Saturday, January 05, 2008

Angels Tell The Story ...

Have you ever met an angel? I think I met one the other day. Allow me to share this account and see what you think.
Actually this story began earlier that morning. I was driving to work and stopped for a red light. A homeless man was standing on a corner and he wanted some coffee money. I didn’t have any money on me but I did give him a dime that had been rattling around in the ash tray of my car. I went on my way and soon forgot the episode.
About 1:00 PM, I left my office and headed down the street to a fast food restaurant to grab a sandwich. There was a middle-aged African-American male at the counter placing his order for a cup of coffee. He was dressed really neat in his Metro Bus Lines driver’s uniform. I stepped in line behind him and awaited my turn to order. I happened to glance down at the floor and there at the man’s foot was a dime. I picked it up just as he was paying for his coffee. On an impulse I said, “Here is a dime to help pay for your order.” The man replied, “Oh no, that’s your dime. You found it and I believe that finders are keepers.” I said with a smile that I had given a dime to a homeless man earlier in the day and that maybe the Lord was returning it to me.
The man surprised me when he said, “You planted a seed and that seed will grow.” Then he further surprised me by asking me what I was going to order? He added, “I want to pay for your lunch.” I felt awkward about that and tried to dissuade him but the man insisted. He proceeded to pay nearly seven dollars for my cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla shake.
He was short twenty cents. I pitched in the dime I had found and the cashier who was listening to all of this added the final dime. Jokingly I said, “All of us are planting seed, it seems.” The man smiled. I explained that I was a retired minister and that no one in Houston had ever bought me a cheeseburger before. His eyes brightened as he said that he too was a minister. We shook hands. I told him that it was sometimes difficult for me to accept grace and that this was one of those times. He said he understood my feelings.
Then the man looked at his watch, took his coffee and left. I assumed he was driving a bus and had a schedule to keep. I decided to follow him out and thank him one more time but when I stepped outside, he was nowhere to be seen. It was as though he simply vanished.
I am not really sure what to believe about angels. I do believe in the Biblical angels and angels in Heaven. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament tells us that on occasion, we may entertain angels unawares. What does that mean?
If this gentleman was indeed an angel, why did I meet him there at the hamburger stand? What was his message to me? The word “angel” means “messenger” so evidently there was a message or lesson in our meeting.
Or perhaps the homeless man on the street corner was an angel. Maybe the second angel was sent to bless my life with nourishment since I had given the first angel a dime. The second angel spent $6.78 cents to buy me a cheeseburger, fries and a shake.
Angel or no angel, it was interesting to see how things played out .
It’s certainly worth thinking about.

Winston Hamby
The Beaumont Enterprise


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