name='verify-v1'/> Big God - little d: Entertaining Angels

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Entertaining Angels

"In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple He heard my voice;
my cry came before Him, into His ears."--Psalm 18:6 (NIV)

The small chapel, located on the top of the cruise ship, was warm with filtered sunlight. I sat next to a family member and listened, as she poured out a heart heavy with grief and anger. Before long, the air was thick with the suffocating combination of heavy emotions and tropical heat.

My words of comfort fell on ears, too wounded to hear. The situation was on a downward spiral and I didn't know what to do.

Lord, help!

Moments later, the chapel door opened. An elderly woman slowly shuffled in, barging headfirst into what was, clearly, an emotional and private moment. She apologized even as she continued heading for the front of the room, all the while maintaining a running dialogue...

"Am I interrupting? I'm sorry I just had to come here. I'm 80+ years old. I've had cancer in my arm. See how it is all swollen up? God has seen me through. I didn't even know if I was going to be able to go on this cruise. I just had to come up here and sing. I've had other health issues. I shouldn't even be alive, right now, but I am. I just needed to come up here and sing a song to God. He is so good, isn't He? Sometimes you just have to sing, don't you?"

At which point, she stood behind the lectern, hung on for dear life, and began belting out an old hymn of praise and faith that completely captivated me and the one I sat alongside. One verse after another, her voice was sure and strong as she sang of God's love and goodness. Unabashed joy and love were all over her face. I sat and wept at the beauty of her faith, my companion in tears, as well. It was an incredible moment of worship for all of us.

When her song was over, we thanked her for sharing her story and her song with us. Picking up her monologue, right where she had left off, she shuffled for the door. Her voice was cut off as the swinging door closed behind her.

Both of us smiling, we sat in stunned, delighted silence. The air in the room was cool and fresh, as if a strong wind had blown through and cleaned house. Half-kidding, half-serious, my companion offered up a thought,

"Surely she was an angel. I wouldn't be surprised if she never shows up anywhere else on this boat."

Neither one of us ever saw her again.

"Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" --Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

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