“I can feel the brush of angels’ wings,
I see glory on each face.”
It was in March when Words from a Stranger were first uttered and at first, I giggled to myself and then I gave pause to the purpose and the message.
“To be greeted and welcomed with eyes of acceptance, a touch of warmth and words of simple and pure love is like crossing paths with an angel. It is not the first time they have been sent to minister to me. It is not the first time they have been sent as messengers to speak for Truth–acceptance and pure, simple love.”
I giggled to myself again in June when this stranger sat directly across from me in a small classroom. He was rather earnest that day. There was an air of humility and openness and blatant curiosity about him. There was something about him that hinted at a school boy’s charm even though school days have long been over.
Since then I have noticed him at various and sundry times throughout services in the sanctuary. I have noticed that he typically sits across the aisle from me. I have noticed that he worships uninhibitedly. I have noticed that his tenderness and mercy pours freely down his cheeks. I have noticed that he has an attitude of deference whether he is speaking to the pastor or to fellow parishioners. I have noticed that he does not look away when he is caught staring, nor does he look embarrassed.
I giggled to myself again today when our paths crossed at the local hotdog/short-order establishment. It was early afternoon and I had nothing accomplished on my to-do list, which I am sure will be a source of frustration later on. It was early afternoon and I had not eaten lunch even though it was well after the typical lunch rush. It made no sense to me as to why I was going to this eatery when there was plenty to eat at home. As I stepped away from my car and walked up the ramp to the door, the door swung open and this “stranger” bounded down the steps to leave. He turned his head and saw me approaching and he redirected his steps to hold the door open for me.
I hated to ask his name, which meant I had not paid attention when he first introduced himself months ago. Still even after he reminded me of his name, it did not ring a bell from when I grew up here. Bluntly, I asked him, “Do I know you?” “Yes,” he replied, “from church.” “I meant do I know you from before? I grew up here, graduated in ’82.”
He had been a couple of years behind me; he had been kicked out of that school because he was “a mean person back then” by his own admission. When he made this statement, he dropped his gaze, yet he was forthright with his words. Without pausing to weigh my words, I blurted out my response. “I thought everyone grew up mean here.” This must have caught him off guard for he quickly looked up with wide eyes and open mouth and he burst out with laughter and now I am the one looking down because I am sure I have a pink glow about me. As he turned toward the door to leave, he squeezed my shoulder and let his hand trail down my back. With his parting words, “It’s good to see you,” he left the building.
“It doesn’t take very many,
It can be just two or three.
And I feel that same sweet spirit
That I felt at times before.”
In March, I penned these words:
“Perhaps I am supposed to know him, a figure from young life long ago. I seriously doubt it. Perhaps he is a character who is often overlooked as a simpleton and of not much value. I honestly cannot say. Perhaps I will see him again and learn his story. I haven’t a clue. Perhaps he was a messenger for that moment in time. Of that I am certain.”
Today of this I am certain. He was a messenger on that day in March and has been many times I am sure, for he certainly has a story to tell. He is indeed a man of humility and respect, learned from graduating the school of hard knocks.
I suppose now I can settle down from my restlessness and mow the lawn. Perhaps today I was the messenger for that moment in time. Perhaps we both were.
“I can feel Love’s mighty power and Love’s grace.”