Recently, my father and I were the recipients of a touch of love and encouragement from our Creator God. Oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself—you need a bit of background for the context to be understandable.
In Dad’s retirement, he’s spent the last thirty years in a sunny southern part of the U.S. It’s a substantial distance from me and my siblings, who are scattered in different states.
Life is Changing
In mid-September, Dad who was in good health at 81, had a brain bleed that produced episodes affecting his speech for brief periods. He initially spent some time in Intensive Care and was fortunate to only spend a week in the hospital.
Following numerous tests, scans, and consults with Neurologists and Neurosurgeons we have learned that Dad has a small brain aneurysm in addition to the healing bleed that occurred. This is something that will require frequent monitoring going forward.
This situation launched several decisions in a short window of time. Dad decided to move to the Midwest town where I live. I’m looking forward to his arrival and having him near.
Anyone who has gone through the process of selling a home, searching for a new place to live, downsizing, and moving knows the emotional and mental roller coaster ride that inevitably seems to happen with those types of changes. Add in several doctor appointments while packing, all in the middle of a pandemic. Combined together there is potential for elevated stress and discouragement at unexpected happenings and delays.
Where’s the touch of love? The first one occurred a day after the “For Sale” sign went up. With excitement, Dad shared about a couple who pulled to the side of the road, while he was having a cup of coffee on his porch. They inquired about the house, from the confines of their car to remain socially distanced. After a few typical questions about how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc., they asked, “Why are you selling the house?” Dad gave a succinct and truthful answer. Immediately the couple asked if they could pray for him. When he consented, they stepped out of their car and stood in the driveway and prayed for my dad—a touch from the Heavenly Father through an unknown brother and sister in Christ.
Dad’s moving pod shipped over a week ago, his car is loaded to take off and head in my direction. Then Dad was informed he must sign some paperwork in person, but they are so backlogged it could be a few weeks before it’s ready. He wanted to get the driving over before winter storms hit the Midwest. Another decent on the roller coaster. No, faith tells us God’s timing is always right and the Heavenly Father brought an affirmation to tangibly show He’s watching and cares.
Dad crossed paths with a real estate agent and potential buyer by mistake. He returned home forty minutes after the appointment thinking they had finished, but they surprised one another. Dad apologized and offered to immediately leave. The party insisted it wasn’t necessary and after a brief exchange of social niceties and some property questions, like before, Dad was asked, “Why are you selling the house?” He briefly explained and the real estate agent said she would be praying for him and without hesitation offered to pray with him right then. The threesome gathered and covered Dad with prayer—an encouraging touch!
This morning I had an unexpected touch. For brevity’s sake, I will forego the details.
I pondered whether or not to share this story and what would readers gain from it. This passage came to mind. “Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:1-2, CSB).
I believe we can extract some beneficial things from the actions of these individuals or angels unaware. We can be inspired to seize opportunities like they did. We can encourage and pray for people in our ordinary happenings of life.
I checked several commentaries about the meaning of Hebrews 12:2. I have always assumed it was referring to literal angels. As I researched, I found most commentaries agreeing that the “angels” may be mere men. All agree that the word angels in the Greek is messengers. I found the Pulpit Commentary’s explanation simple and direct. “At any time the visits even of our fellow-men may be to us as visits of angels, as being messengers of God’s purposes for good when least expected.” I observe the author’s description in the actions of the people just described. What message did they bring? By stopping to pray, they delivered a message of hope and encouragement, blessing Dad and me too.
Father God, thank You for sending messengers to encourage. Thank You for the way these people exemplified kindness, compassion, and empathy not in mere words but rather a living and active demonstration. I pray we all learn from this. Let us not become so caught in the details and bustle of life that we miss opportunities to be “messengers” of hope to others who need Your touch of love.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About section if you want to read more of my story.
Copyright © 2020 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.
Hands with walking stick image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.
Hands of compassion image by James Chan from Pixabay.
Scripture quotation added by Manette Kay.