Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? — Hebrews 1:14 (NIV Bible)
It’s amazing what you can learn when you eavesdrop at J.C. Penney.
Moreover, our February 21 meeting seems unlikely.
He had run into Penney’s to get something while his wife was getting her glasses adjusted.
I seldom shop, and even more rarely go to Penney’s.
Normally a teacher brings our international guest student home from school, but on that day, she had a meeting till 5:00. Her husband could not drive as he had to help a friend. So my wife and I decided to do some shopping at Valley View Mall before picking up our student. However, we didn’t quickly find what we were looking for, so she stayed to browse while I ran to the school.
Returning to the mall, I found my wife had finished shopping in Penney’s and we were ready to check out. At the register, the clerk suggested we apply for a credit card to get a discount on our purchase. Despite my Dave Ramsey leanings, I agreed, and that added a few minutes to our leaving.
Therefore we were still at check-out when I noticed a distinguished-looking septuagenarian at the next register. The clerk greeted him warmly and loudly: “It’s great to see you again. It’s been awhile. Where’s your wife?” Obviously, she knew him.
Because we were close I could hear his response: “I was really sick last year. I almost died.”
As it turned out, he and we finished our check-outs at the same time, and we three all were walking toward the same exit.
Being only a few steps away, and noticing the man had a friendly face, I spoke to the stranger: “Congratulations sir on your recovery.”
To which he replied: “God healed me.”
Curious, I asked him for details and what he meant by that.
Finding his story so amazing, I realized it would be a wonderful account to share here for more readers to see and benefit from.
Lloyd Meade, age 77, has lived in Roanoke County near Salem for 17 years with his wife of 53 years, Rose. Before he retired he had served as an Instructional Assistant at Glenvar Middle and High Schools.
This is his story, as he recounted it to me for this column.
On March 6, 2021, my wife and I drove to the Berglund Center in Roanoke and received our J&J Covid shot. I had heard we would be immune if we received the shot.
On September 15, 2021, I woke up on Monday and felt sick. I ached all over. Tuesday, I went to my doctor’s office, and they confirmed I had Covid. The Virginia Health Department called me the next day and told me to stay isolated for a week. If I had a cough, wear a mask. After a week I felt better but stayed isolated for fear that I may contaminate someone.
Then on October 13, Saturday, I ate out with my wife, daughter, my granddaughter and her husband, and my three great-grandchildren.
Monday morning, I woke up feeling sick. As the day progressed, it became worse. Tuesday, I had to stay in bed and couldn’t eat. Wednesday, I was having trouble maintaining bodily functions.
I woke up Thursday gasping for breath. I had to hold myself up at my sink to shave, and then I had to retreat to the bed and stayed there until 3:00 pm. My wife came into the bedroom and asked what I wanted to eat. I told her I couldn’t eat anything. She insisted. I told her tomato soup. She fixed the soup, but had to help me to the kitchen because I was so weak. After two tablespoons I had to go back to bed. I don’t know how I got back to the bedroom. I was in the process of dying.
My wife came into the bedroom to check on me at 9:00 pm. She said I was covered in huge beads of sweat and my lips and fingernails were blue. She immediately called 911.
By the time the ambulance arrived, my lips and fingernails were purple. They told my wife that if she had delayed another fifteen to thirty minutes. I would have died. The ambulance took me to Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem.
In the hospital Emergency Room, they ran x-rays, hooked me up to check my vitals, put in three ports, and took blood while I was unconscious. They finally hooked me up to a high-pressure pure oxygen system that forces oxygen into your body. Only then I came to and realized I was in a hospital. I was in the ER all night.
The next morning, Friday, they moved me into the ICU. The small ICU room was just for me and had a glass wall between me and the hallway. That Friday and Saturday I was so sick that if I had died, I wouldn’t have cared.
My wife and I believe in prayer, and we believe that God heals people. My wife requested prayer on Facebook, and at least 94 friends were praying for me along with four churches.
Sunday, October 19, was the turning point. It was around 10 am, before our church service was supposed to start. I was asleep but I felt as if a person was looking at me. I woke up and saw a male figure who was dressed in white. He was a big, strong person, with salt and pepper hair and beard. More salt than pepper. He saw me looking at him, so he knew I was gazing at him and he let me look at him for about 15-20 seconds before he suddenly disappeared.
I went back to sleep. I am not sure how long I napped, but I sensed again someone was watching me. I opened my eyes and this time a person in white disappeared as soon as that individual saw me looking in that direction.
I really believe they were angels.
Later when the nurse came in to check on me, I told her that there had been other people in the room, and someone had been staring at me. I told her I had opened my eyes and the people were dressed in white. I had to repeat my story to her three times. She told me that she had been outside my door and no one had been in my room.
Moreover, since the wall was made of glass, she has not seen anyone else in my room with me.
At 11:00 am our pastor, Rev. Ryan Linkous of Christian Life International Church in Salem, stopped the service for prayer for me. He announced, “Brother Meade is in serious condition, in ICU, and needs prayer.”
