This evening as I was on the train headed towards the stop where I used to get off when I lived at home with my parents, I had a flashback:
I was in high school working at a restaurant in downtown DC. After a particularly long day I sat on the train and drifted off to sleep. What I intended to be ‘just dozing’ turned into a hard sleep and I was knocked the bleep out. And then I felt a shake and I awoke and was face to face with a petite, middle aged Black woman with a small afro. “Is this your stop,” she asked. I blinked and looked out the window and saw that yes it was indeed my stop. “Thank you,” I yelled as I jumped out of my seat and dashed out the door.
Even though it has been more than 10 years (crap it may really be 15) since this happened, I still remember it (and if you know me you know that I don’t remember a thang!) because I always thought that woman was an angel. Sure it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if I had missed my stop and had to turn around, but it wasn’t about that. It was about her simple act of kindness of alerting me that we had arrived to my stop. My destination. I’ll never know if this woman had seen me on the train before and knew it was my stop. Or if she just instinctively knew I was supposed to get off right then. Or what. And it’s precisely because I don’t know the how’s or the what’s or the why’s – that for me she was an angel.
Earlier today I attended an event about the Alabama immigration law and how with this very harsh law, the Latino population is not being seen as human. Or through the eyes of compassion. And a panelist, a Southern man himself, said, “my mother always told me ‘don’t turn away the angel at your door.’”
This is essentially Hebrews 13:2: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so [doing] some have unwittingly entertained angels. (NKJV)
To me this means not only do angels in human form surround us, but we have the opportunity to be someone else’s angel.
We have the opportunity to help. To demonstrate compassion. To give. And to love. Whether it’s to friends or family or complete strangers.
We can alert someone about impending danger. We can save a life. We can let someone into our house or our lives. We can share what we have. Give what’s left over. Help people fly.
Who are your angels?