Angels Without Wings

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The call light came on above Sister’s room, it meant she was ready for bed. I entered the room, shut the door, and turned off the call light. And there as usual was Sister’s sleep cloths laid out neatly over the end of her bed.

“Many people pray for a miracle their whole lives … few ever witness one.” Sister said She was standing in front of her chest of drawers that was covered with various icons; The Blessed Mother, a cross, a picture of Jesus, a rosary and her Bible were a few.

Sister wasn’t much taller than the chest of drawers. Her back was hunched over a bit. Her black habit hung loosely to the floor. Time had taken every bit of youth from her skin. Her hands are crippled and bent with arthritis; they trembled as she leaned her forearms against the chest. She picked up a small picture then turned to me, her eyes began to brighten as she looked at it like it was her most valuable possession. The Sister’s have very little!

She began to tell a story that took us back when Sister had first became a nun.

Sister sat quietly on the plain waiting for it to take off. Butterflies danced in her stomach. She was both excited and scared. She had never flow before. People loaded up the plain until every seat was filled with men, woman, and children. The engine started. Sister gripped the arm of the chair with one hand and with the other she held the rosary, repeating the words that brought her comfort. After praying she sat quietly reading her Bible. She couldn’t believe it was true, but it was! She was on her was to New Orleans the home of her patron saint Our Lady Of Prompt Succor.

“She is the saint you pray to when you want a prayer answered NOW! Sister said look me in the eye. Then returning to her story.

She looked out the window; the sky was blue as far as she could see. She then leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes to rest, listening to the hum of the plane engine. She could not sleep though. Her mind raced with thoughts of the days to come.
The plane began to vibrate and bounce. Sister must have had a concerned look on her face and the woman in the seat next to her leaned toward Sister and said, “That’s turbulence.” No matter what it was it made Sister uncomfortable. Then it happened again … and a loud pop. It caused Sister and many other to look out the window. She saw black smoke trailing past her window. A man’s voice came over the inter calm asking every one to remain calm and buckle their seat belts. The plane was having trouble with an engine. Just as he finished speaking the plane began to tilt to one side more than the other. There was complete silence as the people worried about what was going to happen.

The woman in the seat next to Sister looked at Sister, she had a terrified look on her face her voice quivered with fear as she spoke asking Sister, “Are we going to die?” The words could be heard throughout the plane. Sister felt the eyes of everyone upon her as they waited her response. Sister, without a moment of thought, stood up pulled out her scapula (a necklace that nuns wear with religious figures on it) and holding it as high as it could reach touching it against the window. She could feel herself trembling all over. She closed her eyes and began to pray aloud to Our Lady Of Prompt Succor never had she before felt that she needed a prayer answered so urgently, for the people looking at her who had now somehow unified in faith. Sister could feel her heart beating rapidly and hard, and moments seemed like mintues as the prayer came to its end. Sister eyes still closed the plain jerked suddenly and began to level back. Sister opened her eyes and looked out the window. There was no more smoke! The pilot came over the inter calm once again, “I don’t know how but power has returned. We will be landing in New Orleans in fifteen minutes.” Sister took a deep breath of relief. Everyone caught up in the moment began to clap and cheer. Sister joined in too. The women in the seat next to Sister lean toward Sister and said, “You performed a miracle!”
“It was the hand of God … that performed the miracle. And it was Our Lady Of Prompt Succor who carried the prayer swiftly … without delay to him!” Tears of joy streamed down the woman’s face. Sister reached over and patted the woman’s hand, and then leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes, just as if nothing special had happed at all.

The pilot announced two minutes to landing. And before she knew it the plane made a small bounce then slowly came to halt. People started gathering their things and leaving the plane, Sister waited patiently not realizing as she departed that she was the last to leave. She walked down the terminal where at the end she noticed a crowd of people had gathered. As she got closer to them they all came rushing toward her. It was passengers of the plane. Sister was confused and then stopped. A woman carrying a small child and asked sister to bless her and her child. Sister did, and then one after another, they all came to her asking for her blessing.

“Me,” Sister said to me, coming back to the present, as she pointed to herself in proud disbelief.

Sister laid the small picture back in its place on the chest among the religious icons. Her head tilted back down her humble expression returned. She backed away from the chest, deep in her thoughts; she remained silent as I got her ready for bed. She then went into the bathroom brushed her teeth and put on her nightcap. I pulled back her covers and she then got into bed.

“Good night Sister,” I said as I turned out the light.

“Goodnight,” she replied.

As I pulled the door shut I paused a moment “What was the name of that saint again?

“Our Lady Of Prompt Succor. She’s the one you pray to when you need a prayer answered now,” said Sister.

“I think I’ll remember that.” I said as I shut the door. And I shall never forget that Sister!


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