The Life, Times & Musings of an American Midwest Woman Who Lives in the Middle East

Angels Unaware

Angels Unaware

By on Sep 1, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

John received an email from a friend saying that his friend would be passing through our city and wondered if she could stay with us. Without batting an eye, John agreed to host said friend. (Are you sticking with me on this?)

Time passes when John casually mentions that the cyclist should be arriving the next day. Cyclist? What cyclist? John says, “Oh, you know the one that is coming through on her bike tour.”

No. I’m afraid I don’t remember. We bantered back and forth until he finally admitted that it may have just been a conversation in his head rather than in real life. Then he tosses the verbal ball back in my court and says, “It is fine, isn’t it?”

I paused for a second and shrugged. “Sure. Why not?” I sprang into action and began preparing the guest room with clean sheets, welcome basket, local reading and a mint on her pillow. (Martha would be proud.)

We gave her directions to our house and she arrived looking a bit weary, but smiling. We introduced ourselves and took her to her room. Kim* parked her bike and dropped her bags. I gave her some water and asked if she’d like to rest.

She responded by saying that she had just met another girl on the ferry coming from Sudan. This girl was also passing through and didn’t have a place to stay. Would it be possible for her to come here as well?

John and I looked at each other and said, “Of course! Where is she right now?”

She told us that she was at the bus station trying to figure out where to go next. John called Sadik*, our taxi driver friend, and the two of them went looking for her. I started to ask Kim what she looked like, but John assured me that the foreigner probably wouldn’t be hard to spot. Oh, yeah.

About 30 minutes later, Ketvya* walked through the door. She unloaded her large backpack and introduced herself. We welcomed her with a glass of cold water and then sat together in our living room.

Kim cycles across countries taking pictures and soaking up culture. From South Korea, she had carefully saved prior to this and had her money and route planned out. Ketvya (from Russia) had been backpacking for over 2 years through more countries than I could remember. I looked at them both, thinking about their stories and wondering what their parents thought about these 20-somethings trekking the world alone.

Later, a local friend offered to take us sailing so we invited the girls to go with us. What fun we had floating down the Nile sharing lunch together and listening to Ketvya sing 60s songs with her ukulele
We chatted about this and that, but I found myself growing more and more curious and more and more like a mother.

Why do you do this?
How do you live?
What does your mother think?
Isn’t it unsafe to travel alone?
What does your mother think?
How do you decide where to go next?
What does your mother think?

However, we tried to be courteous and not too invasive. The mother-struggle was really real.

As I laid my head down to rest that evening, I began to panic. We don’t know these girls. They could be…crazy or thieves or spies or axe murderers! Why did we agree to this? No one is going to find our bodies. Who will make sure our daughters get my recipe box and bead collection?

I began to get myself worked up when I heard one of the girls laugh. They sounded so much like our girls. Wouldn’t I want someone to take in our girls if they needed shelter? Wouldn’t I want someone to show them kindness? Yes, of course.

Even more a verse came to mind, “Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!” (Heb. 13:2).

As a child I had always wondered what an angel on my doorstep would look like. Would he have giant wings or maybe look like Roma Downey? I wasn’t sure.

On this night as I drifted to sleep peacefully, I thanked Jesus for his love for me and also for these two beautiful souls He entrusted to us.

Later in the week, they each prepared a meal representative of their home culture, washed the dishes and made their beds. We exchanged information and promised that we would stay in contact.

As I watched them leave and we stood waving goodbye, I prayed a silent prayer of blessing:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’

Angels unaware? I’m not sure, but I do know that these amazing girls reminded me of how we’re all recipients of God’s kindness and grace wherever we come from and wherever we go.

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