Encountering An Occasional Angel

I just read from Hebrews 13:2, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for some have entertained angels, unaware." I grinned and thought, I bet somebody I met last night thinks they encountered a real-life angel.

Our community is still reeling from the destruction Hurricane Harvey left behind last week. While I was filling my gas tank about 10PM last night, a young mother pulled up beside me. There were six pumping stations, and five were empty. She pulled in right beside me. Perhaps she felt safer beside an older conservative looking man than she might have felt standing alone late at night.

Her little girl of six or seven was hardly visible in the car, packed full of clothes and boxes and all kinds of items I couldn't recognize. Under the circumstances I knew they were storm victims, and this might have been all they salvaged from their home or apartment. They appeared sad and tired.

She popped the door to her gas tank, but stayed in her car, numbly staring ahead. I finished pumping my gas and observed her slumped over the steering wheel. I took out my credit card, ran it through the pump station on her side, and started pumping gas before she realized I was filling her tank. She jumped out of her car and ran to my car as I started my engine.

She gently knocked on my window as I fastened my seatbelt, preparing to leave. "Here, I have eight dollars, sir." She said as she wiped tears from her face. When I refused her cash she said, "I'd feel better if you took it."

"What? And rob me of a perfectly good blessing?"  I replied with a wink. I had just gotten eight dollars in change from a recent transaction, so I reached in my pocket and pulled it out. "Here," I said with a smile. "I'm supposed to give this to you so you can treat your daughter to a meal."

With a curious look, she reached out and took the eight dollars from my hand in a slow-motion. Appearing stunned, she softly said, "Thank you, sir. God bless you."

"He has, he does, and he will." I replied cheerfully. "And he's going to bless you too. Take heart, young lady." I smiled and drove away.

I glanced into my rear-view mirror to see her still standing like a statue, looking at the sixteen dollars she held as if she couldn't figure out where it came from. I turned onto the street and drove home, praying for her, and wishing I was in a position to do more.

When I read that verse from Hebrews this morning, I chuckled, "I bet she thinks she encountered a real angel last night." Then, I was struck with a sobering thought. I read the verse again and pondered, "I wonder if that young lady was really an angel. I might have just entertained an angel, unaware." Dear Lord, I hope I passed the test.

Eric ScottComment