For The Love of A Stranger

“Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it.”

A few years ago, Roger and I were by ourselves (which must mean this story took place before children). We came to a busy intersection and sat at the red light. Worship music was playing and I was caught up in the lyrics. I turned and looked at the car next to me. It was an older gentleman just staring straight ahead...which was odd, because most people in the right turn lane edge up to check for traffic in order to merge. As we were sitting there, my heart was flooded with love for this man...a complete stranger. I started to thank the Lord for him...praising Him for His goodness in this man's life...asking Him to bless him today...

There were tears in my eyes, the love for this man was that tangible. I smiled. He looked up at the traffic light, and that movement broke the spell. I looked ahead at the lights, too. They were green. Strangely enough, no one moved. We all just sat there, staring at the green...and the lines of cars behind us did not honk. "Why are we not mo--" I started to ask Roger.

The view of the lights was suddenly blocked by a semi barreling through the intersection. He didn't even honk his horn.

I blinked and turned to look at the man in the car beside us. If he had edged up...but he didn't. Not even when the light turned green.

It felt like forever before anyone's foot touched the gas. I was breathless. It was the strangest, most surreal moment. Finally, Roger started into the intersection...slowly...checking for any more wayward semis. As we drove off, I turned back and looked at the man as his car slipped out of view.

This man wasn't an angel, just flesh and blood...a son of the King. He had no idea that a person in the car next to him felt a fraction of the love of God hold's for him. He didn't know I started praising the Lord for him...or that I was praying for the hand of God to be on his life that day. But God did...and His angels were in place...keeping us at bay...standing in front of our cars (I'm sure) with swords unsheathed...keeping us from moving...

"I love you that much," the Lord revealed to me. "I'll set my angels in place...move strangers to pray over you...because I AM in control...of your life...and his."

When I look back at this story, it's not so much that our lives were spared that day. That's a celebration for sure, make no mistake about it. But what my heart and mind focus on is the love that God placed within me for this man...HIS love. It was strong, powerful, overwhelming...and it was only a fraction of what God held for this man.

These days, that phenomenon happens often. I can be in a restaurant, glance up and find someone sitting on the other side of the room and be overcome with a touch of God's love for them. In church...walking through town...even people that are on TV (which is funny to me). God never tell me to go over to them, but just to pray. I hope that sensation never goes away. In fact, I pray that we, brothers and sister in Christ, will all begin to feel that. What would it look like...if we simply began to look at strangers that way that Christ does? If we loved on them, prayed for them, held them, tended to them...the way our Father would/does?

What would we become....