This month, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I will share a romantic story with you to illustrate how angels can help when it comes to love.

If you have ever asked, "Do angels help people romantically?," the answer is: Yes! A beautiful example of this is found in Genesis 24 when God sent his angel to bring Isaac and Rebecca together. See my Beliefnet.com articles “The Romantic Angel: Finding a Bride for Isaac" and "Can Angels Help You Find True Love?

God is a God of love, and he is interested in our loving relationships. Even now God uses his angels in a present day love story. When I asked Hope Macdonald, a friend who is the author of "When Angels Appear" (Zondervan, 1982), if I could retell her story in this column, she enthusiastically agreed. This is my favorite love story where an angel changed everything.

Hope and Harry were engaged to be married. Harry was planning to be a pastor and was attending a theological seminary several hundred miles away from Hope’s home. The marriage was set for the summer, and during spring break Hope took a bus to visit Harry and make plans for the wedding. Harry had made arrangements for her to stay in the home of a fine Christian lady who was respected by everyone, but the chemistry was wrong between the two women. Hope, who was naturally shy, found it difficult to talk to the older woman.

On the last day of their spring break visit, the older woman met with Harry and told him he was making a mistake by marrying Hope. She was too shy and immature to be a pastor’s wife, and Hope would most likely ruin his ministry. Harry was deeply committed to his call to ministry and he was greatly disturbed because the criticism came from a person whose advice Harry respected. He decided to observe the girl he planned to marry at dinner that night. He hoped to dispel the fears that had been raised in his mind about Hope’s fitness to be a pastor’s wife.

When they went to dinner, Hope was not aware of Harry’s struggle. Beverly, a school friend that Hope had not seen for years, joined them for the evening. Looking back, Hope admits that the two must have seemed quite silly as they reminisced about old times and laughed through the entire dinner. Remembering the warning he had been given, nothing seemed funny at all to Harry. When he returned to his small attic room, Harry spent a sleepless night wrestling with whether Hope was too immature, too shy, and just not the right woman to be his life’s partner in ministry.

The day Hope was to return home, the two had a picnic in a park near the seminary, and Harry shared his troubled thoughts. The thoughts were completely unexpected and a tremendous blow to Hope. The two spent the afternoon wrestling with the new problems that had risen in their relationship. Hope offered to return the engagement ring to Harry until he had more time to think it over, but she was still shocked when he took it back. She was certain that when she boarded the bus to return home, she would never see him again.

Just before he was to drive her to the bus station, Harry said, “Let’s pray about this one more time.” The two climbed the stairs to his attic room, knelt on either side of the bed, and with troubled hearts began to pray. Suddenly, both were aware of a presence in the room, a feeling so awesome that Harry stopped praying in the middle of a sentence. An angel stood at the foot of the bed with outstretched arms. The couple described it as “feeling a sense of quietness, filled with worship and glory…We felt the gentle touch of God’s blessing on us. We didn’t hear any audible voice, but a strong sense of communication passed between us, assuring us that God wanted us together.”

Hope and Harry were married that summer. The blessings of God have been on their lives together. For or 61 years the two have had a long and effective ministry together, and they have always been grateful that God sent his angel to bind their lives together in love.

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