Talk to Strangers

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One of my fondest memories of my older brother Dru is from such a long time ago that I don’t even know if he remembers it, and the details may be incorrect. I know for sure that it happened though. We were both pretty young, definitely still in elementary school, riding in the car one summer to Disney World. We had pulled off at an exit in search of somewhere to eat lunch when we came across something we had either never seen before or never taken much notice of if we had seen it. There was a man on the side of the road asking for money. My parents, who have such huge hearts, are always quick to give, so they stopped. But what I remember most was my brother wanting to give him all the money he had. He was a kid, on his way to Disney World of all places, and he wanted to give every single bit of his money to a complete stranger. I don’t know what happened to the man; I don’t even remember what he looked like. I hope he found some sort of comfort from the little boy who gave all that he could. I know I find comfort in that. If you know anything about Dru, you probably know that he has a big heart, especially for himself, but I think it’s just because he doesn’t want everyone to know how big his heart for others really is.

I’m sure you’ve all either been told or told someone else, “Don’t talk to strangers.” It’s a valid piece of advice, particularly for small children, but I think that sometimes we get a little bit too caught up in what we were told to do. We should absolutely talk to strangers! (Keep in mind that this is coming from the girl who doesn’t even like to order food.) All too easily we forget that everyone has a story. We don’t consider the possibility that any given person may only get to interact with strangers. We forget that almost everyone we know started out as a stranger.

There are different kinds of strangers, too. Someone might not be a stranger to you. Maybe they’re a stranger to hope or peace. Maybe they need to meet something more than a person-something like faith or love. Maybe they just need to be met with the sweet smile and kind eyes of a person who doesn’t look upon them with judgement. After all, they’re just friends waiting to happen.  In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, chapter thirteen verse two, he writes, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” He’s saying that by being kind to those whom we do not know, there’s the possibility that we will be in the presence of angels.

My big brother is, by no stretch of the imagination, just as human as the rest of us. I’ve lived with him my whole life; I would know. But I believe that on the way to Disney all those years ago, he was an angel to the man on the side of the road…He was an angel to a girl tonight when he gave a twenty-five percent tip. You see, interacting with strangers gives us the chance to make a simple but profound difference in the lives of each other. I’m a big believer in the existence of angels, but I think that more often than not, people are able to act as angels, reaching out a hand to the ones we don’t know, as well as to the ones we know. So talk to people you don’t know. Allow yourself to be an angel and to be in the presence of one. Just spread peace, happiness, love, or in the spirit of my brother, just spread positive vibes. Angels are all around us, hidden in our mothers and the strangers we haven’t yet had the pleasure of knowing. And that gives me such immense joy.

1 Corinthians 16:23-24,
Shannon

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