friends and workers arrived to help, the house was shored up, and the situation was downgraded from “life-threateningly dangerous” to “how many wheelbarrows full of mud can you remove from a basement?”
Through the whole experience, and to this day, Dana is still amazed: “Through the whole day and through all of the chaos, Julie was the rock. I was exhausted and ready to throw in the towel, but God had given Julie the vision and had allowed her to see that the angels were there protecting us and supporting us. There was peace in her that, at the time, I didn’t understand. I could only see in the natural the chain of events that happened and what the logical conclusion should have been. God showed Julie what the true reality of the situation was.”
Just as Jacob had a dream of angels, so did Julie at Sea Level Studios, and their home still stands. ~ from the book Our Invisible Allies
So, what are those unexplainable things that have happened in your life? What are those things that have happened that defied logic? Who knows? Maybe angels are closer than you think. Want to know more about angelic protection and the role of angels in our lives? Click here.