There are hundreds of books in print today which are collections of testimonies; the real-life stories of people who have come in contact with angels. Some, of course, are surely invention or fantasy, but not all by any means. A few angelic presences have been captured on YouTube videos. Tales of angelic encounters are ubiquitous and ancient.
It happened to me. I was living in England in October, 2007, and was experiencing an emotionally wrenching and painful situation. One morning I was walking alone through a park in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and the sun was low and gleaming through the autumn leaves and bright grass in a cheerful way, as if saying, "Things are a lot better than you know". At the edge of the park I had to stop at a red light and wait for traffic to clear.
Suddenly I heard a whisper in my right ear, and felt a warm and wordless breath. Turning, I saw a stunningly gorgeous curly-haired blonde and blue-eyed woman of about twenty-four-years of age, wearing a fine, long, dove-grey wool coat with a fox fur-edged cowl. She was so close I could have kissed her. Only my wives or closest girlfriends have ever been so near to me.
Her eyes were sapphire blue, and the whites as perfect as new ivory, the pupils raven black. Her nose was fine-shaped; her lips a perfect cupid's bow and red as cherries. Her caramel cream skin glowed. Her hair was like fine gold, soft as down. My heart jumped and I was speechless. She didn't look into my eyes; as if she were thinking, "Act normal, like this is the most ordinary moment of your life. We'll meet again." Like James Bond I nodded, and slowly, but reluctantly looked away.
No human woman looks like this, lovely and pure beyond all words or utterance. I felt like a Neanderthal, actually, standing next to such a beauty. Me, a flawed, old, and rough mortal man. But I also felt affection. She had love in her heart, and will be there for me when my worn out body passes away. So I dared not say a word, nor did I touch her.
The light turned green and she crossed the street briskly, head down in her cowl and long coat, perfect legs and elegant high-heels. She wore the long coat and cowl to avoid attracting a crowd. People would certainly stop in their tracks to look if she didn't hide her face. I've never seen a garment like that, and inside it she radiated nobility and riches.
She was a messenger from God, and I had seen her before - but only in dreams. Beauty so sublime cannot exist on earth for very long. That's one message I take away from the encounter.
Some portrait paintings of the late 18th and early 19th Century come close to this ideal of beauty, and seem to have been inspired by a similar vision. Here's one, the daughter of French nobility, from 1790. Listen to her playing the harpsichord:
Angels from hell also visit this world to wreak havoc and death. Mental hospitals and prisons hold many people who are possessed or unable to cope with the shock and horror of seeing them. This world is like a train station, a place of many junctions where the good and wicked of other worlds must interact with us. Such is the nature of the world, and the 5,780 year-long war being waged against God and man... by Satan.