Entertain Strangers by Michael Ledbetter
by Michael Ledbetter
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2 (New King James Version)
I stopped studying for the ministry, and I stopped doing any preaching. I tried to go on with my life and convince myself that I never heard that still small voice of God urging me to do His work. I spent ten years running from this calling in my heart, I did everything I knew a preacher was not supposed to do, so that I could say, “see, it’s not what I’m supposed to be”.
During this time, I got married, for the first time, and my wife gave birth to my oldest son. I was working at a car lot as a salesman. I had been there for around a year, and I had slipped farther away from God than ever in my life. I wasn’t going to church, except on Christmas, Easter, and special occasions.
I had done a pretty good job of convincing myself that I was never really supposed to be a preacher. I certainly wasn’t living like a preacher, and so how could I really have ever been called by God in the first place?
My encounter with what I have believed, and always will believe was an angel, was not spectacular, or science fiction like, but was instead a very subtile meeting. She was a regular looking black woman, she appeared to be in her mid to late twenties, about 5 ft, 3 or 4, inches tall. She came walking into the car lot to look for a new car. I guess angels need transportation too. (hehe)
As a rule of thumb, we were required to get every person’s name and phone number as we talked to different potential customers every day. But for some reason I never got hers. I never forgot to get this information because if I did, I got a good lecture from my sales manager about it when I got back inside. For some reason, I forgot to ask for hers.
I had shown her several cars that seemed to be out of her price range, and we were walking across the lot toward the lower priced compacts. She really wasn’t talking much at all, just listening intently to everything I said. I was spueing out quite a bit of sales jargon to her like, “I know we can earn your business here today!” and “you look good in that one!”.
Right in the middle of my rambeling, she stopped me, and asked me a question I’ll never forget. She said, “Are you a preacher?”. I was very shocked, simply because this is something I hadn’t thought about in several years. I said, “Well, I was at one time, but that was a long time ago”. I remember the way she looked at me and smiled, there was something in that smile that made me feel at peace all of the sudden, and she said, “Well, you will be again”. “What do you mean? How do you know?” I asked. Again, the smile, the peace, and she said, “There’s just this spirit I feel about you”.
That was the end of our conversation. I stood there, unable to respond to her, speechless, which was a very unusual state for me to be in. She continued to smile, turned around went back to her dark blue car and was gone. I never saw her again, and of course I forgot to ask for her name and number. I have this feeling that I wouldn’t have gotten it even if I had asked her.
Today I am the pastor of three rural churches in TN and also a part time web designer. I spent many years running from what I now know to be my true mission in life, or at least a big part of it. I thank God for sending me my messenger angel. Praise God.