Do not forget to entertain strangers for by doing some people have entertained angels without knowing. Hebrews 13:2-3
As a bible reader we have been introduced to angels throughout scripture. The following encounters convince me that angels are indeed real. An Angel of the Lord blocking Balaam from cursing God’s people. (Numbers 22: 22-28) In another instance, Michael the Arch angel, visited Daniel to bring him an answer to his prayer that had been delayed by the prince of Persia. (Daniel 10: 11-14) The angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth to a young girl named Mary, a virgin, to announce she would give birth to a son to be named Jesus. (Luke 1:26- 38). The apostle Peter was locked in prison and an Angel supernaturally set him free. (Matthew 1:20). Angels do visit mortals. However, I never expected to meet an angel.
I don’t’ sew, I never have. Yet one day, I got the idea that I wanted to try my hand at sewing. I was going to add straps onto a strapless dress, despite my limited skills. After all, how hard could it be? There I was, on Aisle 15 of a Fabric Store, examining rows of ribbon.
While standing in the ribbon aisle, I heard a voice behind me, “Is this yours?” I turned to see a woman standing at the end of the row. She looked like she had stepped out of the TV series, Little House on the Prairie. She was wearing a long full denim skirt and gingham blouse with puffy arms and a high collar. Her brown hair was captured on her head in a tight little bun. Definitely, not a contemporary look but perfect for the part of a prairie woman “What?”, I replied. “Is this yours?” I moved closer; she was holding up a $100 bill. “I think you dropped this?”
“No, I am sure I didn’t drop that!” She went on to say” Well, it’s not mine so it must be yours?” “It’s not mine, I answered, I think I would know if I had dropped a $100.” We went back and forth for a minute, me insisting the money was not mine while she insisted that it must be. I asked her if she checked with the store employees to see if anyone had lost any money. “Take it” She said and thrust the money into my hand, backing up a few steps.
So now, I have the $100 bill. This was strange indeed. I pressed ahead, “I think you should have it, you found it.” She shook her head and backed up a few more steps. Finally, I then said, “I’ll go see if anyone has inquired about losing money, wait here.” After checking, no one had reported losing any money, I went back to tell her what I had learned. I tried again to give her the $100, reminding her of the “finders keepers’ rule” to hopefully convince her. She put her hands behind her back, refusing to take the money. “Keep it,” she said. She clearly was not taking this money back and now it was in my hand.
Was this a test of some sort I wondered…. It was very odd. Why don’t you keep it? I asked. She said, “I am afraid I’ll keep it and it’s not mine. This seemed a strange thing to say but then everything was strange about this. I pressed ahead, ”It’s not mine either and what if I decide to keep it?”. She just shook her head. “You can decide what to with it.’ I gave up. This situation was getting stranger by the minute and of course, my ribbon shopping was now forgotten. I was done arguing about who the money belonged to, so I finally gave in. “Ok, I will donate it to some worthy person or ministry then.” She said she thought was a good idea, smiled and just walked off. What on earth?
So here I was, holding a $100 bill that was not mine but had been thrust on me and I now felt responsible to do something good with it. I had no idea what that would be but felt I had been given some sort of assignment. I said a quick prayer about the money and left the store, without any ribbon.
Later, that night, I went to a small bible study. When it was Donna’s turn to share, she told a story about an art therapy class she was doing with a group of prisoners. The men’s class asked if they could participate in a specific art project they had heard about from a prior group. Donna said, she was sad to tell them they would not be able to do it because the ministry didn’t have the money for the supplies. How much would you need? It would be $100. What the heck? Exactly $100? “Yes, that’s what it cost the last time I did this project. $100.”
I started laughing. I said, Donna, I have your $100 ?. I went on to recount my experience in the fabric store that afternoon. After my sharing, we were all astonished. Was it an angel I had encountered? I do not know for sure, but, what else could it have been considering what happened that same night. Of course, I gave Donna the money. It seemed clear to me; it was meant for her all along. Why hadn’t this woman or angel just met Donna during her day and given it directly to her? Maybe, those of us in the room would not have been so impacted as much by this story. I do not really know.
I went to Hebrew 13:2 as that verse came to mind. Hebrews 13:2. Do not forget to entertain strangers for by doing some people have entertained angels without knowing. I read on to verse 3. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners. What the heck? I had never paid much attention to verse 3 before. Was this all about blessing a group of prisoners I had never met? I think the answer is yes. I thought I was going to the fabric store for myself. It turned out, that was not at all why I was there. By the way, I abandoned the sewing idea and donated the dress. It was never about the dress. It was about a divine appointment with an angel.
Even though I know angels are real, I certainly never expected to meet one I was given an assignment, by an angel, to deliver a $100. It seems funny and has made me smile every time I think of this experience. It is also humbling. I was blessed to be part of His plan to meet a need I did not know existed. God is amazing and His ways are past our understanding! I felt the significance of being part of a truly supernatural event. I was certainly blessed by this encounter. In case you were wondering, I have not seen my Angel since. Onward!