Rev. Steven R. Giddens
Stranger or Angel?
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. – Hebrews 13:2
In being open to the possibilities in which God can work and interact in this world, I have come to take a more literal view on Hebrews 13:2. I have a practice of being mindful and paying particularly close attention to those with whom I interact in public and to those who interact with me. I am constantly assessing and reflecting back on why I was drawn to engage a certain person or what it was that they said to me when they engaged me. This is not something I claim to be an expert at and sometimes I wonder if I am not completely crazy but there are times when someone has said something to me without context that has an effect on me. A woman on the street randomly says, “God loves you.” Or, a man on the bus once said, “You’re doing the right thing.” Why these or any other statement I could draw on for this example would mean anything without context is beyond me but, if I believe that God can speak to me through anyone, anytime, anywhere... it makes perfect sense. By this logic, I too can be a vessel for God delivering messages of hope and joy to others throughout my day. I like to think too that Jonah 1:17, “and God appointed a great fish...” means that God can appoint any created being, any creature great or small, to send messages to us or deliver us to the appointed path or direction that God intends. When my youngest brother was living with my wife and me, refusing to leave the house and go try to do things on his own for his own purposes a young cardinal fell from its nest and struggled on the ground dazed by the sudden loss of home and disassociation of its new reality. I sat and watched that Cardinal for hours as it tried to find a way on its own and even as it had to fend off a cat and a larger bird. Somehow in this witness, I knew that God was telling me to have sympathy for my brother's fears and concerns and to have patience as he gained the courage to leave and learn to fly.