Monday, June 8, 2020
Dolores Hanley McDiarmid
Vacation months are right around the corner. Well, this year we might be taking that literally. For most of us, travel plans will be on hold for a while. However, given the time we have, we now have an opportunity to reflect on a previous vacation or several vacations and revisit some special moments that make us feel good. The past is not a place to live, but it is a nice place to visit.
While attending Mass pre-coronavirus, we would ordinarily be reminded to include God in our plans and invite him along on our trips. For more than 20 years, I have been inviting God along on our trips and believe that he had people in place when we needed help or assistance during our travels. I coined these people “angel plants.”
There was one overseas trip we took a few years ago when my husband and I needed an army of guardian angels to rescue us during our three-week vacation. If I did not believe in God, I certainly would have after this trip. The following are only a few amazing examples of good Samaritans or what I call “angel plants.”
The first “angel plant” appeared when we had just de-planed and were standing in line at customs in Milan. For some reason, I asked my husband to borrow his phone to take a photo. There was no reason for me to ask him for his phone; I had my own.
When I saw him checking his pockets and luggage, I had a strong feeling our dream vacation was going to be a nightmare. Most of the information we needed for our trip was on that phone, which was inadvertently left on the plane.
With our belongings in hand we got out of the customs line and headed in search of someone who could help us. As we approached the end of the customs line, we saw an airline employee holding up a cell phone, asking if anyone had lost it. My first thought was that anyone could have said yes and taken it, but they didn’t. For me, this was nothing short of a miracle. God was watching over us. All I kept saying was, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.”
The second “angel plant” helped us after we left a chambre d’hote or bed and breakfast in Italy. My husband’s jacket was left behind in a closet and by the time the owners of the bed and breakfast discovered it, we were about two hours away.
The owners contacted us by phone and agreed to meet us halfway. They drove over an hour to return the jacket to my husband so he could have it for when we were in Paris. In this case, I guess one can say that there were two “angel plants” that came to our rescue.
The third “angel plant” came to our rescue when we were in France and had just rented our car. We no sooner were driving when one of those indicator lights went on telling us we needed to service the car.
Anyone who has traveled abroad knows that it is not as easy to find a place to service your vehicle as in the states. After several stops inquiring if someone could help us, we found a place. The man had what we needed and fixed the problem. When we asked how much we owed him, he said, “Nothing, it’s a gift. Have a good trip.”
Now, tell me, can you ever imagine that happening in South Florida?
As a family or individually, select one of your favorite vacations from the past and see if you can identify any “angel plants” that God placed in your path to help you enjoy your vacation. I am sure there will be at least one.
When you think about your post-pandemic vacations, I invite you to include God in your planning. Invite Him along on your adventure and then be on the lookout for your “angel plants.”
Hopefully, you will not need as many as we did.
Luke 4:10 “For it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you to guard you carefully.’”