Things From Heaven
The adventure of opening an angel store.
This article was originally featured in 2000.
Francesca began having strange, recurring dreams where she would find herself walking outside and looking skyward. Then the clouds would open to reveal hundreds of beautiful angels. She would look at them and smile, and the angels would smile back at her, but no one spoke.
These dreams continued until January 1995, when she began to see something different. Alejandro Figueroa, a childhood friend from Nicaragua who had died the previous year, came to Francesca with a beautiful gold-bound book.
"What are you doing here, Alejandro?" Francesca asked, surprised. "You're supposed to be dead."
"I know I'm dead, but I've been sent to bring you this book."
"What kind of book is this?" she asked.
"Read the book with me and find out."
Alejandro opened the golden book. It was full of information about angels. Francesca read the following passages:
"Angels are beings of light."
"Angels are messengers of God."
"Angels bring God's love to the world."
She read the entire book in her dream.
Later at breakfast with our two sons, Keith and Kevin, Francesca enthusiastically related her dream.
Kevin, our youngest, who was 13 at the time, shook his head and said, "No, Mom. I don't think so! You can't read in a dream."
Kevin continued. "One side of your brain reads and the other side dreams. You can't do both at the same time. Either you didn't read the book or it wasn't a dream."
Francesca and I stared at each other. We knew Kevin was right but we could not explain what had happened.
"I know I read the book," Francesca said. "I remember what I read."
With that, she again began quoting the things she had read.
"'Angels are messengers of God. They're beings of light. They bring God's love to the world.' I know what I read!"
Later that day we walked down Main Street searching for a site for our proposed thrift store. To our surprise, we found a storefront with a "for lease" sign in the window. The landlord's office was around the corner, so we went there and spoke to his representative. He was anxious to have someone lease the property.
The storefront was in the worst part of downtown Ventura. The awning hung in shreds. Street people who were living in the recessed entrance to the small shop were begging us for money.
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