Hebrews 13: 1- 2 Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
I was sitting quietly at the edge of the bay this afternoon when I saw him.
He was deeply tanned, so tan it was clear he spent the majority of his time outside. He wore only torn shorts, and he was heavily tattooed. His long, matted hair had not seen a shower in some time and the dirty fisherman’s hat he wore should have been thrown out years ago. He shuffled towards me, speaking under his breath, and I began to get anxious.
It wasn’t just his presence that was intimidating – it was the knives hanging from his worn belt. I eyed them as he got closer and closer, and looked around to see if anyone else was within an acceptable distance to keep him from doing me any harm. They were not.
I began to pray for the Holy Spirit to show up and protect me.
And He showed up.
But in a way I never expected.
As the man approached me, he took off his hat. He never made eye contact with me, but glanced at the Bible in my lap, bowed his head slightly and said “May God bless you today, ma’am” and moved on.
“God bless you too! ” I said.
I felt entirely hypocritical and saddened with my own gut level fear of this man who had done nothing to deserve it.
But God wasn’t done with his lesson yet. Ten minutes later, I sensed his shadow falling across my Bible and I looked up. He placed an old McDonald’s cup, filled with bay water and a slightly withered flower, at my feet. As he placed it down, the petals were already falling off.
“From an old southern gentleman, to a beautiful young lady” he said, nodding his head and moving on. He would not come near me again.
I sat there stunned. Prayers raced through my mind. “Lord, forgive me, Forgive this heart which has come so far but yet is still so far from Your heart of love.” After all these years of proclaiming God’s love, of learning to love and respect people not like me, I still have so far to go to be anything like Him.
And as I packed up my things, carefully transporting the flower and cup to my car, I saw him again; spear fishing in the Bay for his dinner, using assorted knives he kept on him.
Lord, give me Your eyes. I don’t want to be blind anymore.