"The Angel Who Opened My Heart"
(By: Arlene Shipley - Edited by Shmuel Greenbaum)

8-18-2005 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #353

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This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Rev. Angus Bowen

Story of the Week
The Angel Who Opened My Heart
(By: Arlene Shipley - Edited by Shmuel Greenbaum)

I laughingly refer to myself as a woman who thinks she can change the world, and can't even change her own sheets!

Overcoming an abusive childhood took a long time, but without the hope that it was possible, I would still be that abused little girl in an old lady's body.

At 400 pounds of misery, I wanted to die, but instead I met my Angel who opened my heart and mind to the possibility of angels and miracles and G-d; then she sent me back; it sure seemed like a rotten trick at the time. But it was the beginning of many more miracles in my life.

People aren't too receptive to an overweight, over-bearing, middle-aged woman when she says she met an angel and that she believes she has a vision that can change the world; so I began to doubt the vision myself, since it is easier just not to think about such things. But then the vision started coming true.

My Angel showed me ten events while I was dead; over half of them, all turning points, have come to pass in my life. The third event, my sitting in a rocking chair with a thin chocolate skinned child in my lap, was the miracle that transformed me from a woman who used anger to fuel her days, into a Mother who was only motivated by love. That miracle fuel was the healing power of a nine year old little girl named Tashia.

How do you teach a child how to die? I didn't know either, but the lessons I had faced in my own life made me exactly the mother this wounded angel who was abused and dying of AIDS needed. I opened my arms to Tashia, and she healed my life.

Little did I know when I took in this wounded child, that she would teach me about forgiveness, and kindness and unconditional love. Little did I know that each time I fought for her, I was healing that little girl inside of me.

Tashia taught me that miracles are not the big earth shattering events we perform for the world to see; they are the quiet unheralded tasks we perform to the best of our ability each and every day. Although these small acts of kindness seem insignificant, when they are compounded, they can change the world.

I thought I was doing this wonderful little girl a kindness when I became her mommy, forever and ever, clear to G-d and back. Little did I know that my small act of kindness toward her would change my world forever.

I taught this wounded angel about G-d and Heaven, answered her questions about what G-d looks like, what was in the cemetery if she was going to go and be with G-d. It was only afterwards that I realized that she helped me to teach myself -- all of the words that came out of my mouth were for ME!

I now have a constant contact with G-d. G-d is so real to me because I needed child-like eyes to teach Tashia how to see him.

I had to put aside my own anger at a world that would allow such abuse; my heart only had room for all of the love Tashia needed from me. When you have a child who is dying, you live in an altered reality. G-d taught me how to have tunnel vision: "What does Tashia need me to do today?"

For the first time in my life, I was able to use love instead of anger to keep me motivated. I learned to see the world through new eyes. I was able to redefine terms to suite the world I prayed to exist in.

After I redefined miracle, I had more miracles because I looked for them.

After I redefined angel, I met more angels because I looked for them in everyone.

I was able to have forgiveness, because Tashia gave it to me.

I was able to believe that G-d loves me, because I told Tashia a hundred times a day how much G-d loved her.

I was able to start becoming the woman G-d created me to be, because in his great kindness he sent me Tashia to protect and allow her to become the sweet innocent child G-d created her to be.

She showed me how I could turn my tears of pain into tears of joy and how to be able to be grateful for the lessons (not the pain) that allowed me to be exactly the mother Tashia needed me to be.

After Tashia died, we founded AngelAID in her memory. In the last 10 years we have helped hundreds of children with life-threatening diseases and other difficult situations -- all without government money or paid staff. G-d shows us miracles, every single day! He also sent us 50 teenage boys from jail in the last ten years. But those are stories for another day :)

Thank you G-d, for sending an angel to heal my heart.

For more information contact Arlene Shipley at: AngelMOM@angelaid.com
Or visit her website:

AngelAID is a foundation for children with life-threatening diseases or other difficulties who are homeless, abused, or otherwise in need of help.

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help us all to find the Divine Gift contained within every earthly problem.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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