This event occurred just after we heard the tragic news about the sudden death of Art Bell's wife Ramona on January 5th. Besides being devastated for Art, whom he has always considered to be his "twin" brother, Whitley was shaken up because of my own almost sudden death a year ago. The next day, we went to Kinkos to xerox the copy edited manuscript of Whitley's new and as yet unpublished novel The Grays, which is slated to be a major film from Sony.
As usual with Kinko's, we confronted what seemed like a sea of complex and seemingly unworkable copy machines. I noticed a rather stocky and unassuming looking black man, who seemed to be working one of them beautifully. I said to Whitley, "If we can't figure out how to use the machine, we can ask this gentleman, who is clearly doing just fine."
The man overheard me and said to Whitley, "You are very lucky, treasure this woman. She will live a long time and you will both someday taste the water and the wine." Then he left.
I realized that I had met an angel. I assume by mentioning water and wine, he was referring to John 2:8-10, where Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. This chapter is wonderfully ironic, since one of the guests says to the host, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
According to Biblical scholars, angels are messengers. This man was telling us that I was going to live a long life, that Whitley no longer has to worry about my expiring suddenly, the way dear Ramona did.
In the Bible, Hebrews 13:2 tells us, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."
Ever since my near death experience, I have realized that amazing people are all around, and many of them have wisdom for me. I just have to remember to pay attention.
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.