Every once in a while I think God just leaves His people love signs and this is a story of one of them. Joe Bergbower is a farmer and an artist. Joe attends the St. Thomas Catholic church in Newton, Illinois. There was a big tree in front of the church, and a while back a big storm came up and Joe said, “Blew the top out of the tree.”
With the top of the tree gone, it appeared to the children that attended the church, to look like an angel. So they started calling it, “The Angel Tree.”
The church was quite old, in fact, Joe said, “It was a landmark” and in time they decided to build a new one. When the new church came up, the tree needed to come down. Everyone was sad that the Angel Tree would be no more.
The plan was to use the tree for logs, After the tree was down they went to saw into it to make boards. It wasn’t long before they hit a square nail. After hitting a second one, the man was afraid to cut into the wood. Joe is sure the nails were embedded back in the 1890’s for a reason, and that reason was so that someday this Angel Tree could continue to serve it’s purpose as angels among us.
Since the tree was unusable for boards, Joe was able to take two 8′ x 2′ logs to a wood carver. He requested that the carver create two angels for him. While working the carver found more nails. The square nails found in the tree totaled five. “They found five nails, there are five senses,” Joe explained, “God had five nails put in this tree.”
The angels the carver created are lovely and the carver only charged Joe a small fee for all his work. The carvings are like a throne chair with a seat and with the angel hovering above. When Joe asked why he charged so little for the carvings and the man said, “You can’t charge for angels.”
Today one of the angels sits in his house, the other in his garage. “I come out in the morning,” Joe said. “I put my shoes on and say my prayers.”
After his angels were made, Joe had 200 small angels created that he has been giving away. My friend Jane Elliott and I were recently at Joe’s plow day and he gave us one. “Can’t we give you something for this?” we asked.
He reminded us, “You can’t charge for angels.”
I took my angel home and have it in my kitchen above my sink as a reminder that God and his Angels are watching over me and my family and you never know when and where you will find angels among us!