Friday, October 16, 2015

Entertaining Angels

There were several strangers in Boston that showed me kindness. The hotel desk clerk helped me in my panic over how to use the public transit, and then put me in the best room in the hotel! A sweet couple offered to drive me home one night when I got lost walking (while I was purposely avoiding public transit.) A waiter hugged me and told me his redemptive life story when he saw me growing emotional over some personal issues.

The kindness of strangers touched me deeply. I always think of a big city like Boston as being impersonal, and frightening. However, there were several times I was lost, or needed help in one way or another. Each time, someone reached out to me, with no apparent motive other than seeing my need, and responding.

I biked the glorious path along the Charles River for two hours before leaving this beautiful city. While biking, I contemplated all the gentle and kind people who had offered unexpected help. The verse came to mind: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.(Hebrews 13:2)

While biking and meditating on that verse, I realized I have always interpreted it incorrectly. It is not that the ones helping strangers are angels, but by showing kindness to strangers, we may be assisting angels without knowing it! The strangers are the angels! What a lovely thought. By extending hospitality to strangers, we may be serving our Lord's heavenly host! Of course,  they are then winging back to God and telling Him what we have done. I am certain it is always beneficial to be on the good side of angels.

I drove back to my parents' home thinking how much I was going to miss Boston, and how deeply touched I was by all those people,  angels or not, that had helped me. How important it is to look for strangers to help! When one is in the midst of struggle, a kind word or outstretched hand, or spontaneous hug heralds the comfort of Heaven.


1 John 3:17 

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ ...

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 comment: