short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Angel of Beirut

Were I to have had any doubt about God protecting me, one incident in the Middle East would have dispelled it. I had traveled on university business from Jordan to Lebanon (a trip that put me on the “search her on every leg of every trip,” i.e. “randomly selected for search” list at airports worldwide for a while).

One morning in Beirut I started down a ghetto-looking street, devoid of vegetation or people, wondering if I had somehow misunderstood the instructions that the hotel clerk had given me in French. (French and Arabic are the two lingua francas in Lebanon. Of these, I chose to speak French. My mastery of French was greater than my capacity to communicate in Arabic, and I certainly looked more European than Arab although when I donned hijab — a headscarf — I could surprisingly pass for a Middle Easterner in looks.)

The stone buildings on the Beirut street stood stoically silent as if on guard, comrades of mixed color and size, humbly displaying the wounds of past wars for any accidental passerby. Some had chipped corners and broken stairs. Most were bullet-ridden.

As I walked down the street, a man suddenly appeared. Where had he come from? He looked directly at me and called out to me.

“You are not from Beirut, are you?” he asked in excellent English although his countenance was definitely Arab. He then commented, “You look Western.”

“I am a Westerner,” I answered cautiously, careful not to mention my American heritage. In the Middle East, I was always honest but never candid. If, in any given situation, I could pass for European or, as more often happened, a Russian, I did so. It was safer, given the war in Iraq and highly emotional reactions to Americans in the Middle East in general.

In response to my admission, the man replied, “In that case, you don’t want to be walking down this street. It would not be safe for you. Where are you trying to go?”

I crossed the street to where he was standing so that we did not have to continue to shout. He waited patiently, without moving. Coming up to him, I explained that I was looking for an ATM. He directed me to another street. I thanked him and walked away.

I thought he had remained at the spot where we had spoken, but as I was passing through the intersection only seconds later, I turned and saw that the spot was empty. How fortunate, I thought at the time, that he was in the right place at the right time to protect me. Later, I wondered how he could have disappeared so quickly?

But who was he? As Ashley Siferd wrote in her guest blog on this site last week, there is someone watching out for me. Wish I worthy of it! No, I don't deserve it, but I do love it!!

Adapted excerpt from Blest Atheist. Double-posted on my other blog, Blest Atheist, for convenience of readers of that blog, who tend to differ from readers here.

For more angel stories on the Blest Atheist blog, click here and for ones on this blog, click here and here.

Beth Niquette maintains a blog of angel stories that you might like to read, and I would point out that Sr. Lorraine is looking for angel stories for a book should you have any to share.

In conclusion, may you always be watched over by angels!


  1. GOD is awesome. So many times in my life, I know he has spared me. Thank you for sharing your story, today. It was a great reminder for me of HIS love and continued protection.

    Blessings and prayers, andrea

    PS: Thank you for your prayers and support. May GOD BLESS YOU!

  2. Gee Elizabeth this post had me nerves...I was waiting for something to happen but then I guess it did.

    For some reason, it always surprises me when I feel watched over.

  3. Elizabeth:
    This is how God works. He places people in our lives when we need them most.

  4. Thanks, folks. I don't know how I missed these comments earlier, but I did. Quietspirit and Andrea--yes, it is wonderful to be watched over. And Lisa, yes, something did happen, a good something (as opposed to a bad something that might have). I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!

  5. God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He sends people and I believe he sometimes sends angels to help His children.
    Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

  6. So true, Charlotte. Glad you liked the story.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.