Entertaining Angels | Hebrews 13:1-2

Welcome to Real Life.   A man once asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”  He basically replied, “Everyone.”  Anyone who shows mercy to someone in need is their neighbor.[1]

My father has lived in Slovakia, France, Brazil and America.  Yet, for a few years this world traveler was afraid to board an airplane.  One of those years, mom arrived alone at the airport for our Christmas visit.  Dad stayed home in Daytona Beach.

On New Year’s Day, she called my dad.   He told her this story:
The afternoon of New Year’s Eve, my father had been out running errands and was waiting for a bus home.  Being a friendly guy, he struck up a conversation with a stranger at the bus stop.  The man had fallen on hard times.  He was homeless.   Since dad was on his own, he invited the stranger to have dinner with him.  They rode the bus home together and dad cooked his “whatever’s-in-the-fridge” goulash for supper.  After eating, they spent the evening watching TV.  Eventually, my father fell asleep on the couch.  When he awoke to a new day and a new year, the stranger was gone.
Mom was horrified, “You could have been murdered in your sleep.  We could have been robbed.”  But, the stranger left without taking anything - not food, not a thing from the house, not even my dad’s wallet.

When he was a young man, my father wandered Europe as a homeless refugee after World War II.  He had slept under the stars on cold nights.  He had been hungry and penniless.  He had spent holidays alone, far from home and family.  It was natural for him to offer food and shelter to a fellow human being in need on New Year’s Eve.

Could the stranger have been an angel in disguise?
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.  Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”  (Hebrews 13:1-2 NLT)
If he had been an angel, dad passed the test.  Would I pass?  Yes, women must be careful.  Many warm-hearted, naive women have been harmed or even murdered helping strangers.  However, in my carefulness has my heart grown hard towards the downtrodden?  Have my ears grown deaf to the Spirit's nudge, “You can help that person”?  Have I missed the opportunity to entertain an angel?



Dear Lord, as I enter this new year, keep my heart warm and compassionate in our cynical world.  Open my ears to your voice.  And give me the wisdom to know when and how to be a neighbor to those in need.  May I see your face in the face of a stranger.  Amen.

Something to think about…
  • Read further:  “Entertaining Angels” Study Guide by Robert B. Kruschwitz, Director of the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University.
  • Help the homeless in… 
          Cleveland:  www.thecitymission.org
          Akron:  www.havenofrest.org
          Around the world:  www.salvationarmy.com



[1] Luke 10:29-37 (Parable of the Good Samaritan)
Image from: http://www.vabenefitblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/322639083_4e180c3c4a.jpg

Comments

  1. A beautiful story, Peggi.

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  2. Thanks, Stef. It always moves me when I think about it. I'll always remember our shock that New Year's Day when we learned how dad had spent New Year's Eve. :)

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  3. I just read your article "Trying So Hard" in the January 2012 issue of the P31 Woman magazine and could so relate. God has really been speaking to my heart over the last year about letting go of my performance tendencies and resting in HIS grace that is all sufficient. It's a daily journey for me in learning how to not focus so much on performance and doing but just being. Thank you for writing the article. It is another piece of the puzzle HE is using to help me on my journey : )

    Sweet Blessings,
    Pam

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  4. Hi Pam,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to find my blog. Your comment was a gift to me today. :) I still fight the tendency to "perform." I wrote in an e-mail to my women's Sunday school class just today, "I can so easily make doing things for God my priority – rather than spending time with God." But, it is freeing to know the truth and to walk in God's love and grace.
    I'm praying for you today, Pam, as you focus on being rather than doing in 2012!
    Peggi

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  5. I loved reading your "Entertaining Angels" story about your dad. He was truly "neighbor" to someone in need. This challenges me to be more loving and compassionate to all that come to me on this path of life. Also, I read the story of your mom and dad at the care center where they reside. My mom is there as well. The story of your mom and dad is truly amazing and a testimony of God working in our lives, shaping our destiny towards Him. My mom enjoys being with your parents, as she is also Slovak. Your parents inspire me, my family, and our mom.
    Looking forward to seeing you too.
    Anna Kern

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  6. Hi Anna,
    Thanks for taking the time to look up my blog and comment! :) Mom and dad were thrilled to be featured in the East Park newsletter this month. Their "stories" always inspire me, too. Your parents also endured much in coming to America - new land, language, culture, etc. We are blessed! Hope to see you soon at East Park! Peggi Tustan

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