I was reminded yesterday of one of my kids’ favorite lines: “My mom will feed you!” All I have to do is think about it, and I smile! One particular set of memories comes flooding back, though, with this line.
Back when my son was in high school, he had a part-time job near the downtown part of the city. One afternoon, he was approached by a great big, burly, tattoed guy with gauged ears, who asked him if he could hook him up with some “friends of Bill,” as he and his wife had just gotten into town. That’s code for an AA meeting, which my son knew, I would not have known. My son looked over and saw that he had a very young-looking wife nearby clearly ready to have a baby in the near future, and asked him where they had come from, and where they were headed. They had just come into town from San Francisco, and were going to be staying the night in a shelter.
So, as he should have done, my son told him, “Meet me back here about 5:30 when I get off work, and I’ll take you and your wife home with me, and before you check into a shelter, at least my mom will feed you a good, hot meal.” I know. You’re thinking my son called me to say he was bringing these two home with him, but, my kids think I thrive on the element of surprise! And, truth is, I never mind. We fed the young man, (I’ll call him Mark) and his wife, and they stayed with us. It turned out she was from our area, but had run away from home a few years earlier, all the way to San Francisco, where she met her husband. He had run away from foster care, and was on the streets himself. Now, they were of age, married, expecting a baby, and she was hoping to reconnect with her family and move back close to “home.” We let them spend the nights with us, but they had to leave in the mornings, before we left for work and school. I always fed them, and they always helped us clean up after meals. Mostly, I wanted very much to share love with them, and see them come to know Jesus. We shared the gospel of truth with them, we celebrated the seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then the birth of their baby with them, while he got a job working at a local mechanic’s garage.
By the time they left, they had not professed to us that they accepted Jesus, but at least they had heard the truth many times. And, at least I fed them! “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)