David came into this world with many problems. His biological mother went into labor after her boyfriend had beaten her. She abandoned him at the hospital. Born two months premature, David was diagnosed with multiple lung and cardiac issues. He was placed on a ventilator and endured open-heart surgery two days after he was born. He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
David stayed in the hospital for eight months. As a ward of the state, he was placed in foster care. The odds of anyone adopting him were slim. Along with a breathing machine, he also had a feeding tube and required around-the-clock care. Doctors said he would never sit, crawl, walk, communicate, or come off the ventilator. Twenty-three potential sets of parents rejected him, and he was neglected and abused by his foster mother.
Then Kim came along. She adopted him when he was eighteen months old. Against all odds, David thrived. He became an active, affectionate, communicative ten-year-old boy with a smile that could melt the tundra. Although he was small for his age and still had a breathing tube and a feeding tube, he was off the ventilator. He could sit up by himself, stand, and walk with assistance. Kim taught him letters, numbers, and sign language for hug, eat, don’t hit, love, cat, and dog. He could answer simple questions with a nod or shake of his head and could say a few words and phrases. One of his favorite things to do was blow kisses when you left a room.
One day, as his private duty nurse was giving him his feeding, a long-time friend of Kim’s came for a visit. As Susan sat David in her lap, she said, “I felt an urge to come pray for David.”
Kim, a strong believer in Christ, readily agreed. As Susan prayed, David’s attention was drawn to a sunny corner of the room by a window. He broke out in a wide grin and raised his hand to wave. “Hi,” he said.
Nobody thought anything of it at the time. When Susan finished praying, the nurse set him up in his chair with a video, his back to the window. After a few minutes, he twisted around and pointed to the same corner. There was that infectious smile again.
“What in the world are you doing?” his mother asked.
He didn’t answer but kept pointing.
“Do you see something?”
David nodded over and over. They assumed he had spotted a bird or a squirrel through the window, but when Kim got up to look, there was nothing outside.
“What do you see?” she asked.
David braced himself on his desk and stood up from his chair. Then, his gaze still fixed on the corner, he fisted his hands on his hips and slowly flapped his arms. The hairs on the back of Kim’s neck stood up and she broke out in goosebumps. David was trying to imitate an angel’s wings.
“David,” she said quietly, “do you see an angel?”
He nodded and laughed.
She held up a finger in front of him. “Is it one angel?”
He shook his head.
She held up two fingers. “Are there two angels?”
He brought his hands together to make the sign for “more.”
“Are they saying anything?”
He nodded slowly.
“What are they saying?”
He looked at his mother and haltingly replied, “Ho-ly!”
Kim covered her mouth with her hand. Everyone looked between the corner and David. They certainly didn’t see anything. But there was no doubt David did.
“Are they doing anything?” Kim asked.
David nodded again. He shuffled his feet to step away from his chair. The nurse quickly got behind him and steadied him. Then he raised his arms above his head and slowly bent over and bowed to the floor several times.
Everyone in the room started crying. David settled back into his chair and resumed watching his video. No one said a word. Every few minutes, David looked over his shoulder and pointed at the corner and smiled. This continued for fifteen minutes or so. Then the moment seemed to pass and David became absorbed in his video.
Everyone looked around at one another, unsure of what to say or do. Finally, Kim asked him, “Are they still there?”
He looked back and shook his head no.
Kim says David has never said the word “holy” or repeated the bowing gestures since that day. As for myself, I know he was visited by something that could only be seen through the veil of a child’s innocence. I’ve often wondered if guardian angels are real. Now I know.
Published by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, July 2019. Used by permission of Kimberley Sims.
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