I was sixteen years old, driving down the road and saw an old homeless lady sitting on a bench. The blistering heat kept the rest of the world inside air-conditioned buildings that day-but not her. As I drove past her, I felt this tug at my heart—I thought to myself, she could use an ice cream cone and company.
I asked her what her favorite flavor was. She said, “Vanilla.” I bought two cones and went to the sit next to her. I handed one to her and we both started to lick the melting ice cream tower, we smiled at each other as it dripped down our hands. After the melting part was under control—very causally I asked her, “Do you know Jesus?”
Her response was breathtaking. She definitely knew Him and for the next 15 minutes or so she went into the most powerful expository on the Throne room of Heaven and the glory that is within it, I’ve had ever heard. She described it as if she lived there! It was the most glorious conversation with someone I’ve ever had in my life, even to this day.
It was time for me to leave; I had to get to work. I took her napkin and mine to the trash which was about five feet from where we sat. I turned around to say goodbye and she was gone. I looked everywhere for her, she wasn’t anywhere. Where did she go? It was impossible for her to get out of sight that quickly. She seemed to be in her 90’s and moved slow.
I’ve never forgotten that day. My plans were to minister to her, yet she ministered to me and the memory of her and her description of Heaven is engraved in my heart forever.
This past weekend as I was literally running through a store, I remembered her again as if it were yesterday. I felt the Lord tugging at my heart like He did that day—to treat strangers that I pass this season with sacrificial love.
Was this woman an angel? I don’t know. She could have just been a homeless old bag lady with immeasurable wisdom in heavenly things. Does it matter? Not really. What matters is, that when I step outside of my comfort zone and show love to strangers, to the people who work at my local grocery store, bank. . . it opens the portal for God activity to happen.
There are many hurting people who you and I will pass on our busy journey this month. Would you join me in this endeavor to reach out to the people we pass, especially the least of these?
Jesus, Give us Your love for the strangers we meet this season. Teach us how to love people like You do. Give us words to say that will open the door to You. Use us as Your instrument of love and let Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!
Hebrews 13:1-2 “Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (NKJV)