Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kindness of Strangers

"Thou shall not steal", but I am going to steal the title my friend used today on his blog anyway. (Retired in Delaware is the name of his site; I have a link to it below) This is on a different topic, however, arising out of a question asked recently.

"Have you ever known anyone possessed by demons?"

I am not sure. I don't think I have ever met a person indwelt by an evil spirit, but can't say with certainty. I have met people possessed by something every now and then, usually one kind of recreational drug or another. I was a bit of a devil once upon a time, but I don't think I was harboring a demon, unless it was the demon of ignorance and the evil spirit of arrogance or perchance the imp of the perverse. Those three are bad enough with out a true sprite of Beelzebub hanging about in the chambers of your heart.

But I believe I have met angels.

Technically, demons are angels, just rebellious one who fell from grace. I do notice an interesting difference between the demons and the angels (and if anyone knows different let me know), but demons don't seem to do well traipsing about in this world in their own entity. The Devil may walk around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but his demons seem to have to put on someone else's skin to gad about. All the references in scripture I've been able to find tell of someone having demons driven from them, or as being indwelt with an evil spirit or possessed by a demon. Remember those demons called Legion? When they were ordered out of their host they started jogging off toward town, right? Naw, they asked to go into a bunch of pigs and then the possessed pigs ran off a cliff. The neighbors of the now depossessed fellow weren't as happy as he was about the situation. Greed trumped consideration for another's well-being and they asked Jesus to take a hike Mark 5:1-20. (Unfortunately, I am not so sure profit is any less forsaken for succor even today. It has been said the most sensitive nerve in our body runs from our brain to our wallet.)

So maybe a demon isn't going to tap you on the shoulder as a man on the street and say boo, but it may be the case with angels, except for the boo part.

Angels have the ability to show up in human form without stealing someone else's bones. Remember those two angels that went to Lot's house in Sodom or the angel the women mistook for the gardener at the empty tomb?

I believe I have met such angels. None of them ever said, "behold, I am an angel from God." I'm downright glad about that. You have an angel pop up by the foot of the bed and call your name, then you are in for it, man. You are going to have a mission you can't run away from (just think Jonah) and everybody you know is going to think you're crazy, or dare I say, possessed. How many times do you think people whispered behind Noah's back and giggled. Or how many people thought Mary should have been stoned.

I probably run enough risk of embarrassment saying I believe I met an angel or few in my life.

Here is why. There have been occasions in my life I planned to do something I shouldn't. (No, I am not going to tell you what.) But I wanted to and it was safe because there was no one around to see me or catch me. And then there was.

Oh, a person didn't appear in a puff of smoke with wings and a halo, but did come along almost as if out of nowhere, perhaps out of a clump of bushes or something, just a-sudden. And he or she always said "hello" and just went on their way, gone as quickly as they had come, and were never anywhere in sight even if I followed them around a corner or into a store or whatever. Who or what they were doesn't matter. They stopped me from doing what I intended, kept me pure so to speak. You can call it coincidence, I believe different. I believe it was an angel.

There have been other occasions when I found myself in need of help. I have been broken down in a car in a lonely, forsaken place. No traffic has been on the road with me forever. There isn't a house anywhere in sight and I don't even remember the last farm I passed. And then there is a crunch of gravel behind me, I turn and a car is there and a person steps out and gives me the help I need. They never accept rewards. They just ride off like the Lone Ranger after I am safe --an angel.

The kindness of strangers, I have often depended on the kindness of strangers. You want to feel like an angel, then show kindness to strangers in need. Remember, "do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it Hebrews 13:2."

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