Wednesday, December 29, 2010

{ Raphael's Bakery }

I have a lovely true story to share with you about my other new blog...a food blog--- A story about Angels. And not just any angels, but the 3 Archangels---Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael. This story is especially about the archangel Raphael. And so here it goes: Back in late 1992, the 3 archangels made an appearance in a high-crime neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Houston is a huge city. Like all big cities, it has it's far share of dangerous neighborhoods. This one in particular in located in Southeast Houston just off Griggs Rd and is mostly a Hispanic neighborhood. The news had started to report that a little girl in this neighborhood was seeing the 3 archangels in her backyard. In fact, the news reported that the angels, according to the little girl, were there day and night and often slept on her roof and spent the days sitting under the tree in her small backyard. She reported that they were all extremely tall and taller than her house. This was odd and sounded familiar b/c my mom has always told us a story of how she had once seen her guardian angel in her room when she was small. She said that the angel was very tall and that it's wings went past the ceiling to where she couldn't see the tops of the wings. According to the little girl, the 3 archangels had arrived for a short time to bring messages of peace to such a high crime and gang infested area. The news created curiosity in many Houstonians and we(my parents, my fiance, and my younger sister) were amongst the many who drove to this neighborhood to witness this event. We had our doubts, but, being a Catholic family, we also wanted to believe. When we arrived to the neighborhood, we saw that the line to the home went around the block not once, but twice. We stood so long in the line and eventually even the sun had set before we were able to enter the backyard. There were groups praying the rosary and singing songs. The little girl pointed to the 3 area of the back yard where the angels were standing and told that as we got nearer we would be able to feel them. We were told two were sitting and one was standing. We walked towards the area of the sitting angel which we were told was Raphael. We did not see anything, but what we felt, was truly amazing. For me, it was as if I was touching electrified air. My whole body could sense it and it was beautiful. The air felt different...sorta like that moment between lightning and thunder. I can't describe it any other way than like touching lightning with out getting hurt. It is something one would never forget. A few days later, the news reported that the little girl was very sad b/c the angels had left and that their purpose was served. Now you must understand that I was raised in a Catholic home and school. My mom often prayed the rosary and we went to Sunday Mass. My Dad, even though he went to Mass w/ us, was not Catholic. He is from Denmark and was baptised Lutheran. A few years after the angel experience, he converted to Catholicism. In early 2000, he said he would like to become a Catholic Deacon and entered the church's educational system and earned a degree in Theology and was shortly thereafter was ordained a Catholic Deacon. A few days before his ordination, I asked him why he felt he had been called to the church in such a profound way. He said that many years ago, when we had gone to experience the archangels, that he had been so moved by the experience and made a promise to be closer to the church and be a servant of the church. It was such a lovely moment to see how hard my Dad had worked...all his life and at this, as well. He is awesome that way. While shopping at Dillards for something to wear to the ordination, I had decided upon a pair of dressy capris and the designer label said "RAPHAEL" on it. I laughed to myself thinking how odd it was and it made me like the capris even more so. On the day of the ordination, as I took the capris out of the closet, I noticed the label again and thought to myself wouldn't it be nice if the 3 archangels, especially Raphael, who my dad had made a promise was at the ordination. I remember even thinking how neat it would be if they were watching from the church rafters. I had thought back to that night long ago when we stood so long in a line and how the experience was so amazing and worth it. After the ceremony, a reception was held for my Dad in the church gym. I had walked over to admire the cake and the lady in charge of slicing it had told me no one had offered to sponsor the cost of the cake and that the church would pay for it. I walked back to where my husband was standing and told him the cake situation and we agreed to go back and tell the lady that we would pay the cost of the cake. After saying hello to old friends and familiar faces, I walked back to the cake lady and told her that after the reception, my husband and I would cover the costs of the cake. She was so happy to tell me that someone else had come up and told her that they paid for the cake and left the money in the rectory. I asked her who it was so that I could say thanks and she said she did not know who this person was and that he had asked to remain anonymous. How strange, I thought. I took a slice of cake from her and after taking a bite, I realized the cake was not just good, it was delicious! Super Delicious! I asked the lady which bakery made the cake and she said, "Raphael's Bakery". I was so surprised. Being born and raised in Houston, I had never heard of a Raphael's Bakery. I asked her where is this bakery and she herself did not know where it was and had not heard of it either. I asked her how she knew and she said, the anonymous person said it had come from Raphael's Bakery and was willing to pay the costs. Of course, she did not know how significant this moment was to me. I walked away after devouring the slice of delicious cake with such a happiness in my heart at this rare situation of angelic proportions, in my opinion. Later that day, at home, I searched the Internet, the Yellow Pages, and other resources for a Raphael's Bakery and found nothing. It was strange. I decided to chalk it up to divine intervention. This is now the inspiration behind my new blog, Raphael's Bakery . It is a chance to share that I believe angels really do exists and make themselves known in the most peculiar ways...whether it be to a little girl in a harsh crime-infested neighborhood of Houston or to my mom as a little girl, or in the form of a cake and an anonymous sponsor at my Dad's ordination. I will, of course, keep my blogging fever going with this blog, K{IR}STEN, as my main blog b/c it is afterall my mixed bag of life. But, I will be posting all yummy good things that come out of my kitchen on Raphael's Bakery. So stop on over when you are craving an angelically inspired treat. I will enjoy seeing you either here or there.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten