If anyone doubts the existence of angels, consider the following true story:
“When we last left our dubious hero, he was walking like Sisyphus released from his burden. The sun was shining and all worries vanishing like the disappearing fog. He sat out on his deck and thought briefly, 'What if I re-arranged my life so that every day had moments like this, enjoying a leisurely lunch in the garden with hummingbirds buzzing and eating an apple I can wholly taste?' Sweet thoughts and in that moment, it all seemed possible.
And then came a visit from an Angel. (Or was it a Devil?) A voice whispered in his head from left field beyond left field, that is, a thought appeared completely out of nowhere, no obvious spark or association. It spoke clearly this sentence: “I believe you need a visa to go to China.” And so, faster than a speeding bullet, our hero fell from grace and hit the hard cement of stress and anxiety.
He rushed to the Internet to check and sure enough, China required a visa. He found a Visa troubleshooting organization, called a number and got the Angel’s right-hand man, who talked him through the options and then urged him to go without a moment’s delay to his nearest Chinese Embassy. And so off he sped, with the Angel gently reminding him to bring passport, plane ticket and hotel information.
Now to fully understand the extent of his stress, you need to know the following:
• It was 2:15 Thursday afternoon. At 10:30 am Friday morning, he needed to be at the airport with his passport to fly to Calgary to teach a workshop on Saturday.
• He would then return Saturday night and go to the airport again on Sunday to fly to China, where some 40 students were awaiting his three-day workshop.
• If the visa could not be processed by 10:00 am the next morning, he would have to wait until Monday. But wait! Monday was a Chinese holiday. And so was Tuesday! So no visit to China, a cancelled course, a cancelled airline ticket to be re-booked (and he knew how fun that was going to be!!) to at least try to get to Japan.
Jim Carey once quipped: 'The problem with real life is there’s no danger music.' But it was playing now as he drove to the Consulate, full blast. He arrived at 2:40, got his number, filled out his forms, got a Visa photo taken that looked like he was a murderer on Death Row and then noted that the Consulate closed at 3:00. If that Angel had waited just 20 more minutes to inform him, he would have missed it!
He turned in the paperwork and the man in the window seemed confident it would be ready first thing in the morning before going to the airport— of course, for $165. He was a bit worried that they might notice his flight went from China to Japan and deny the Visa because of the political turmoil. But the Angel stayed by his side, he got to the Consulate the next morning, picked it up and set off for Canada.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is proof that Angels are real.
PS And the moral of the story? This traveler (have you guessed who it is?) came to several possible conclusions about what it all means.
1) He is a complete idiot.
2) His life is completely out of control and is kicking his butt big time.
3) He needs to stay home for a while.
4) He needs to find an app that pops up like a large neon sign on his computer every time he books a flight that says: “NEED VISA?”
5) Angels are real and his is merciful. Without that voice, he would have showed up at the airport on Sunday to the rude shock, “And may I see your Visa?”
6) Angels are real and his is cruel. I mean, couldn’t he have formed the thought a month ago?
7) All of the above.