Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
- Hebrews 13:2
It was the middle of January, with unseasonably cold and miserable weather for Texas. Rain was coming down in sheets. We were on our way home from a family dinner night. As we sat at the busy intersection waiting for the light to change, we couldn’t help but notice a woman standing on the corner fighting the wind and rain with her umbrella—the wind finally turning the umbrella inside out as the rain pelted the woman in the cold darkness.
“Oh no!” my daughter said. And we all groaned in sympathy. I told my daughter, “Well, at least she will get out of this weather. Here comes the bus!”
However, as we watched, the bus didn’t stop, and as it passed the woman, it splashed water all over her, drenching her even more. Frantically, the woman tried to get the bus’s attention, waving her arms and yelling! The bus driver tapped his brakes, and for a moment, it seemed he was going to stop, but he didn’t. Finally, in utter frustration, the woman threw her broken umbrella to the ground and buried her face in her hands, sobbing.
Everyone gasped at this poor woman’s bad luck as we all watched from the dry, warm car. Immediately, all three generations of women in the car started giving directions to my poor dad, who happened to be driving. “Turn the car around!” my mom yelled. “We have to help her,” we were all shouting.
So my dad made a U-turn, and we pulled up beside the soaking woman and asked her if she needed a ride. Crying, she looked up and mainly saw all women in the vehicle; and said, “Oh my gosh, yes! I don’t know why the bus didn’t stop for me. Since I missed it, I was going to miss my connecting bus home, and I had no idea what I would do!”
We drove around the corner to my parent’s house, dropped off my son and dad, and got the woman a towel to dry her face. Then all the women piled back into the car to drive the woman home. We talked and laughed all the way to her house across town. As we began to get to know her, we learned that she had just lost her mother and was living with her father. She had just started a new job that day! In addition, she had to take the bus to work because her car had been totaled the previous week in an accident.
When we got to her small home, she invited us in to give us one of the pies she had made. On the way home, we talked among ourselves about how glad we were that we had stopped.
Then, I started thinking about what prompted us to react the same way. Why did we all want to help the woman? As humans, most of us desire to prevent suffering. It is that emotional reaction to reach out and do something when we can. But, being related, my mom, daughter, and I each had the same response. Not just because we are blood relatives but because we are believers in Christ. Through actions of service or compassion, we demonstrate and express love to others. Lastly, God uses us as believers to minister to each other. It always seems to do my heart good when someone has ministered to me.
Today, take a moment to pray and ask God to bring to mind someone who could use a little touch of joy or a reminder of His love. Then act on that good intention. You will be so glad you did.
Prayer: God, please let me be an extension of you. Help me be mindful of those hurting around me as I show them your love!