Are Angels Living Amongst Us?

Are Angels Living Amongst Us? July 13, 2023

guardian angels
An illuminated angel over Regent Street in London, courtesy Elena Jiang and Unsplash

Everyone has heard of guardian angels, a heavenly spirit that watches over us and protects us. But few of us have ever experienced the presence of one. You may wonder if they really exist or under what circumstances they make themselves known.

The author John Geiger has explored the notion of guardian angels before, first in The Third Man Factor (see my story here) and again in The Angel Effect: We Are Never Alone. Geiger recounts tale after tale of those who have experienced real life encounters with angels. Many are led to safety during life-threatening situations. Others have had angels steer them away from imminent danger (“don’t get on that plane”) and even cure illnesses or zap them out of deep depressions. He explains:

The fact is that benevolent beings, or at least something that is manifest as a being, are performing everyday miracles, staving off loneliness, offering advice, and providing a balm to those who are grieving, to victims, and those in the throes of disease.

You’ll note that Geiger does not often use the term angels or “guardian angels.” Many of those who have told him their story don’t use it either. Some have a vague sense that there is a being there helping them, that they can’t quite identify. Others can describe who their helper is. It might be a deceased family member or a mysterious stranger—or for the more spiritually inclined, an angel.

Where do these “angels” come from? Geiger points out there are studies showing that humans have the capacity to create the angels ourselves, “an angel switch, a way to beckon help when it is most needed.” There is also speculation that “children who experienced an imaginary companion might be more susceptible to encountering a presence later in life.” But the fact is we just don’t know.

A typical angel story: the woman saved by a stranger after a plane crash.

Carmen Figueroa of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was in a commercial plane that lost power and crash landed in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the passengers survived the crash and were able to evacuate the sinking plane—but found themselves clamoring to board a small life raft in choppy seas, in the darkness of night.

With her husband, Carmen jumped into the water but they soon became separated in the post-crash chaos. She was swept away by the current and soon lost site of the raft, becoming completely disoriented in the dark swirling seas. It was then that a mysterious stranger came swimming by, confidently calling out to her, “Follow me, swim this way.” Geiger continues the story:

Carmen asked, “Where is the raft?!” The young man answered in a commanding voice, “The raft is this way, follow me. She was puzzled and asked, “How do you know?” He repeated loudly, “Trust me, follow me, I know.” After swimming a few minutes in the inky seas, she saw the raft. Before she was pulled aboard, she asked the young man: “What is your name?” “They call me Toby,” he replied. She thanked him as he swam off, possibly, she thought, to aid others.”

After many hours on the rough seas, Figueroa was rescued along with almost 50 other passengers. She looked around her but could not locate “Toby.” She would later search the entire passenger manifest but found no one named Toby or Tobias. She contacted the other survivors and asked everyone if they knew of a Toby. None did. Nor could anyone recall seeing the young man she described.

Later in The Angel Effect, Geiger tells the story of Yana, a native of Ukraine. While she also has a tale of an angel coming to her aid after a horrific car accident, the fact an angel came to assist her was no surprise. She learned at an early age, that “unseen companions protected her, and her sense of having a guardian angel has been with her ever since.” She has felt their protection and sensed their guidance many times when she has been lost or in a perilous situation.

Lorna Byrne is another person who see angels all the time.

In the autobiography Angels in My Hair: The True Story of a Modern-Day Irish Mystic, Lorna Byrne talks about her daily encounters with angels. They began when she was a child and have continued unabated for decades. She sees angels morning, noon and night. These include her personal guardian angel, “special” angels that help with particular tasks, as well as the guardian angels of others. The angels appear in different forms, as she illustrates in this lightly edited passage:

Most of them have wings and their feet do not touch the ground and they have a sort of bright light shining inside them. Some of the time, the angels have no human aspect at all, but appear as a sharp glowing light.

She believes the human forms of the angels are not their natural state but make it easier for the living to accept them. She also believes that every one of us has our own guardian angel, and they are “the gatekeeper of your body and your soul.” They are with us when we sleep, when we shower, when we go about our daily activities. When we near death, they help us to the other side. They never leave us.

Why don’t we see or sense our own guardian angels?

Byrne tells us that while angels are always trying to signal us that they are there, “we are not listening. We believe we can do everything ourselves.” We need to suspend our disbelief and ask for help. When we acknowledge that angels exist, “you will start to feel their touch in your life … we empower them to empower us.”

If you can’t see the angels around you, the previously mentioned Yana says that meditative techniques like centering prayer can assist in experiencing their presence. In her words, you need to “shut down your brain temporarily.” If you “show your intention to seek their guidance, they are absolutely ready to help.” Her parting advice:

You cannot analyze it. If you do, your logical brain will discard it. You will seek to rationalize what is happening … but it doesn’t work that way. You simply need to trust it, at that moment. There is a purpose behind it, and it can transform your life.

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