At the pastor’s direction, the entire congregation stood and pointed their hands toward the altar and prayed for me. (Later after I got home from the hospital, I saw that video clip on social media.)
When you are in ICU, you can’t have visitors and sometimes you have yourself a pity party, as was my case, big-time. About 12 noon, that same Sunday about an hour after the church had prayed for me, I heard a male voice that started to sing “Amazing Grace.” Then suddenly, it sounded as if a thousand-voice choir joined in. It was so beautiful. Every time I would get depressed during that week, I would hear them sing. The singing came off and on, beginning that Sunday around noon, and continued until Thursday evening. Each time I felt depressed or gave in to self-pity, I heard that choir and it encouraged me. After I felt better, the music stopped until I needed it again later.
On Thursday evening the doctor came to tell me I was going home. After he told me that wonderful news, the singing stopped for good and never came back. It was always the same song, I love that song. “Amazing Grace” is my favorite song. To hear that choir was amazing. And I haven’t heard it since.
I had gone into ICU on a Friday morning and was in that CCU for one whole week. My improvement was drastic. By that Thursday evening when the doctor came in and told me I would be going home the next day, Friday, he said he had a question for me.
First, are you really seventy-seven years old?
I told him yes, I was.
Second, what is your secret?
I responded: Exercise and God. I try to exercise six days a week. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I work out with cable weights. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I walk 5.5 miles on a treadmill.
The doctor also told me that they had made an appointment for me with my primary care physician and a lung specialist for the week after I was discharged from Lewis-Gale. I passed with flying colors with my primary physician. He told me I was in excellent shape. The lung specialist was another story. He said he had heard something in my lungs and wanted another CAT scan.
After the CAT scan I met with that specialist. He reviewed the results and he told me that they were hard to believe. He said as critical as I had been, my lungs were now perfect. He told me it must be my exercise program. I replied “It was also God.” He continued to study the results. He told me that it must be my exercise and that my lungs were perfect.
Again I told him “it was also God.”
He replied, “Whatever.”
About a month after all this happened and I was back at home, I got some medical reports about what my condition had been. The ambulance staff had labeled me “Code 1” when they had gotten to me. The hospital reports when I arrived for x-rays and other readings were all “Critical.”
I believe in miracles, and I am one of them.
Upon hearing his story and typing it here for you, dear reader, I told Meade, “that sounds like a powerful story,” but he responded with “It was not powerful at all. Most people when they report seeing angels say they are scared, but I wasn’t, because I knew a Higher Power was watching me. I felt comforted.”
Meade’s wife of 53 years, Rose, later added her perspective to this whole encounter.
Says she experienced a deep peace at the very moment she dialed 911. Not in an audible voice but in “her spirit” she sensed God tell her, “We will be going through this together.” The 911 operator asked her “Are you going to be ok”” and she calmly replied, “Yes, I’m going to go outside now and wait for the ambulance.”
Rose says she experienced that peace every day, 24/7, until the moment Lloyd called that Thursday night and told her he could come home. At that point the extreme sense of peace left her, “like taking off a coat,” as if the supreme period of peace had done its job.
This couple sounds like a dynamic duo. We had some difficulties with technology for this story, and I thanked Rose for her husband’s patience. To which she quipped: “We’ve been married for 53 years, so he’s learned a lot about patience.”
Speaking of patience, it took some to finish this project. Meade kindly agreed to type up his narrative for this column. Then, he called me and asked if I had a fax machine. I asked him if he could send me the file or text by email, which he tried. However, he has a new PC which is unfamiliar to him, and being 77 does not make dealing with modern technology any easier.
He tried to email his story, but was unsuccessful. So, we spoke on the phone and I tried to walk him through the “cut and paste” steps to email to me. It was odd. He could send the first part of the document, but each time he tried to send the rest, he never saw the “paste” option.
Finally I told him, “Let’s do this the old-fashioned way, and you read it aloud and I’ll type.”
That went okay for a few minutes, until my PC suddenly went dead! Seeing my desk lamp was out too, I suspected “power outage?” But, my floor lamp was still on, so for some reason, only one outlet kicked off, not all. Though working at home and often online, I have never experienced that odd occurrence before.
Moreover, after about a minute the desk lamp came back on again, so I restarted the PC. It came on, but this time it gave a “Cannot connect to the Internet” message. However, my cell phone registered wifi so it was not a router problem. I tried the PC “troubleshooting” option a few times, but nix.
Restarting the PC a second time, it finally connected to the internet so we could continue the dictation. I told Meade, “Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! It seems some force or being is trying to keep us from finishing this project today, so that must mean we’re on the right track!”
Award-winning author Steven Pressfield reports, anytime anyone tries to do creative work “that matters,” some dark force he calls “the resistance” tries to stop you. Meade and I experienced that “resistance” today, but we persevered and this is his story.