“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing,
some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
A week before Christmas I was having tea with my friend Monica. We were warming ourselves in front of a fire when the doorbell rang. It was mid-day. The girls were playing upstairs lost in a world of Playmobile. I was not expecting anyone.
Parked across the street was a pick up truck, and standing in front of me was a man, asking if I would like him to work on our yard. It was not hard to tell why he picked our yard. We never did a fall clean up. Dried leaves lined our fence and gathered at the bottom of our stairs. Our holly bush had one lone branch stretching towards the gutter. Our lilac was unruly and overgrown. It was not that we did not want to fix up the yard, but with Greg traveling and working extra long hours, our weekend time became extra precious. Spending half a day doing yard work simply was not a priority.
I asked him to wait a moment while I ran inside to gather my thoughts. Should I ask him to do the work? It would be a great gift to Greg. Should I trust this stranger? After a few moments of talking with Monica I decided that yes, I should. She helped me communicate what would be done and a fair price since Spanish is her primary language. Coincidence? Maybe. I happened to have cash on hand, left over from the money we took out in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. I never have cash on hand. Coincidence? Maybe.
In two short hours, my yard was cleaned of all leaves, the lilac, holly and boxwoods were trimmed, and the bags lined my driveway. Greg noticed as soon as he pulled in from work at 9:00pm. It was an early Christmas gift. He was very pleased not only with how great our yard looked, but that he did not have to do it this year! I have Guillermo’s card tucked away for the spring time, when another clean up will be needed.
This is an ordinary story, but the part of this story that I have told to just one other person (who happened to almost drop the phone laughing -- at me.....) was that I felt compelled to let this stranger who knocked upon my door looking for work in. In my heart I felt a parallel to Joseph knocking on the doors looking for shelter and being turned away until he finally found refuge in a manger. I could not turn this man away. Not a week before Christmas. Not when I felt compelled to trust. Coincidence? Maybe......but maybe not.