Another Black Angel: and Metanoia

A new friend, William Fisher, just wrote with this story of his black angel. In my experience, it is unusual for an angel to speak, but this one did, and I particularly note William’s final thoughts about this fact:

My black Angel came in late summer 2012, a year after my ugly divorce was final. My heart was dark due to the ex blocking all contact with the two stepchildren I had helped raise since birth and the personal financial disaster caused by the economy, the ex and the divorce. I believed in God, but just didn’t understand how this situation was God’s will of good for me and our four children.
Suddenly things changed, and the ex allowed my 14 year old stepdaughter Sarah to spend the weekend with me and the two children from our marriage. Sarah and my youngest daughter, (8 yr.) Victoria, spent the weekend doing whatever they wanted. For Sarah that meant a surfing lesson even though there was no surf that day.
Sarah’s questions, however, revived good memories, and a couple of weeks later I was sitting in a hot courtroom, when the breeze from an open window struck me in an overwhelming full-body rush whispering me that the surf was up and to go get my board. I drove out to the beach and found my intuition was right. Huge waves.
I went home, got my board and returned to the pier, where I waxed my board while I watched the tropical storm swell overhead. I was feeling anxious about going out, because of the size of the waves and my decades-long absence from surfing. I wasn’t sure I could even paddle out, much less catch and ride a wave without injury.
It was at this point that I felt the presence on my left. I looked up to see an African American surfer in his 30’s standing beside me looking at the surf with his long-board. I hadn’t heard him walk up–which is impossible, because our white quartz sand squeaks when you step on it. He glanced over at me and said I had a nice board before he added, in a praising, preachy kind of way, that it’s a beautiful and glorious day today.
This was the first time I had ever seen a black surfer on our beaches, and I’ve never heard any surfer eversay it’s a beautiful and GLORIOUS day, especially the way he said it. I murmured “Thanks” to his board compliment, and “Yes, it is” to the beauty of the day observation.
That’s when he looked at me with a “loving” expression, and in a caring unaccented tone of voice, he said, “You are going surfing, aren’t you?” It was if he felt my anxiety and wanted me to promise him–me, us–out loud, that I would go out. I said, “Yes I am” –at which all of my anxiety vanished. He looked at me with an approving smile. “Good,” he said, before he walked off, never to be seen again.
My first thought as he walked away was, “Was that Jesus in disguise telling me to go surfing?” I thought this was probably a little crazy, until I got hooked by a fisherman’s barb while paddling out and the thought of Jesus flashed through my mind for a second time, this time thinking of Jesus the fisher of men. Which connects to my last name, Fisher.

I was able to de-hook without injury and later caught a huge wave that I rode as well as I could have at the peak of my youthful days of surfing. My passion for surfing was rekindled to a blaze that day.

Ever since, I have been teaching my daughter Sarah how to surf, but more wonderful within a couple of weeks all of the kids (and step-kids) were given back to their dads by the judge when we discovered that the mom was neglecting them. The judge gave us complete authority to decide the conditions for contact–which almost never happens for dads in custody issues.

Returning to surfing has brought me closer to God and my kids and has emotionally and spiritually transformed my life, as I have explored the meaning of that day and its aftermath. Yet it all started with a surfing lesson to a teenager and with a black Angel who suddenly appeared, spoke some encouraging words at the exact time I needed to hear them, and disappeared, never to be seen again.
I have read that when Angels talk, it is always in short, direct, positive and encouraging words, and I believe the words and manner of my black Jesus Angel fit that pattern.


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