Freedom of association demands godly wisdom
"Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a…
I met an angel today.
She called the church about an hour before it was time to start worship. (For preachers, that’s a really important time, you know!)
Her request was small: some gas to get back to Texas after a funeral.
I wish I had had a better attitude. I told her where to meet, at a gas station close to me. I grumbled on the way. Who believes this story? I certainly don’t. I frowned. Why did she call me? There are hundreds of churches in the phone book.
And who plans a trip without the funds to get back home?
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
— Hebrews 13:2, New International Version
I sat there for about five minutes. So self-important, I thought I’d just leave soon if she didn’t show up. I had things to do, and this imposition was just an interruption I could do without.
Then she drove up. I got out and pumped her gas. And while I pumped she talked with me. Her grandmother had died. She grew up in Monroe, but moved to Texas several years ago. She had to be back in Texas for work Monday. We talked about church and struggles …. and the gas tank was full.
“I’m a little ashamed to share this story, but I also think it is an encouragement to remember who Jesus called us to be.”
She said, “Would you pray for me to have a safe trip home?” as she held her hand in my direction.
I took her hand, prayed for her, pretty much ashamed of my own attitude about the whole situation.
I asked her what her name was.
She said, “Angel.”
I said, “I believe it.”
I’m a little ashamed to share this story, but I also think it is an encouragement to remember who Jesus called us to be.
So as not to take credit, funds given at Forsythe Church of Christ for benevolence created the opportunity for me to bless Angel in the name of Jesus.
I’m grateful. I hope I’m growing. I know I needed to meet Angel this morning.
JOHN DOBBS ministers for the Forsythe Church of Christ in Monroe, La. Read his blog, “Out Here Hope Remains” at johndobbs.com.
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