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a blessing from Miss Ophelia

A fisherwoman in her eighties shared more than her smile for our cameras.

Story behind the image

Our photography takes us traveling and on many occasions we run into extraordinary and unforgettable people. While on one of the small remote islands of the Bahamas, we ran into such a person.

Chatting with our Bahamian friend and guide, Presley, about all the unique folk that call his island home, he has an idea of someone special we could interview.

Miss Ophelia Smith.

We travel to the far north side of the island  and wait in the car while Presley goes into her house to see if she would take some visitors. She chews him out for not inviting us in directly.

At 86 she farms her own land. A fisherwoman too, she is strong as an ox and healthy as can be. We cram into her little blue house overlooking the bay and ask her if she could tell us some stories. With a giant smile that I will never forget she says she has only one story to tell.

It is about God.

For an hour this amazing woman describes the miracle of how her and her daughter were saved from drowning in a storm when her boat sank. She told us of her life raising 10 children on her beloved island. Over and over she proclaimed, "I am rich on God's grace". At one point as we were filming she looked at us and said how wonderful it was that God brought angels to talk with her (us) and then she paused, blinked twice and looked at her daughter Betty and said,

"Betty, go get them something cold to drink!".

We laughed. We knew that she was not entertaining angels unaware, it was only us, and we were the ones that were blessed. She told us about the day that her beloved husband died with her in his arms, "right on this couch after praying for all his children and saying how much he loved me".

I discovered that holding my little camera steady is tough while wiping tears with my sleeve. What made this woman so amazing was not that she had raised 10 children, or that she farmed and fished and was still healthy at 87. What made here amazing was the sheer spiritual goodness that exuded from her. Her humble surroundings did not hinder the vibe of holiness that came off of her in waves. It filled the air, and blessed us.

At the end of the visit as we were bidding farewell, she grabbed my hand with both of hers, gave it a tight squeeze, looked into my eyes and told me, "Be so good to your man and you will have blessings". It was like being touched by an angel. I will never forget it.

What a dear soul.

What an amazing place.

“I am rich on God’s grace!”

“I’m old but I am strong!”

you can find the images of Miss Ophelia here.

written by Blair Anderson

As well as being the founder of avisualplanet and one of its artists

Blair is also a contributing author to Christianity Today’s: Gifted for Leadership

rule to follow:

expect to find angels in humble places.