>We had a visitation at our house on Wednesday. No, not Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons. The visitor did not even ring the doorbell, but they did knock on the window, and their visit left an impression on us.
I think it may have been a small trainee angel on its first flight. It did not stay long, but we have photographic evidence of its visit.
The trainee angel must have hit the window at some pace to leave an impression like that. Sally, who was in the house at the time, heard a thump from the back of the house, but by the time she got there the angel had gone – presumably embarrassed at having made such an elementary error – to be greeted by good-natured banter from his classmates when he got back to the heavenly hangar.
I am quite relieved in some ways that the angel did not get to deliver his message to Sally. Very significant things happen to women when they are visited by angels – just look at the first chapter of Luke! But it reminded me of a verse in the New Testament that has both baffled and challenged me:
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Does this mean I should be trying to do my magic tricks for anyone I meet – to make sure they are entertained? Strangers beware!
Or does it, as I suspect, mean that I need to be as hospitable as I can to everyone I meet? That instruction is not just a personal one for our homes, it is a corporate one for our churches too. How welcome do people feel? We sometimes say to guests, “Make yourself at home,” by which we don’t mean raid the fridge, switch on the TV and use the phone to call anyone you want. How might our churches be different if we began each service with “Make yourself at home!” Is it so ridiculous? What might we have to do differently? What might people find helpful? How can we entertain strangers?
A monastery which had once flourished was going downhill rapidly. The monks were getting cranky with each other, they resented their work and they were less than hospitable to strangers who visited, contrary to their tradition. One snowy night a stranger knocked on the door seeking shelter from the bad weather and was reluctantly and ungraciously admitted. He sat in a corner at the mealtime, without being offered any food, and watched sadly as the monks selfishly grabbed food from the table and listened with a heavy heart as he heard all the moaning and complaining.
Before he left the next day, the stranger asked to see the Abbot. He told him that in a dream that night God had told him that one of the monks was actually an angel, but he didn’t say which one. He left and the Abbot excitedly told the rest of the monks what he had heard. From that day on the monastery was a different place. The monks treated each other with courtesy and respect. They worked diligently and they enthusiastically welcomed all who came to the monastery seeking help.
When the stranger returned a year later the Abbot took him aside and asked him which one of the monks was the angel. The stranger just smiled.
She was dressed as an Angel, and was just delightful. The woman said, “what are you supposed to say sweetheart?”
The little girl looks up at the woman and says “Twick or Tweat!”
The woman thinks this is just adorable, and she calls her husband to come to the door. The woman say to the child, “Go ahead honey say it just one more time.”
Once again the little Angel looks up and says, “Twick or Tweat!”
The husband agrees with his wife, this little Angel is just the cutest thing. The woman picks an apple from the Treat Bowl, shines it up with her apron, and drops it into the little girl’s Treat Bag.
The little Angel looks in her bag then looks up at the woman, swore horribly and says, “Thanks a lot, you just broke my ********** cookies!