My parents were always fairly generous and hospitable people. I often remember my father developing relationships with people that he didn’t really even know. And he was willing to do just about anything for those he met.
One time, when I was around 8 years old, my dad met this blind lady. He introduced this lady to my mom, and my parents decided to reach out to this woman. We began to drive downtown each Sunday morning to pick her up at an apartment building for church. We would bring her to church, take her to lunch, then take her back to the building. This went on for a couple of weeks. I believe my parents demonstrated Christian hospitality to this woman in a cool way, and I watched them as they modeled true Christianity.
Then one week we went to pick her up at the apartment building and she wasn’t there. We waited for her, but she didn’t show up. Finally my dad went inside and spoke to a person who worked in the apartment complex. They had never heard of this lady, or even seen her. Nobody with her name or description lived in that building. It was like this lady vanished into thin air, totally weird. We never heard from this lady again.
In this passage, the author tells us that it is possible to be entertaining a stranger, and without knowing it you might be reaching out to an angel. Every time I read this verse, I think of that time in my life and the disappearing lady. Was my family entertaining an angel unaware? We will never know until we reach heaven. But I do know this, the fact that my parents took the time to care for someone they didn’t know that well has left a life-long impression on me.
When you receive Jesus Christ into your life, it will change the way you treat others. You will love your brothers and sisters in Christ (Hebrews 13:1). God will give you a burden for the downtrodden and depressed. He will give you a passion for people who have experienced hardship because of their own doing and now live as prisoners. God will even give you a love for people that you do not even know.
We live in a busy society where people rarely will even look a stranger in the eye, much less speak to him or her. We go to restaurants or visit the grocery store and have a person help us, and we don’t even look at him or her and speak to the person. God has convicted me that I need to find ways to show that I care for people. One of the simplest ways is to call the person by name, when possible. I have made it a habit to find the name tag of the person checking me out or waiting on my table, and calling that person by name. It is amazing the reaction I will get from people when they realize I took the time to notice their name and use it. As a Christian, God wants you to love all sorts of people, even those who you don’t know. Who knows, the waitress at your restaurant just might be an angel that God has sent to your path to see if your actions live up to your faith.