Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

Showing Hospitality To Angels

A few weeks ago I gave a message highlighting the text in Hebrews 13:2 that states: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Not long after that, I heard a report of a person who said, “Remember that message on showing hospitality to angels…well it happened to me this week.”

The more I thought about that, the more I realized it happens to all of us, more than we realize, if we will be mindful to the work of God in us and through us.

A few days ago my wife and I were taking a drive around the community where I first served as a pastor more than three decades ago. After a morning drive we started looking for a place to have lunch. We stopped at the first place we passed; an Italian restaurant that we had never noticed before, or stopped at. When we went inside we were immediately seated by the only server on duty that day–a gregarious woman with a thick accent (that means “non southern” accent to me). She bantered with us about the menu and our order, once turning to my wife and asking, “Has he been treating you well? Because if he hasn’t I won’t take his order!”

My wife was able to persuade the server that I had indeed been treating her well, though it took some doing to convince her…

Throughout our delightful lunch the woman came over to check on us, and each time she seemed to share more about more about herself. Finally she asked, “Guess my accent…no, I am not Italian…and I am not Hispanic.” Of course I was going to guess either Italian or Hispanic… She replied, “I am from Damascus, Syria, have you ever been there?” I said “no.” I wanted to say I had stood on the Israeli border and looked into Syria, but that didn’t seem to count. At this point, our server became quite emotional. She told us that she is an American citizen, but all of her family remains in Damascus and they are in constant danger and difficulty. She specifically mentioned the health needs of her mother, and how the US government would not allow her to bring her mother here to receive medical treatment. She told us how torn she is–wanting to return to Damascus to be with her family, but also knowing that working six days a week to make money to send them is how she can take care of them. The more she talked to us, the more our hearts went out to her.

Finally, as we were finishing our lunch she said to us, “Please pray for me and for my family. We are all suffering.” My wife and I agreed that we would. As she walked away my wife called out and asked, “What is your name so we can pray for you?”

She replied, “Angela.”

I couldn’t help but wonder if I had just experienced a Hebrews 13:2 moment…

 

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