Early yesterday morning while taking his dog on a walk in the woods outside his house, 54-year-old Bert Holeman of Nashville, Tennessee, hardly expected to encounter an angel – but that's precisely what happened.
“It was wild,” recounted Bert. “The sun was just coming up over the horizon, back-lighting a figure that I soon realized was an angel. She was sheathed in white, and her entire being was glowing with a divine goodness. Her hair was blonde, and her skin was creamy white, and, well, she was just breathtaking.”
Shaking his head incredulously, he added, "It was the last thing I expected to see yesterday morning when I woke up." He quickly amended, "Well, maybe not the last thing, but certainly down near the bottom of the list.”
Bert's dog, Baxter, didn't seem to notice the angel, which surprised Bert at first - until he thought about it for second.
"Duh,' said Bert. "Dogs haven't got souls. How could Baxter possibly recognize an angel?"
Bert explained that, after the angel appeared, it took him a moment to get his wits about him. But once he did, he dropped to his knees, and he immediately felt all of his sins being forgiven.
And it felt good.
“I have a new lightness about me, a new spring in my step,” Bert says now. “And I have that angel to thank.”
Excited and inspired by his encounter with the angel, Bert eagerly related the story to his neighbors and family members. While he initially worried that they might be skeptical, he found, to his relief, that not to be the case at all.
"It did catch me a little off-guard," admitted Bert's next-door neighbor, Cassie Pace. "But then I realized God was testing me. I one-hundred-percent believe in angels. Who wouldn't?”
And Bert's son, Lloyd, who's always wanted to see an angel, not only believed his father's story but aims to try to catch a glimpse of his dad's sunrise angel.
"We came up with a plan that I'm going to walk Baxter once a week, in the hopes that the angel will reappear," Lloyd explained. "A different angel would be fine, too, of course."
After posting the story of his angelic encounter on his neighborhood listserv, however, Bert learned that, as special as the experience of seeing an angel was to him, his encounter actually wasn't that unusual; many of his friends and neighbors have likewise met angels in some way, shape, or form.
"It's encouraging," says Bert. "They're everywhere apparently. And boy, do we need 'em!"