The stars were still twinkling in the darkness. Soon the first faint light of dawn would streak the skies. Summer was just beginning that early June morning (1978). In downtown Boise, St. Michael's Cathedral bells struck 3 AM. Here and there the fragrance of the early summer roses was wafted by a slight breeze, Boise slept. What would those sleeping people have said had they known that this day, in the twentieth century, the angel Gabriel would be sent from God to a parsonage on the outskirts of their town, sent to one of their own pastors, with a message directly from the heart of God?
Pastor Roland Buck had pastored in Boise for twenty-nine years. These had been good years, years of steady growth in his church, seeing many people meet Jesus Christ. He was a man solid in his faith. His congregation loved him, his family adored him. He and his wife, Charmian had a beautiful relationship that had grown strong in thirty-six years of marriage.
Pastor Buck was in a deep sleep, enjoying the rest of a man who is at peace with his Creator. Suddenly his sleep was shattered. He was grasped by two giant hands! Although he was an unusually strong man, the grip on his shoulders was so powerful, he couldn't even move. Pastor Buck's heart was beating like a sledgehammer. Was he awake or asleep? The two strong hands sat him up in bed. Against the faint light coming thru the window, he could see the outline of a huge form. A voice boomed out, "Pastor, I have a message for you from the Father. A message that He will help you bring to the whole world!"
In the weeks prior to this, God had really laid the plight of families on Pastor Buck's heart. In his counseling ministry, he noticed that it seemed as if the enemy was trying to get at God by attacking the very foundations of the home. As a result he had been preaching messages on the family, and how much it means to God.
The angel went on, "The Father has noticed your concern, and He is happy with you. He wants you to tell people that He has heard their prayers for their families, and He is sending a host of angels over the whole earth to push, prod, and do whatever is necessary to bring people to a point of accepting Him."
The sun had risen when the angel finally left. He had illuminated many beautiful truths from God's Word to Pastor Buck's heart during this visit. The angel told him to bring the message of God's care to his congregation that Sunday morning.
Pastor Buck had already prepared a good message for his congregation. He shared with his wife what had happened to him. He said to her, "I've been here for twenty-nine years and I have built up credibility in this community. How can I share this?"
He finally decided to wait, and he gave the message he had prepared.
Two weeks passed and, once again, he was awakened by the same big hands sitting him up in bed. "Pastor," the angel said, "you haven't given the message that the Father told you to give!" Pastor Buck said, "Oh, but I will, I will!" He expected the angel to chide with him, but instead he said, "The Father knows how you feel, and He will be with you, and help you to obey Him!"
Pastor Buck then asked the angel, "Who are you?" The angel replied, "I am mentioned in Luke 1:13-19 (... 19 Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel, I stand in the very presence of God. It was He who sent me to bring you this good news!)."
Again that night the angel shared with Pastor Buck for many hours about the beautiful nature of God. Both times the angel had been there, pastor was overwhelmed by the presence of God that radiated from him. It was so awesome that he could hardly talk about this experience for some time.
The next morning, Pastor Buck and Charmian looked up the Scripture references that had been given by the angel to let them know who he was. They were overwhelmed as they read Luke 1:19, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news."
That Sunday, Pastor Buck laid his credibility on the line, along with the twenty-nine years he had ministered in Boise, and obeyed God by sharing the message given by divine messenger. It was entitled, "Good News for You and Your Family!"
In the two years that followed, Pastor Buck had twenty six more visits from the angels. Many of these are described in his book, Angels on Assignment as told by him to Charles and Frances Hunter. The last nine visits are shared in this book.
This is the story of the man, Roland Buck, a man chosen by God to bring a message to the world. A message telling of God's love and care. A message letting people know that God is and always will be in control of the affairs of man. Roland Buck was not a mystical person, and he was not super spiritual. He was simply an ordinary man who obeyed God and his obedience led up to that moment of destiny in the wee hours of the morning of June 18, 1978.
Roland Buck was my dad.
My dad was a great storyteller and thru the years I had been treated to many stories from his childhood. When I began to research his life for this book; and as his brothers, sisters and friends shared bits and pieces of the memories they had, I was thrilled. I saw the thread of God's presence and direction in his life stretching back before he was born. I began to understand why my father was the kind of person I loved so dearly.
I'm going to step out of the picture in the next few chapters and tell the story of his life before I came on the scene as it was told to me by his family and friends, all wrapped up in the flavor of the many stories he told me about when he was a little boy.
Next: An Unmatched Pair