Sometimes, I get weary from the everyday interactions. I mean, I’m all about people…but I’m also all about my alone time. Some quiet time. I’m not shutting my office door because I don’t like you, but I just need a few minutes to myself, to complete a thought, finish an email, recenter. I get kinda antsy, sometimes…when my mind is racing and I have a million things to do and my pager is going off and I’m getting a text from an old friend and thinking about what’s for dinner and the load of laundry I forgot to switch over and the birthday gift I forgot to buy and the touch-up painting to get done so we can sell the house and the fact that I ran out of mascara this morning (heaven forbid!) and the run I want to squeeze in (somehow) and…well, I don’t have much time or energy left for you, now do I?
Some patients are extra chatty, and God love them, I wish I had the time and energy to spend all day with them, but I don’t. Their families ask 1000 (redundant) questions, they have pictures of the children…and grandchildren…and great-grandchildren. The waitress at Roosters, the checkout lady at Kroger, the lady next to me at church (dude, I have a three hand-shake limit during “Greeting Time”, seriously, #germs). True confessions here…sometimes, the neighbor, the co-worker, the friend…the best friend, the kids, the husband. They all have stories. They all want time. Wait…stories…messages.
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Angels. Messengers of God. Stories.
My friend, Lisa, recently gave me this precious little girl figurine. I’m not really a “figurine” kinda girl. I have only white and silver ornaments on the Christmas tree. White lights. There is a strict “no trinket” rule up in our place. Us OCD girls have rules, okay? But this little girl, this little angel, has completely captured my heart. Totally surprised me. And the more I look at her, the more I realize that she is a message to me from my friend. Maybe Lisa is an angel without me knowing it. Maybe her message to me is, “Jen, seriously, peace. Listen to the messages all around you. Be friendly. Be cordial. Be gracious. Share your comforts. Be generous. (In a whisper)…Jen….there are…angels!”
The stories are sacred, whether I acknowledge them or not. The moments, the words, the thoughts, the emotions, the time. Every second that I am not gracious for those messages, I may be missing the angel in front of me. I may be missing the message from God! And, here’s where it get’s real folks, the message from God is the ONE message I simply can’t afford to miss! The message that I need to be reminded of grace and forgiveness. The message I need to be reminded of love. Of peace. Of hope.
Extending hospitality… by listening, recognizing, honoring, giving…to a stranger…to a friend. I may entertain angels…
Disclaimer: My viewpoints are not necessarily reflective of my employer, or any local, regional or national organization that I belong to. As a matter of fact, I pretty much just speak for myself. Please keep that in mind.