Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
When I was a child, my mother would collect coins wherever she could find them – between couch cushions or on the sidewalk. We didn’t have a lot of money, but she would always keep an eye out for “spare” change. When she had collected enough, she would take me and my sisters to the store to buy us a candy bar or some other small treat.
One day, when she had saved enough for our trip to the store, a woman approached my mother as we were leaving with our treat of choice and asked her for money. My mother apologized and told her she didn’t have anything to give her.
The truth is, she had about a dollar remaining after buying a small reward for her children. She had searched for so long, for so little. She had planned to save what was left for a future trip to the store with my sisters and me.
We had only walked a few steps away from the woman when my mother, realizing the opportunity she had to help, turned to give her last dollar. But by then, the woman had vanished.
I was too young to remember this encounter. But when my mother told me the story years later, she shared Hebrews 13:2 with me, wondering if she had missed an opportunity to “entertain angels.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for the strangers you have sent me in my own times of need. As I make plans for the next day and the next week, would you prepare my heart for your plans as well. Help me recognize holy interruptions. Protect me and give me strength as I step out of my plans to show hospitality to those you’ve sent my way.
It’s not always easy to show hospitality in the moment. We’ve made plans for how we’re going to use our money, our attention, or our energy. For all the chances I’ve had to show some kindness to strangers, I’ve had my own experiences of turning around too late.
Yet, instead of being crushed by guilt, these missed opportunities have led me to prayer. I pray for the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to the see future interruptions of my plans as an invitation to participate with God as He works in the world.
As we open ourselves to these holy interruptions, maybe we’ll find out one day we had been entertaining angels.
Christmas Cards and Open Heartsy recently married cousin called the other day to ask if she needed to start sending Christmas cards now that she was officially an adult. She liked receiving cards but wasn’t sure that she was ready to get on board...
Light Workhated the idea of hanging Christmas lights outside of our home. I thought it was a waste of time to put up lights only to take them back down a few weeks later. My wife, on the other hand, had trouble imagining Christmas in our home...
The Wonder of Advents a child, I would eagerly await the arrival of December 1, the day we could start opening our Advent calendars. The thick, paper calendars – imported from Europe by my mom who’d spent most of her childhood there as a missionary...