“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Not all angels reside in Heaven. Some walk the earth just like YOU.
I know this because…..
As I was on my way back up from the lowest point in my life two years ago, I slowly began to notice that something “different” was happening to me. As I fought my way through some very dark days (and still do sometimes), I began to receive help from people I did not know. I mean like people on the phone with the electric company, people in Hobby Lobby, people at HEB, people on social media, friends of friends of friends….and the list goes on forever.
I would like to share the most recent encounters with you today. This just happened to me a few days ago.
My husband was headed out of town on a business trip. But due to car trouble with HIS car, he ended up taking MY car at the last minute, as so not to miss his flight. He kindly scheduled a driver to pick me up later that day to go pick up my car at the airport. This was NOT my ideal scenario by any means.
You see, since my son died tragically and so publicly 2 years ago, I have become very untrusting (and, ok, scared) of people I do not know sometimes. I get no warning usually; it just happens.
I was trying to be brave that I was about to drive an hour away with a perfect stranger in an unfamiliar vehicle. I was overcome with anxiety. “Should I bring my puppy? Should I not bring my puppy? I really hope this isn’t going to be a bad experience.” I really needed some kind of hand holding, but there was no hand to hold.
As the Lord would have it, I ‘couldn’t’ bring my puppy because I wanted to go by the hospital out by the airport to see a dear friend.
I could feel the anxiety creeping in as my heart beat faster and faster. “I can do this. I can do this. It will be ok.” I saw a nice shiny black car drive up. I took a deep breath, and I walked outside.
I want you to know that standing there beside the car stood the sweetest looking little elderly man. He was dressed so nice in a white long sleeved shirt with a tie, nice dress pants and shoes. I took one look at him and I was completely at ease.
The drive started out with the usual formalities, and directions of course. I told the driver where I needed to go, and he made it clear several times that he was not allowed to go into the parking garage. But, he said, “I’ll drop you where you can take an elevator to the garage.” I was fine with that, and we drove on toward the airport.
I pulled out my phone because I thought, “I don’t know this man. Good thing I brought my phone! I’ll just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.” I had NO plans of a conversation – at all. I was just relieved that the driver was dressed nice and seemed harmless. 🙂
I can see now that God must have been smiling and saying, “Ha! She thinks she’s going to play on her phone!”
Looking back, I don’t remember my phone AT ALL. Heck, I don’t even remember the trip! I don’t remember the sound of traffic, sounds from the car, or anything around us. All I remember was the conversation, and more importantly, the kindness and compassion of the sweet elderly driver, and how his eyes welled up with tears every now and then. I have no idea how the conversation even began; but it did.
As things go with “God moments” it’s so powerful at the time, then when I try to recall it, it’s kind of like a dream.
Suddenly, I felt my guard come down completely. One of us started a conversation. I remember telling a few funny stories about the kids, and us laughing. The driver seemed like a serious guy at first, but the next thing you know, HE was laughing. In fact, it was the kind of laugh where you lean toward the steering wheel laughing and then sit back again. I remember being surprised by such a serious looking man laughing like that.
Keep in mind that we have 4 children, but I must have only told the driver stories about Bobby from when he was little. Bobby was quite a little character. He kept me on my toes more than our girls ever did.
The driver seemed very interested and invested in the conversation and the stories. I remember being surprised by that. He would respond sometimes and sometimes remain quiet. One time, after a really good laugh out of the both of us, the driver said, “What is Bobby doing now?” My heart skipped a beat. I didn’t know what to say. The mood in the car had been so light, fun, and lively. How could I talk about death now? How could I?
I don’t stutter, but I sort of stuttered and said, “He-ee he died. The driver slumped in his seat a little. I distinctly saw pain in his face and tears well up in his eyes. He said that he was so sorry to hear that (several times). I asked him if he remembered the fire where 4 of the firefighters died, and he said that he did. He said he watched the whole thing on TV.
I told him that I too watched the whole thing on TV, but I never knew that it was my son dying in that fire as I watched. I told the driver that I found out when Bobby’s face flashed up on the TV screen with the word “deceased” next to his picture. As I spoke, I was not upset, just very calm. I remember thinking, “This is good, I’m not feeling bad, I’m ok, this is good that I’m still ok.”
I noticed that the driver was still tearing up. He was sad and pained, but, surprisingly, I was not. I was good. I told him that I had been down a very dark road where I found myself not wanting to live either, but I’m ok now. I told him calmly that I still have a meltdown or two every once in a while (which is to be expected), but I’m much better now.
I asked him where he was from. He said, “Iran.” I thought, “Oh no! I just told him how Bobby had made 2 tours of duty in Iraq!” I was hoping that it was ok that I had shared that.
