Excerpt from Hebrews 13:2-9
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Reflection by Lillian Daniel
My flight to Louisville, where I had a speaking engagement that night, was cancelled due to bad weather. Ahead of me in the long line were all the people whose flights had been cancelled the day before. I began comparing notes about travel woes with the two guys next to me.
It’s a six-hour drive to Louisville from Chicago, and I had my car parked at the airport. “Anyone want a ride to Louisville?” I asked, half jokingly.
“You bet,” they both said at once. What had I just gotten myself into? What if they were axe murderers? Or worse still, compulsive talkers?
“I hope you two are trustworthy people,” I said, not entirely joking
“I most certainly am!” said the middle-aged man, who whipped out his military ID with a salute. “Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, on my way to Louisville for my final physical before I retire, after 38 years of service.”
Suddenly, a third young man standing behind the three of us blurted out, “Can I come, too? I’m a trustworthy person—a Presbyterian minister on my way to a conference.” How could I say no?
Once we were in the car, the terrible road conditions made me nervous, but not as nervous as my passengers. One man offered to take over the driving so many times it was almost rude. Finally I said to him, “OK, we’ve heard what everyone else does for living. What do you do?”
“I’m a professional stunt car driver,” he explained. Oh, the Lord does provide.
I had found the only driver capable of getting me to my speaking engagement on time, and he did it, with fifteen minutes to spare.
Later people told me I was crazy, but none of us would have gotten there alone. Life’s just better when we help each other.
And now I have the beginnings of good joke. “Two ministers, a lieutenant colonel and a stunt driver walk into a bar…”
Lord, thank you for making the stranger my neighbor. Amen.
About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the author, with Martin Copenhaver, of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”
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