Posts Tagged ‘entertaining angels’

A couple of weeks ago, J and I got a call from Scott, one of the part-time ministers at Brookline (we’re too small to have a full-time paid staff). He, in turn, had gotten a call from a minister at a church outside of St. Louis. There were two young guys heading up to Boston on Wednesday, to support a friend of theirs whose little boy (3 years old) was having heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. They (the dad’s two friends) needed a place to stay. Could we house them?

We said yes, and all week this verse from Hebrews ran through my head:

“Do not forget [some translations say neglect] to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Since I grew up listening to Christian music in the mid- to late ’90s, the Newsboys song “Entertaining Angels” ran through my head as well: “Entertaining angels by the light of my TV screen/24-7, you wait for me/Entertaining angels by the time I fall to my knees/Hosts of heaven, sing over me.”

I’m not saying Tim and David were angels, or claiming to know exactly what either the verse or the song means (the Newsboys are famous for their catchy ambiguities). But I am saying that hosting them was a unique blessing for us, and I think it was a blessing for them too. How cool, in this city where we still often feel like strangers, to open our home to a couple of strangers and take them in as our friends.

We ate chili together on Wednesday night, and talked and laughed for hours, sharing our life stories, our faith stories, our favorite music and movies. I got to take them around the city a bit on Thursday – a walk around Boston Common, a quick tour of parts of the Freedom Trail, clam chowdah at Quincy Market. And, I’m happy to report, their friend’s son is doing fine.

I often think how lucky we are to have a (usually empty) guest room when so many people in the world live squashed together in overcrowded houses, or don’t have houses at all. I love having a guest room, of course, to host family and friends when they come through. But I was also thrilled to offer the room to someone who really needed it – well, two someones – and to practice a hospitality that reached beyond hosting family or friends. One of my favorite things about having a home of my own is being able to share it, and the chance to share it with strangers – who are now friends because of our shared faith – was a greater gift than any bed or food we could provide.

Have any of you guys ever entertained strangers? In our culture of self-sufficiency, this is perhaps a rare thing – but I’d love to hear about it if you have.


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