ANGELS AMONG US
Today we encounter angels of another kind: the strangers in our midst. A stranger is someone we do not know, or who has not experienced something, or who is in a new and unfamiliar place. We have all been among strangers, and we have all been strangers ourselves, many times in our lives. Strangers are everywhere. Angels are everywhere!
Light the Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherd and Angel Candles.
Hebrews 13:1-2 (NRSV)
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Our opportunities for hospitality abound. Hospitality doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to invite complete strangers into our homes, but we do need to invite them into our spaces, our hearts, our conversations. Hospitality is our warm and caring presence, our friendly and generous treatment of those around us.
In her article, “How One Person Can Impact Your Life,” Alexandra Meyers writes:
I have known several people who have impacted my life and, unsurprisingly, those moments have all been when I am in an unfamiliar place where I am forced out of my comfort zone… Sometimes it’s hard to see that these people exist everywhere, because we are afraid to open up and be vulnerable with someone we are not familiar with…¹
Jim and I had opportunities to be Presences of Peace with our dear friend, Beth (A Tribute to Beth). As Beth often struggled with mental anguish, I tried to surround her with activities that fostered normalcy and joy, creating moments of peace for her. One of my favorite memories is when I made Christmas cookies. We chatted and laughed as she ate cookie dough and sampled some of my finished goodies.
Beth may have had a few moments of precious peace that day, but I was blessed by her uncanny insights, her joy in the simple things, and for the opportunity to be kind. Beth was God’s Presence of Peace for me, a stranger who became an angel in our lives.
Prayer: God of our deepest peace, thank you for the unexpected angels in our lives. Help us to be unexpected angels for others, too. Guide us to be hospitable, wherever we are. Amen.