Angel Outside the Parking Garage
Submitted by Claire

This happened almost nine years ago, during the summer I was 11, when my family went to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins out of state. I sometimes forget this even happened, but every time I think of it, I don't really know how to explain it other than I may have encountered an angel.

During one day of our visit, they took us into the city they live next to, for a day of shopping, food and sightseeing. When we got there in the morning, we parked in a parking garage, on one of the top floors - which required us to take an elevator to the bottom level before we left the parking garage. At age 11, my fear of both heights and elevators (which may sound weird, but true) were more intense, and this particular elevator was old and weird and I was pretty scared when we rode it down. I survived it though, and we went about our day. Later on, as we headed back towards the parking garage, I got really uneasy thinking about riding that creepy elevator up to the top floor again. I was honestly really nervous and my stomach was flip-flopping - that's how much it scared me.

I remember we were walking down the street, in a group with me towards the back, alongside older brick buildings. As I was silently freaking out, we passed this older African American man who was sitting down outside of a doorway or something. He looked at me, saying something like, "It's all right, don't be scared now." It all happened really fast, and at first I thought maybe he was talking to somebody else in the group. But the other people in our group had passed him before I did, and it was maybe a split second before I got to him, so I don't think they'd have had any time to talk to him. It doesn't seem like the words were directed at anybody else. I even remember thinking, "Did somebody tell him how scared I was?" because I wasn't really putting two and two together and it seemed so much like he was talking specifically to me.

Well, his words were exactly what I needed; they calmed me immensely, and I knew it was all right and I got through the elevator just fine. I'm nearly 20 now, and I still have no explanation for this story that may be considered "logical". Nothing else has happened precisely like it. All I know is that it was what I needed at that moment, and I've never forgotten it. I'm thankful that my seemingly silly fear of something like a parking garage elevator was not too trivial for God to send a comfort my way.

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