My life has been blessed with angels who protect, guide, inspire and heal. In fact, my life has been actually ‘saved’ at least four times. Today, we are experiencing snow in the Chicago area reminding me of an experience from the past where guidance was desperately needed. My youngest son and I used to enjoy cross-country skiing together. On this particular day of my story, a strong wind and dark clouds foretold more snow for our area. Although I was hesitant about the weather forecast, my son urged me on. We drove to a forest area of largely unmarked ski and hiking trails just outside Chicago.

Looking back, I remember we began in the morning and although the cold was seeping through my clothes after a couple hours of skiing, when my son suggested we explore the trail further, I agreed. At first it was fun, but several hours later, I couldn’t find a familiar marking and I realized we were lost. Then it started to snow.

Without flare, matches, or whistle, and seeing no place to take refuge from the storm, I was concerned for our safety. I knew the temperature would plummet further as day turned into night. I also remembered recent newspaper reports of packs of wild dogs in the area. Not knowing what else to do, I prayed out loud for help. My son got down on his knees as well.

Suddenly in the vastness of what appeared as an endless white landscape devoid of human activity or animals, two people appeared in the distance. From their clothes we could tell one was male, the other female, but otherwise their features were indistinct. They motioned for us to follow them, and we were stunned—and grateful—we didn’t think twice about doing so. You see, during our entire exploration we had not seen one human soul.

By this time, I was exhausted. We had been trudging through banks of snow for what seemed like hours. The two who motioned to us to follow them never said a word. In fact, they kept their distance. Somehow, at the time I didn’t think that strange. My entire focus was on gripping my son’s hand, literally for dear life, and surviving. I have never liked cold weather.

Night had fallen by the time we finally recognized a familiar sight…the shack near the spot where I had left my car. In that instant of recognition, the rescuers vanished as mysteriously as they had appeared…without a trace and without a word. I repeat…no other people or cars were anywhere to be seen, only my car and a shack. In that moment of isolation and loving rescue guided back to the car, I just knew that the figures we saw from a distance motioning us to follow them were angels. When you think about it, who else would be out in a heavy snowstorm at night besides us?

We both cried out to the sky our feelings as words of deep gratitude and immense relief!


Shirlee Hall, 2011


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