People around the world attest that they have had unexplained, personal encounters with beings they believe to be angels. Best-selling author Joan Wester Anderson offers her view
JOAN WESTER ANDERSON is one of the most prolific American authors on the subject of human experiences with angels - a vocation that was inspired by her son's own personal encounter (see page 2). Her many books, including Where Angels Walk, True Stories of Heavenly Visitors and An Angel to Watch Over Me, have been national best-sellers. Joan's website includes excerpts from her books, a calendar of her lecture appearances and radio interviews, a bulletin board and more. In this interview, Joan provides her view on the nature of angels, their purpose and relationship with human beings, and some astonishing experiences.
What's your definition of angels? Are they spirit entities unto themselves or are they people who have passed on?
Although it is commonly believed that angels are the spirits of people who have died, this is not true. All Western religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – teach that angels are a separate creation, never to be human, although they can take on the guise of humans when and if God needs them to do so. When humans die, according to these same faiths, they become like angels – that is, spirits without bodies. The proper term for this group is "saint."
What is the relationship between angels and the human race?
They have been given to mankind as messengers (the word "angel" means "messenger" in Hebrew and Greek) and guardians. Some schools of thought believe that each person is given his/her own angel at the time of creation, and that angel stays with his charge until death. In other teachings, angels are not one-on-one, but come in great glorious groups at special times.
Your books present some pretty amazing stories. How common do you think such experiences are?
I believe they are very common. According to Gallup, over 75% of Americans believe in angels – even more than attend church regularly. This says to me that many people are looking back at the coincidences in their lives and are beginning to see something else – perhaps a certain protection or comfort coming at just the right time. It isn't easy to convince people if they haven't had an experience. Hence, my own belief is that these things happen regularly, and many people simply choose not to go public with their stories.
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