On my way tonight to workout, he was walking.
On my back home, I saw him too.
90 minutes passed and the place on the side of the road, barely off the road in the high weeds, where he was again made no sense at all.
He should’ve been farther along; yet, there he was again, on my way.
I remembered, I thought if I see him again, I’ll know it’s true, true like my son suggested one day in a little boy whimsical way,
“What if he’s Jesus?” Childlike chastising my questioning comment directed towards someone standing on the edge of the exit ramp holding a cardboard sign.
Now, I’m thinking again, yeah…what if?
You should know I only tell true stories and you must know I find all sorts of stuff significant when I see it. I consider it God.
About three weeks ago, I stopped by our local printer to collect items ordered for work.
“What is he doing?” she asked, “walking up and down the sidewalk with that stick?”
I told her I’d ask him and I did, asked him if he was okay.
He needed to be pointed in the direction of the soup kitchen, so I directed him four blocks down and two over.
He smiled, said, “Do I know you?” “Did you go to high school in Hepzibah?” he asked.
“No,” I replied.
Then he told me his name, adding angel as a surname. Told me he was an angel and then said: “Jesus loves you.”
I smiled, said, “I know, you too.”
Then on a drizzly Sunday one week ago, Colt and I were out back. All my day’s plans go awry because of an emergency with an employee, I’d be going to work.
Tennis ball toss, the command given “drop” and again and again until I turn towards the back porch.
I see him, a male form bent over shoulders heavy, walking down my road, holding a big shepherd like stick.
“Oh…it’s him.” The Labrador sees and hurries up to the fence, makes a squeaky sound, not at all resembling bark or growl.
He never barked, sort of sighed, pulled the sound of dog startle back in as if he knew him, knew there was no need for noise.
There was no call to fear threatening.
Then he watches body next to my hip and his nose on the cold link of fence. I watch, feet tiptoed and neck craning as the man who says he’s an angel crosses in front of my house and on down the road.
I know right away, I’ll turn that way instead of my normal when I go. I’ll leave for work and I’ll hope on my way he’s there.
Cheese crackers, granola and a Cliff bar in my lap, I drive down the hill and turn the curve and he’s there.
He’s making his way up the hill. No one around on Sunday morning church time, I slow my car, window eases down and I say,
“Good morning.” My hand through the window meets his and he’s surprised by my giving, he thanks me for the food and then stores it in deep pockets of a jacket dragging down by so much wear.
“Jesus loves you.” He says and then adds,
“I love your hair.” I smile knowing no way he could know the gray I’d just felt depressed over, the flatness of strands due to age and the daily angst over cut or grow out.
I drove on remembering the time before when he said he was an angel.
Tonight, I saw him the third time I told myself would “seal the deal” if it happened, make me sure of providence and certain of angels.
I wondered why he’d only walked a block or so in the 90 minutes between seeing him and seeing him again.
I considered why he’d kept appearing on my way and then I pondered all who might avoid him and worse yet might not see him in the very close to dark dangerous road.
I hoped he’d be okay. I hoped he has headed someplace safe.
Then I realized he’d be one Jesus would pause to notice. He, one of the least of these, a wandering soul and lost mentally maybe.
But who am I to say He’s not already done so; this man walking tall with a stick the height of his shoulders and telling me, others, whoever that he’s “Angel John” and that Jesus loves us.
Who’s to say who’s angelic or not or why I might see him and believe more wistfully, more surely and more unexpectedly that there are angels among us and that those angels know Jesus?
Who’s to say who knows?
Yesterday, I gathered up my angel figurines. I’d been noticing all the clutter collected and decided they no longer belonged on the desk. My eye drawn to them seems it has begun to feel their placement was all wrong.
I moved them to my bedroom, tucked them together collectively on the shelf just above my pillow.
I’m believing more than before and unafraid to say so, believing because of who and what and where I’ve seen God and probability of angels, love, and grace among us.
And strangers with contagious smiles despite missing teeth who make confident proclamations of Jesus and love and not at all coincidentally cross my path.
Some would say homeless or crazy or not worth much at all…
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Hebrews 13:2 ESV
But, who are we to say
or he, a stranger?
I’ve just read a post from Jennifer Dukes Lee about helping another along the way. Who’s to say when we might need help up or when we get to reach down.
Vist here: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/learned-movie-can-imagine/
4 thoughts on “The Stranger”
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Lisa, I woke up thinking about angels after a restless nights sleep. I believe and don’t mind saying I do. There are angels in the Bible. God works through anyone here or can place people from Heaven here.
I loved everything about this post. Have a blessed night👼👼👼
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Thank you so much! Praying we both sleep well, I’ve not been doing so the past few nights.