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The Angel’s Reprieve

Guideposts blogger Rick Hamlin relates his sister’s dream of an angel by his hospital bed, and Rick’s mysterious lung infection begins to recede.

The dream of an angel's visit to a hospital bedside prompts the beginning of recovery.

My younger sister Diane has come out from California to help care for me as I recover from this mysterious lung infection. Her prayers have been added to your prayers and the prayers of so many people, so many friends, so many strangers, so many who care and believe in God working through us.

My toughest days in the hospital were in that first week. I struggled, at times, over every breath. The doctors put me on the the strongest antibiotics they could send through i.v. drips in my arms. They worked hard to send oxygen in my lungs, giving me breath.

Breath. The breath of life, the breath of God sent into us, the breath of the Holy Spirit. How often I thought of the preciousness of breath and how every breath indeed comes from God.

My sister, Diane, was kept alert to my progress by updates from my wife, shared with friends and family. And one night Diane had a dream, one night less than halfway through my hospital stay.

“I saw an angel standing at your bedside, its wings spread high in the room and rising beyond. I could see no face, only the wings,” Diane told me. “The angel seemed to be sucking the air above you.

“‘No!’ I told the angel. ‘Don’t take him from us. Don’t take his air!’

“The angel responded benevolently. ‘I’m not sucking the air he breathes, but I’m drawing the infection from his lungs. I’m taking away his germs. I’m healing him.'”

I never experienced any of this in my hospital bed, but around the time of my sister’s dream I turned a corner. I needed less oxygen. It became easier to breathe on my own. Finally they were able to take me off oxygen altogether.

At the same time, my fevers started abating. They came less often and with less ferocity. The doctors were bewildered. They could still not come up with any specific diagnosis except what they had witnessed: a virulent attack on my lungs. But I was on the mend.

And on Friday, they released me from the hospital.

I have still more recovery to do. I am very weak, but I sleep well, and my appetite has returned. And I am more grateful than ever for all the support of family and friends and for the strength that faith brings, even when the future is full of unknowns.

God bless all of you.

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