Once in college I went to a prayer meeting put on by a small evangelical denomination in the rural South. It was the kind of denomination that has a string of adjectives before the word "Baptist" — the kind that you might expect to handle snakes or something. This particular prayer meeting was at a church member's home, and I was attending because the objective was to pray for a relative who had recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For most of the evening, the whole thing was a sweet display of the church being the church — we were believing God, loving one another, and begging for a miracle. But then the prayer time ended, and as we looked up at one another, huddled together in this living room, we all felt the awkwardness of trying to transition into regular conversation.
Apparently, though, some felt the awkwardness more than others. Before the little conversations could begin that would subtly dismiss us, a woman, somewhat nervously, addressed the residing pastor with a question. She spoke loudly enough that it sort of required everyone to stay put and listen in. That’s when things changed.
This sister told a story about her daughter seeing an angel sitting in the top of a tree. The encounter had just happened a few days before. They were driving home from school; the little girl was staring outside the car window; the mom asked what she was looking at; the little girl said she saw an angel in a tree — which all crescendoed with the question: Pastor, why do children see angels in trees?
Do you know why? How would you have responded? The pastor wasn't sure what to say. I certainly didn't know the answer.
Our Real Question
Before you dismiss the whole question as backwater, let me remind you, first, that this is not an impossible scene. We are talking about angels here, not leprechauns. Angels are real, and they can, I suppose, if they want, sit in treetops.