Feast of the guardian angels! And a story.

While I’m waiting on the timer for a cake for the family guardian angels (lemon cake! Kiddo4 is convinced it’s a birthday cake) here’s a story about angels and time. Or rather, two stories.

While in high school, my mom had a friend who needed to awaken early to finish her homework. My mom’s friend figured she needed to get up at 5:15 to get it all done.

This is an old trick, and I’ve done it too: you ask your guardian angel to get you out of bed at a certain time, and really…it works. It’s even worked when I haven’t asked for help (like the time I woke up with seven minutes until I needed to be out of the house to go to high school) but in general, when you ask for a wake-up call, guardian angels seem to do it. So my mom’s friend asked her guardian angel to get her up at a quarter after five.

She awakened like a gunshot at 3:25 AM, ready to do homework.

After a little confused staring at the clock, my mom’s friend came to an awful realization: her guardian angel had mixed up the clock hands.

(Turn it around in your head: analog clock, big hand on the five, little hand on the three instead of the big hand on the three and the little hand on the five.)

I love that story, and I laugh like crazy when telling it because it’s just so cute. I think it’s funny because only God is perfect, so when a creature five to ten times smarter than I am messes up something like clock hands, it’s a little comforting. It makes them a lot more “reachable” in my head. Plus, when things go right you can wonder if you made it up, but on the really rare occasions when things go wrong, I feel like we “caught” the angel in a genuine moment, like it’s really real, because if you were just making it all up in your head, you’d make it work perfectly every time.

So one day I told this story, and folks laughed, and it was fun. But you see, angels aren’t the only ones who are subject to bad timing, because the next night after I told that story, I asked my guardian angel to make sure I got out of bed by 6:35 AM.

And like my mom’s friend, like a gunshot I awoke at 3:56.

I got a glance at the clock, and so help me, I heard in my head, “Ha-ha. I can’t tell time.”

I snapped, “Very funny,” and then I think he was really laughing.  I fell right back to sleep afterward. And then at 6:35, I felt prompted again: this was really the right time, and I’d better get the day started.

And the cake is done! (See, great timing!)  Should I frost it?


  1. Normandie Ward Fischer

    Jane, the key is to ask God to wake you! That’s what I do, and so far, no mixing up of clock issues.

    1. philangelus

      But then who would joke around with me?!?