I asked the driver about his job. Then, he opened up to me that he’s been driving for 30 years. He shared with me that his wife is very sick and disabled, and his insurance is very bad. He said that the insurance has them going in circles, and he can hardly afford to live on just one income. He told me (with tears in his eyes) that this was very hard on him because there is nothing he can do for her. I felt so bad for him. He was very sad. He was so sincere about his pain. I asked her name and told him that I would pray for her. He thanked me. And I did.
After all this while of talking back and forth, I guess he could not get Bobby (and what happened to him) off of his mind. He began to tell me another story of his. This one was about a young boy (the same age as his children) who was best friends with his kids. Over the years, the young boy had become a familiar face at their home. He was quite fond of the young boy.
The driver became very upset and visibly angry when he mentioned the young boy’s father. It turns out that the young man’s father had a lot of guns and knives and none of them were locked up. So my driver always warned his children to be careful when they were over there because the guns were not in a safe place.
One day, the young boy and his family moved away. My driver’s daughter kept up with the young man for years, as they were best friends. One day his daughter called and said that something terrible happened. She said the young boy ended up being shot to death by one of his friends while they were playing with the father’s guns. I told him how sorry I was to hear of this. It was very sad, and I could really feel his pain – just the shock of it all.
Then my driver got unusually animated and said how angry he was still “to this day about it”. He still had tears in his eyes. I understood. I shared with him about how I often have to practice Radical Acceptance, and about how I have dealt with those feelings of hatred and anger. I told him that now I know that holding on to hatred, bitterness, and unforgiveness is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die. At that moment, it looked as if he had had a “lightbulb moment.” I noticed that his intense anger quickly dissipated.
I told him that I seriously blamed God at first for Bobby’s death, but I don’t blame Him or anymore. I told him about my realizing that I don’t know why it happened, and I don’t need to know why anymore. I know I will see him again because I am saved and so was Bobby. While I was saying that about being saved, the Holy Spirit told me, “That’s a seed. It’s ok just to leave it there.”
My driver, once again, apologized for Bobby’s death, and he said, “You have your girls?” I thought “sheesh!” I didn’t want to have to tell him that too because it only gets worse. “The girls haven’t spoken to me since Bobby’s death” I said, “and I don’t know why. I have asked each one, and they each said that they “don’t want to discuss it.” Although it pains me greatly, I have realized that I have to leave it there until they are ready to talk about it”.
I told him that I’m in a better place with it all now. It still hurts, but there is nothing I can do but accept it – It is what it is. I told him that I pray for them every day that God would soften their hearts towards me and mine towards them.
He looked in his rear view mirror (as he had been doing from time to time) and said, “That’s good. You have very strong faith – very strong.” Then he said, “Your children will COME back – 100% – 100%”. He said it several times throughout the conversation, as if to make sure it stuck with me.
It was at that moment, that I realized I was in a car with an angel. His conviction was so strong. I thought to myself, “I’m in a car with an angel!” “No wonder there is so much honesty, compassion, encouragement, tears that don’t hurt, talk of forgiveness, peace, acceptance, and on and on.” And on top of that, it went both ways. Somehow we were both able to encourage each other!
Sometimes in my life, looking back, I can see where I had experienced a God moment, or an encounter with an angel. But this time was different. I KNEW I was IN THE MIDDLE OF A GOD MOMENT! It was very surreal.
I didn’t remember feeling the pain I usually feel in my body on a daily basis now. I felt no anxiety, no hurt, no depression, no tears, no heartache, nothing bad at all. Truly, I felt like we were the only two “people” on the freeway. Were we even ON a freeway??
Even right now, as I type, I’m having a hard time just putting it all into words; but something very special was happening, and I was just soaking up every moment of it. Blessings were happening so much and so many, I can’t even write them all down, or this story would go on forever.
When we got to the airport, I gave him my credit card to get into the garage, and and asked him if his company was paying for him to leave the parking garage. He said, “No, but I may not need it.” So I told him that I would give him money in case he did. He tried to refuse. But I insisted one last time and he took it.
He said again, “But I might not need it.” So I finally said, “Well if you do, you’ll have it, and if you don’t, just buy your wife a treat!” He looked at me like “what”? We (actually) hugged good-bye. He said, “I’ll wait till you get in your car and start it before I leave”.
It was like a dad speaking to his daughter, and I was that daughter. Then it donned on me, “I DID have someone holding my hand.” Through this man that I did not even know, God sent the Holy Spirit to hold my hand.
I had (have) a comforter. The Holy Spirit was in that car too. He gave me comfort, and He gave my driver comfort too. In one hour’s time, I could literally see the transformation in him happen.
John 14:26 – “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
The next time you “need some hand holding”, trust that God will send you too a Comforter as well.
But be alert always! You don’t know in what form it will come to you. Live each day with expectancy.
Rest assured – it WILL come.