“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2
For several years we owned and operated a small cattle ranch in West Texas. Once after a long day out repairing fences, we were about to leave the ranch when Tee noticed one of our recently acquired young heifers all tangled up in a hay ring. I suppose the cow must have thought the hay was greener deep inside the ring than it was around the edges. The end result was that she had gotten herself into a fine mess, her hind legs completely hobbled between two steel rods while her head and torso were wedged between two others causing her to be trapped laying on her side on the ground.
So, there we were pushing, twisting, prying, coaxing, and pulling, trying to maneuver her body enough to loosen her hind legs so she could free herself, all to no avail. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw an old red car drive down the road, stop, and turn around. A little short fellow got out wearing knee-high rubber boots and walking with a limp. “Ya’ll need some help?” he hollered seeing our predicament. “Sure do,” we replied. The man paused for a second to light up a Marlboro, and then hobbled over to where we were. Without a word he joined us in our pushing, twisting, prying, coaxing, and pulling until – thanks to his help – we were able to untangle her hind legs and set the cow free, without any of us getting kicked in the process.
Afterwards we introduced ourselves. His name was Lonnie, and he was on his way to work in the tiny village down the road from our ranch. The fact that he was wearing knee-high rubber boots should give you a hint that . . . well, let me just say he had a nasty job none of us would want. Unfortunately the only hospitality I could think to offer old Lonnie was a big “thank you” and a small stipend for his good dead, which he refused.
Sometimes angels appear in the form of a short gimpy-legged fellow driving an old beat up red car, wearing knee-high rubber boots, and puffing on a Marlboro. That little experience with Lonnie was a great reminder, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”