Where it All Began

Clay MarlowThe Angel Behind the Gift
January 1, 2003

I have been so blessed in many ways by our good Lord, Jesus Christ. My heart is inflamed with a passion for him. Over the past four months, my life has been touched in a most special way. I would like to share my story with you, in hopes that it never dies and travels far. My desire is that it will inspire, heal, and bring joy to many people.

In February of 2002, I was relaxing on my sofa with my children and the Lord whispered a few simple words in my heart. He said, “Pick up your pencil and draw my children.” And with these words came the following scripture: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13

I immediately grabbed a paper and pencil and started to draw. I loved to draw as a child, but no more so than most children do. The first picture I drew that night showed an obvious talent, so I continued one after another, each one better than the last. This was the first time in 17 years my husband had seen me pick up a drawing pencil.

One week after I began drawing, I was making copies at Kinko’s for relatives. I was wondering, “Why me, Lord? Why have you given me this incredible talent so suddenly?” Shortly after I had arrived there, a lady came over and looked over my shoulder. She seemed to be impressed with my work. She insisted that I not put away my pictures, because there was another lady that she felt needed to see my work. As I waited, she went over to this other woman, pulled her by the arm over to where I was, and showed her what I had done. It only took two words for me to know that she was interested in having me draw for her. When I asked her what she wanted, she replied, “It’s not for me. It’s for my son. He was killed in a car accident 10 years ago.”

At that moment, I was overcome by the most wonderful, warm feeling in my heart and I knew that God had just given me my first assignment. The lady’s name was Sandy. Her son was Clay Marlowe. I told Sandy that I would be happy to draw for her. She was worried because she did not have any recent photos. I recalled having drawn my husband’s childhood picture, and noted how much I loved doing that. So, I told her to go through her photos and find the ones that were dearest to her heart; and I would work with that. I also ask her to write about Clay.

She wrote me the most beautiful two-page letter that could come only from a mother’s heart. In the last paragraph, she said that three days before she had met me, she prayed for a sign. She believed that I was her sign! I was touched.

I quickly set out to work on this new project. She had given me about 20 photos to choose from, and, without knowing it, I chose the two that were most dear to both her and her husband. When she came to pick up the drawings, her expression rewarded all of my efforts as she said tearfully, “ I feel as though I can reach out and hold him. They are perfect!”

Well, my curiosity was aroused, and I wanted to know more about this sign she had prayed for. She told me that for ten years she had avoided going down the road where Clay was killed. For some reason, on that day, she felt the need to go there. When she arrived at the spot where Clay was killed, she pulled over and said a prayer. She wanted to know if Clay was still with them. She wanted to know if he knew that his brother had had a child and that his sister was getting married. Most of all, she wanted to know that he was okay. So she asked him to send her a sign. Three days later, she met me! I was on fire with the gift that had been suddenly given to me.

Time passed and I continued to draw. On Mother’s Day, I again was drawn to Clay’s picture. I chose to draw the picture that is now on the front of my business card in memory of Clay Marlowe. Sandy was very excited. She told me that nothing could be more comforting to a mother who had suffered the loss of a child than to know that his image would live on through the work of another person.

Something truly amazing followed: I mentioned to Sandy that she needed to make sure she showed her friend that introduced us. She said, “Loree, I didn’t know that lady. I had never seen her before! She just stopped me in my work and pulled me over to you, and then she left.” There have been many times in my life when I felt the intervention of an angel. I do believe that woman was an angel, there for no other reason, then to bring us together. I would love to see that lady again to say thank you. That simple act of bringing Sandy and I together made a tremendous impact on both of our lives.

Weeks went by, and I continued to draw. One day, I mentioned to my daughter that I would be able to do much more if I had a drafting table. Having her father’s frugal mind, she reminded me that we needed to save money. I looked at her and said, “God gave me this talent and he knows what I need. If he wants me to pursue it, then he will provide.” Well, 15 minutes later the doorbell rang. It was Sandy. She had driven all the way over to my house just to tell me that Clay loved to draw, and that he had a drafting table stored in their warehouse. She said that Clay would have wanted me to have that table. I looked at my daughter and smiled, saying, “You see, I told you that God would know what I needed.”

As I was telling this story to a friend, she mentioned to me that she felt that Clay might possibly be my guardian angel. I felt it was a rather strange comment, but it definitely got my attention. I asked her to expand on her thoughts. She said that perhaps I was a vehicle for Clay, and God had given me this marvelous talent to share and comfort those around me. Clay was able, through me, to communicate with his mother and give her peace and comfort. Thus, according to my friend, God and Clay had chosen me to enlighten and inspire others through my drawing.

Whether or not Clay Marlowe is my guardian angel is something that I won’t know for sure in this lifetime. But he is definitely an angel in my life and he is with me to stay.