Friends and Strangers (11-08-22)
Always give thanks to Father God for every person he brings into your life in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And out of reverence for Christ, be supportive of one another.
(Ephesians 5. 20 – 21 – The Passion Translation)
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13. 1 – 2)
A Thought A week or two ago, I came across our first bible reading in a magazine. I was struck by how differently it read in this translation and immediately thought of my Mum. One of the things that always impresses me about my Mum is her attitude of gratitude towards the various people who have come into her life to support her, especially during latter years as she has needed more help.
Mum normally has carers twice a day at home. This small group of ladies have become a significant regular support especially during Covid. Mum is getting to know them well after two and a half years and she looks forward to their daily visits. Mum is a good listener, so they frequently pour out all their woes to her while they tend to her care. She notices when they are tired or anxious and in need of a little TLC. She is sincerely thankful for their support and shows them hospitality and care in return.
Over the past few weeks the water supply has gone off twice. Mum’s carers and her shopper from the Royal Voluntary Service have all been on hand to fetch bottled water, so that she didn’t have to worry. The first time the water went off due to a burst water main just down the road. The second time was linked to the water coming into the house. In this latter case, the plumber was with Mum within an hour or two to sort it out despite having other jobs lined up for the day. Thank you, Lord, for the plumber!
Mum has also had the fire brigade out (fire engine and all!) to sort out her special Fire Service smoke alarm. Thank you, Lord, for firemen! Mum is constantly amazed at what people will do to help her.
Even on holiday, when I was struggling to push Mum’s wheelchair up a particularly steep slope, two men, complete strangers, coming the opposite way grabbed hold of the arms of the chair and ran backwards back up the slope, and in seconds we found ourselves at the top of the slope. The two men vanished as quickly as they had appeared. Angels in disguise? Who knows! Maybe that is just a turn of phrase in this instance, but we were certainly very grateful for the extra manpower.
We can so easily take our nearest and dearest for granted without giving them proper thanks and support, whilst at the same time expecting them to wholeheartedly support us. We are called by God to love one another as close family, treating others with the same love, respect and support that we would want to receive.
And what of the strangers who cross our paths. How do we treat them? Are we always grateful, welcoming and hospitable? It is important to offer them our thanks and support too, because we never know…we might be showing hospitality to angels without knowing it!
A Prayer Loving Father, gives us praising hearts, which overflow with thanksgiving for those you bring into our lives to support and enrich us. Amen.