Monday, 23 July 2012

Do Angels Smoke Pipes?

 Do Angels Smoke Pipes?

Some years ago Pauline and I were on a visit to Nigeria.  I have a rule: don’t carry too much cash.  We had £30.00 between us.  We had flown into Lagos from Accra, Ghana.  We presented ourselves at passport control and one of the officers said, “I need to see the £200.00 that you will change into Naira as you enter the country.”  I explained that between us we only had £30.00, but I had a credit card.

This made no difference whatsoever, he insisted that I was lying and demanded to see the £200.00 or, he said, “We will return you to where you came from.”  What could I do?  The answer to this question was made for me by the officer; he lifted his rifle, stuck it in my ribs, and marched me and Pauline down the long corridor back to the aeroplane on which we had arrived.  It had taken a long time to queue to get to passport control and our incoming plane had already departed.  The soldier then decided that I would have to go to prison and, he said, “Your wife will go to the women’s prison.”  Neither Pauline or I were impressed with this idea so I said, “can I try something?”  He looked at me suspiciously, pushed the gun a little harder into my ribs, and growled “what are you going to try?”  “Well,” I said, “I thought I might ask someone to give me some money.”  He pulled the gun out of my ribs and slung it up onto his shoulder, looked at me steely eyed and said, “are you mad?”

“Not really,” I replied, “but anything is better than going to prison, so will you let me try?”  “Who will you ask?” he said.  I looked around for a friendly face in the myriads of people waiting to fly out, which is what Pauline wanted to do right there and then.  I spotted a man leaning against a wall smoking a pipe, I said to my gun totting guard, “him over there.”  He shrugged and said, “this should be fun, I am coming with you.”  Our party of three made their way over to the pipe smoker.  I opened the conversation, “excuse me do you speak English?”  The man replied, “Just a little.”  I explained that the gun wielding soldier was inclined to put me in prison as I did not have the required £200.00 to change into Naira, could he help.  Much to my guard’s amazement the man said, “of course, I will go to the bank outside and get it for you.”  A few moments later he was back with £200.00 Stirling.  “There you are,” he said.  I thanked him profusely and said, “I need to pay you back, when I get back to the UK where should I send it?”  He laughed and at my insistence wrote something on a piece of paper which I carefully stowed in my wallet.  We said our farewells and my now, somewhat quieter, guard escorted us back to passport control.

At the counter he announced, “They have the £200.00!”  “Oh they’ve found it have they!” The man in the booth responded.  “No,” the guard said, “I have just seen the most amazing thing; a man gave them the money”.  I chipped in, “Well I did pray to God before I spoke to him.”  A hush descended, they stamped our passports, and we were waved through.

There is more to this story which maybe I will save to my next blog, however, while in Nigeria, I took many the names, addresses and business cards of many people, all of which I tucked into the same place that I had put pipe-smoking-man’s piece of paper.  My intention was to write to everyone on my return to the UK including writing to and repaying Mr Pipe-smoker.  On my return to the UK every piece of paper was still safely stowed, and I started and succeeded in writing to every person, all except Mr Pipe-smoker.  His piece of paper was missing, and even though I turned out my wallet and luggage, it was nowhere to be found.  All the other address details were there. 

I wanted to pay back my friend, but as his details had disappeared I was not able to do this.  Who was he, where is he, why he gave me the money I have no idea.  Perhaps if he reads this, he will let me know.  My thoughts about it, perhaps, maybe, it was no ordinary man.  How extraordinary that he gave me £200.00 very quickly, very easily, without any argument, debate, and with very little forethought.  At the time, because I was so stressed, I did not think these elements through.  If angels smoke pipes I want to say thank you to God for sending that particular pipe-smoker at the perfect moment.

Adrian Hawkes
Edited by Edited by Technicolour text
W. 827


  1. Marie Anna:
    I Dislike the fact that the guy was ready to send yourself & your wife to jail over a rule he made up on the spot. He made up that rule because of your race & skin colour so he's assumed that your rich, but I love the fact that the "angel" did something which is very much surprising for a stranger to do.

  2. Mari Day
    This story sounds dramatic Adrian. I hope you are ok?? Much love!

  3. Keith Lannon
    Fabulous story Adrian. Did you know that the UN have a committee/department that monitors corruption in various nations. For thirty odd years they had always statistically stated that Nigeria was the most corrupt nation in the world ..... that is ... until they put a Nigerian as the senior officer in that particular UN department. Ever since then the UN have stated that Nigeria is the third most corrupt nation on the planet, after Haiti and Bangladesh. I could laugh if it wasn't for the fact that certain bodies take those statistics very seriously. Also, as you know I lived in Nigeria for just over two years and had more than a few exits and entrances "on business" for TB Joshua. They always tried it on me too, but the moment I mentioned TB Joshua's name, or "I have come to see TB Joshua as one of his colleagues", I always got treated like royalty. In the end, he (TBJ) invented some fantastic looking credentials with his signature, photo, and title of "Pastor" at his church written on it. After that I just walked through the airport almost like a VIP. Try it next time, take one of his telephone numbers and mention his name. As for angels smoking pipes...the book says that God dwells in a dark cloud....Am I being disrespectful to suggest it might be cos of the Havana tobacco in angelic trumpets....that are really!!!

  4. Allan Stevens
    Amazing. And the funny thing is Jan and I were having a conversation yesterday about our experiences of possibly angelic encounters and thoughts about Heb 13:2.

  5. Richard T. Sandbach
    Are we looking for another?? Seems like we NEED Another less noticeable!!! LOL--but Praying

  6. Rosie Honor
    Yes Adrian I beieive in pipe smoking Angels.. Paul said I c an be all things to all men. I had an angel as a dustman(Refuge collector) just before I left the UK ,one night as I came back home after a night at Westminter chapel to hear Jesse Duplantis speak I was awaiting Visa and confirmation of my intending immigration to Australia I had also been very sick one thing after another... one drama after another....I heard a noise outside my basement as I went to investigate I saw my bin lid had been removed I discovered my rubbish gone and looked up onto the street and saw the back of a man who I know to be an angel with my rubbish on his shoulder and I heard the Lord say i am removing the rubbish from you The angel disappeared through the building facing me..From then I got better and my Visa was granted. Praise God for the Supernatural I have had a few encounters with them and Jesus, Amen!!!

  7. Lilian Veitia de Jaimes
    It is a good thing you didn't encounter any corrupt guard in Venezuela..we have tons sad to say! how is my baby girl doing in London, well, that should be another of your amazing stories.

  8. Tayna Muoria
    That is an amazing story praise god. Maybe angels do smoke pipes. Angels are always found in the oddest circumstance and in the oddest place doing the oddest things

  9. Wonderful Design Blogs, Such a great list. Thanks for sharing all these blogs all are very useful to every one.