There are those -- perhaps many -- who would claim that animals do not have a guardian angel. On behalf of my animals, I vehemently disagree. They have one and her name is Jill.
Now, Jill looks as you would expect an angel to look. She is pretty, very pretty in fact, with dark hair and a beautiful smile that lights up a room, and a giggle that will quickly envelope that room and make everyone else giggle.
She is a young wife and mother, but she moonlights as a guardian angel. Thank God for Jill.
A few months ago, a few of us girls were having a spa day to celebrate my sister's birthday. When it was finished and we all gathered to shower and change, Nicole, my niece who is also a best friend to Guardian Angel Jill, said, "Oh by the way, Jill called my cell while you were having your pedicure and said that one of your cows was out."
"Oh no!" Any farmer, little or big, knows that is a problem. "What did she say?"
Nicole recited the voicemail back. "Hi sweet friend. I'm coming by Ronda's house and one of her sweet cows is out. I thought she'd want to know."
Then -- and this is the part I love the best -- Nicole, rather than interrupt my peaceful pedicure with disturbing news from the farm, called my nephew, Rod, and told him. Then, like the sweet boy he is, he went right away down to my house and rounded up the wayward cow.
It was during the heavy flooding rains. Apparently, the young bull had slipped, gotten caught up in the swollen creek and was carried away. Somehow, he had scrambled his way back to safety and wandered home. Jill the Guardian Angel alerted us before things got serious, like the cow getting into the highway and winding up ground beef.
Several weeks later, the Guardian Angel appeared again. My driveway is the length of two football fields, so I often jog down it and walk back, repeating the cycle several times. One day, I finished my exercise and glanced around to see where Dew was. She, as usual, had her nose stuck in the bushes, trying to sniff out the cats.
My office is located in a bungalow across the creek, so I decided to walk over there and retrieve my mail. I never let Dixie Dew see me get on the road and cross the bridge because I don't want her trotting between my house and the office. Too dangerous.
I returned to the house and went in. A few minutes later, I decided to check on Dew. I couldn't find her, my instinct pushing me to walk down the drive. I looked down through the pasture, over the creek, across the other pasture and saw Dixie Dew as she trotted out of the driveway at my office, heading home. My heart stopped. I flew down the driveway, praying immediately, "Dear Lord, please put angels around her until I can get her." Cars fly across that bridge, paying no attention to the speed limit. I got halfway down the driveway and saw a white SUV slow to a crawl, inching behind Dew to protect her. I started waving to thank the driver. When I got to the road, out of breath, I discovered it was Jill the Guardian Angel.
"God bless you for taking care of my animals," I told the Guardian Angel, who giggled delightfully.
When I was little, I had a picture in my room, which I studied often, and still have. It is of two small children holding hands to cross a rickety, broken wooden bridge. Hovering over them was a big, smiling guardian angel.
Dixie Dew trotting across that bridge, followed in an SUV by her Guardian Angel, was a modern-day version of that print. Thank God for our angel.
Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of "What Southern Women Know About Faith." Visit www.rondarich.com to sign up for her weekly newsletter.