In 2010 Terry and I made a trip to Costa Rica to attend Costa Rica Spanish Institute. However, this trip had a few hitches. When we arrived at the Atlanta airport to check in we discovered Terry had picked up our old passports by mistake. We had to rebook for the next day, drive home to retrieve the current passports and return the following day. This created another problem. COSI was an immersion language program and we were due to stay with a family. The message of our delay was relayed to a family member but not passed on to the parent who was hosting us. She showed up on the appropriate day and time, bewildered that we didn’t arrive.
When we did at last arrive, after a plane and then a bus trip, we were delivered to a bus station at dark in what was clearly not a safe part of town. We didn’t know the language; didn’t have a phone with us; didn’t know how to contact anyone; didn’t know where we were in relation to anything else. We were LOST! A taxi driver who only spoke Spanish stopped and we showed him the little card with the name and address of the person with whom we were to stay. He looked at it briefly and drove off. We assumed he didn’t know how to read. We just stood there on the sidewalk wondering what in the world to do when another vehicle drove up. The driver, who turned out to be an American living in Costa Rica, rolled down the window and said, “Do you need some help?” We told him the situation, he called the person we were to stay with, got directions to her home and delivered us safe and sound to our destination. Even now looking back, I marvel at that miracle.
I have encountered others I would call earth angels. Once about 11 months after Terry donated his kidney to his sister, we were at a conference. Terry mentioned in the context of the discussion about the physiology of the brain, that he’d never had headaches until he donated his kidney. After the lecture, one of the participants came up to him and said he thought he could help Terry. We went to his room with him, he put a little device on Terry’s hand, took some kind of measurement, and said Terry was low in a particular mineral. He put some drops under Terry’s tongue and—another miracle!—Terry’s headaches completely stopped and never recurred.
We all have opportunities to be earth angels. My friend Kathy was one this week for some folks whose son died while in custody awaiting transfer to a psychiatric hospital after a mental health crisis. If you review your last few weeks, perhaps you recognize instances when you either were the benefactor or recipient of these kind of interactions.
I am reminded of Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: Earth Angel Treat: 3-2-1 Magic Mug Cake: Mix angel food cake mix with a second cake mix of any flavor. Mix 3 T. of cake mix with 2 T. water and place in mug; microwave for one minute and enjoy. 😊