Angels All Around Us

“God has His angels all around us,” he said as he watched our kids.  “Sometimes we don’t see them, but they is always there.”
I met him in the park.  His name was Sam.  He wore a straw hat, and his salt and pepper afro stuck out from under it like coarse wool. His beard was scraggly, but his smile was wide.  Antique piano key teeth, ivory aged yellow alternated with black spaces, and his eyes sparkled.
Our church's youth group had come to the park to minister to the homeless.  As we instructed our students to smile, introduce themselves, and look each person in the eye, we reminded them why we had come.  “Jesus said, ‘As you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.’ Tonight we get to minister to Jesus.”
While we had planned food to meet their physical needs, we had also encouraged the students to imagine what it would be like to be homeless.  Looking at their own polished nails, the girls brainstormed, “I wonder if they would like for us to give them manicures?” 
Armed with nail files, Shea butter lotion, and six colors of polish, our Marvelous Manicure team set up shop between the food table and a man with a razor giving haircuts.  Although the homeless men greatly outnumbered the women, we soon had our six chairs filled.

It was this scene that had Sam smiling.  “Y’all could be anywhere tonight, but you’re here reachin’ out to people you don’t even know.”  My heart swelled with pride at our kids who had stepped out of their comfort zones to serve. 
Carrying the memory of the ladies’ happy smiles and Sam’s kind words, I marveled at the irony of God’s economy.  We had come to give, but in doing so, we were the ones who had received.  God says the way to be rich is to give it away.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over,” (Luke 6:38)
“God has His angels all around us,” Sam said.
“Yes He does, Sam,” I thought,” and sometimes they wear straw hats.”

“Don’t forget to show love to strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb. 13:2)

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