Saturday, December 19, 2009

Welcomed Stranger

'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25:35-36
Yesterday was my day off and the day when I was going to accomplish many things that have been left undone. Things got off to a slow start first thing in the morning for lots good reasons and interruptions, by the time Emily and I set out we were about 2 hours behind schedule. Mark was en route to pick up Phoebe from college. We started our errands and were heading to Rye when the car began to sound funny and I realized I had a flat tire. WE called our mechanic and he said everyone had gone out to lunch. As we sat there in the cold, he got back on the line and said someone was still in the shop and they would come. We sat for about a half an hour. It was a very cold day. Fortunately we had some coffee with us and we laughed about our circumstances. Although I had the hazard lights on, and several police cars passed us, no one stopped to help. When the guys from our shop finally arrived, it felt like angels had arrived to help us. They quickly had the spare on, took the faulty tire and we were on our way. We checked back later and the put the repaired tire back on the car. We felt visited by deep kindness, which there seems to be little of, as people scurry around making ready for the holidays.

Today, I want to remember that God visits us in the places where we visit others in their hour of need. God is with us, the Emmanuel, asks us as we prepare for his birth, to reach out to strangers in need. We are all too busy, all to stressed. And yet, God invites us today to open our hearts and make room for the broken strangers, for in doing so we will welcome Christ. I pray that today, I can be observant enough to see the need and courageous enough to respond. May we all invite God in, the welcomed stranger, the Christ child born in a stable to love the world.

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