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‘Angel’ priest vanishes after visiting car crash

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Katie Lentz, a Tulane University sophomore seen here on the campus of Tulane University at Crawfest 2013, was visited by angel priest at the seen of her horrific accident scene after her car was struck by a drunk driver (Credit: Katie Lentz via Facebook)

Katie Lentz, a sophomore at Tulane University, was driving on the highway when her car collided with another vehicle near Center, Missouri.  Her vehicle was crushed into a ball of sheet metal, lying on the driver’s side.  Emergency workers tried for more than 45 minutes to free her.  Pieces of equipment broke and the team was running out of options.  Lentz was calm, but her vital signs were beginning to fail.

The firefighters then decided to set the vehicle upright.  This was a last-ditch effort to save her, as the movement could exacerbate her injuries.  When she asked if someone would pray for her, a voice said, “I will.”  A silver-haired priest in his 50s or 60s stepped forward.  The emergency personnel thought his presence odd, as the street was blocked two miles from the accident.

He prayed openly with Katie, then anointed her with oil. Things then moved quickly.  Firefighters sat the car upright, Katie’s vital signs improved, and a rescue team from a neighboring community suddenly appeared with fresh equipment and tools.  Lentz was removed and flown to the hospital.  She broke both femurs, a tibia and fibula, her left wrist and nine ribs, and lacerated her liver, ruptured her spleen and bruised her lung.  Nonetheless, she is expected to recover.

Here’s the most amazing part of the story: When the rescue team went back to thank the priest, he was gone.  No one from area churches knew who he was.  The fire chief took 69 photos of the accident, including scenes where the priest participated, but he is not in any of them.  Katie’s mother believes he could have been an angel.

The Bible says that angels are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).  It adds that we sometimes meet “angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).  In a skeptical culture which measures reality by what we can prove, it’s good to remind ourselves occasionally that God’s presence is more pervasive and powerful than we can imagine.

Do you have an angel story?

Here’s one of mine: In high school I was driving home late from my church’s New Year’s Eve party.  My car was a 1966 Dodge Dart, one of the slowest vehicles on the road.  I was preparing to cross over the two westbound lanes of Gessner Road in southwest Houston, then cross the median and turn on the eastbound side.  I checked for oncoming traffic and saw a car coming my way.  It appeared to be at least a quarter-mile from me, so I started into the intersection.  When I looked again, it was less than 10 feet away from my door.  The driver must have been traveling at least 70 mph; I’ve often wondered since if he was drunk.  There was no way my car could accelerate in time to avoid the collision.

The next instant, I found myself across the median and on the eastbound side of the road.  It was as though someone picked up my car and set it there, saving my life.  I will always believe that Someone did.  As the chorus says, “Oh, how he loves you and me.”