Today the divisions in our country and in our churches and in our families are daunting. No time in my life have I experienced such anger and resentment; such righteousness and chauvinism. It seems that we are so busy drawing lines in the sand that we have forsaken our fellow humans. Gatherings are tenuous. Conversations are avoided. Neighbors are ignored. Friends and family are neglected.
As I often do, when confronted with things beyond my ken, I search for the wisdom of others. My friend Sherry always finds the good in others. She is an example of God’s never-ending love for us. She forgives completely. And I have been the humble recipient of her forgiveness. My grandchildren, aged 6 to 17, look at our world with such hopefulness. It is impossible not to share their joy and their dreams of a better world. I want to join them on that journey. I have close friends with which I share no political opinions nor affiliations (and we likely routinely cancel one another’s votes) yet we remain respectful, devoted and loving.
This summer I had the opportunity to serve at a food pantry alongside my teenage granddaughter and my pre-teen grandson. I was proud of them and their willingness to give to others. But what truly astounded me was their ease and comfort on that day. They truly gave of themselves – respectful and loving to all they encountered. Their enthusiasm and joy was contagious. On the drive home they recounted their day with thoughtfulness and wondered aloud why life was unfair for so many people. Never once did they judge any of the clientele. Never once did they gloat nor mention how fortunate they were to not be one in need. Instead they were thankful for having been given an opportunity to serve.
Those two saw the good in each person. And once again, they taught me a valuable lesson. I need to stop looking for the differences in others. I need to let go of my need to be on “the right side”. I need to look in the mirror and find that speck of goodness that my loved ones have found. And ask God to forgive me when I fail to share that goodness and miss another opportunity to entertain an angel.
Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:2