In July 2009 I was in Cambridge for a meeting related to a very important project, called The Way – an adult Orthodox catechism, also known as the ‘Orthodox Alpha’, and visited St. John’s College with Dr. David Frost, a fellow of this College and, at the time, Director of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, at the same university.
Visiting different rooms of the college, where only teachers had access, we started sharing experiences we had during our doctoral studies on providential moments, when the ‘dime dropped’, and we were able to find unexpectedly, on the shelves of academic libraries certain essential materials for the study we did.
At this point, while we were on the college bridge over the River Cams, Professor Frost asked me if I ever heard of the ‘angel of the stacks’, the unseen assistant whose hand directs the researcher towards the materials he or she needs, and to which otherwise they would never pay attention.
I found this metaphor absolutely fascinating and a plausible image for what I experienced in my study. So, I have decided to share it with you here, and I’m curious if other current or former students have also had such miraculous experiences.