I rolled my eyes as he approached. What else was there to do but let him approach? People putting gas in their car are pretty much stuck, they need the liquid pouring into their car, so they have no choice but to listen to your plea.
I was especially stuck that day. I was at the last gas station readily available to me before the long stretch of high way between my house and my school. After running out of gas on three separate occasions last semester, I had hoped to maintain this semester’s clean record. I was running a little late, but not as late as I would have been had I run out of gas.
Unsurprisingly, the man wanted money. He was hard up and on his way to an odd job. He swore it was true. I tried not to roll my eyes. I thought of the time we handed fifty dollars and our address to a man who swore he was going to pay us back, used a church we recognized as a reference. I thought of the time we offered the man claiming hunger an extra sandwich, and how he kept insisting on a dollar. This supposedly hungry man was not interested in a sandwich. I thought of the woman I stopped on the side of the road supposedly out of gas, how she refused to go to a gas station with me. She only wanted to go to an ATM. Of course he wanted money. Of course I rolled my eyes.
But it was impossible not to feel the check deep in my gut. Give that man your money. Give him the ten. I never have cash in my wallet, not at the end of the week when all tolls have been paid. How did God know I had ten dollars? How did he know I had a ten? I wasn’t even sure. Of course omniscient was a vocabulary word that week. Of course it was.
As I handed him the ten-dollar bill, the man caught my eye. Hebrews 13:2 he told me. Look it up. I finished pumping my gas and got into my car. Mostly, I was still sure that ten dollars was headed straight to the man’s next trip. But curiosity got the better of me. It almost always does, and my Kindle was in my purse, just waiting for me to flip through it.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Entertaining angels, I rolled my eyes again. Good trick drug addict, you got another sucker. But there was a piece of me, probably the part that still gets the Newsboys song referencing the same verse stuck in my head, that wanted to believe it. Maybe I did just entertain an angel.
I don’t know if I am fool, or a cynic, or a girl who hears bizarre things from the Holy Spirit. I am probably all of those. But this is what I do know. When I left the gas station, there was a man filling up his car in my rearview mirror. Perhaps, perhaps I am just a girl who entertained an angel without even knowing.
I think sometimes you have to decide you will do something even if you get taken. I often will tell God I do not know if I should or not and I do and I am depending on Him to make the most of it. So I am ok with being took if it means I don’t miss helping someone who really needs it. I struggle a lot with the angel thing. I have told God I do not want to help an angel out. What could an angel from heaven possibly need from me I think. I want God to let me help someone who really needs it. What do you think?
Yep, you probably got taken. But you know what? That was not the point, from God’s point of view. The point is that you listened and obeyed. Notice, listen, obey. So hard for us to do. You did it! This time. There will be many times to triumph and many times to fail. This is why we need Him so much, every minute, to teach us.
Sometimes I follow the commandment, “Give to all who ask.” Sometimes I don’t. Usually I follow that commandment when I have the least. It is hardest to give when you have more, that is what I have found. You were not taken, he needed the money. But money is never the answer for him, but giving is the answer for you.
I like your comment: money is not the answer – giving is the answer.