"Entertaining Angels"
(Author Unknown)

8-29-01 SOW Seeds Service of the Church Within - Story #151

Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds]

        We now have over 50% of our past 150 Stories of the Week transferred to our New “S.O.W. Archives” Page listed by story title and author. This should make it a Lot easier for you to find a particular Inspirational Story you may be looking for, or looking to share with another. Please visit it by going to: http://www.churchwithin.org/awelcome.html and clicking on the “Story of the Week Archives” link on that page.
        I would Also like at this time, to thank Carolyn Camp for the Magnificent New Background Art that we are now using at the Church Within Web-Site. You can Also visit Carolyn's site from the above page by clicking on the link located there. It is Well Worth the Visit!!! Thank You Carolyn!

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Minister Judy Girard

Story of the Week

“Entertaining Angels”
(Author Unknown)

        It was fifty years ago, on a hot summer day in the deep south. We lived on a dirt road, on a sand lot. We were what was known as "dirt poor".

        I had been playing outside all morning in the sand. Suddenly, I heard a sharp clanking sound behind me, and looking over my shoulder my eyes were drawn to a strange sight!

        Across the dirt road were two rows of men dressed in black and white striped, baggy uniforms. Their faces were covered with dust and sweat. They looked so weary, and they were chained together with huge, black iron chains. Hanging from the end of each chained row was a big black iron ball. They were, as polite people said in those days, a "Chain Gang," guarded by two heavily armed white guards.

        I stared at the prisoners as they settled uncomfortably down in the dirt under the shade of some straggly trees. One of the guards walked towards me.

        Nodding as he passed, he went up to our front door and knocked. My mother appeared at the door and I heard the guard ask if he could have permission to get water from the pump in the backyard so that "his men" could "have a drink". My mother agreed, but I saw a look of concern on her face called me inside.

        I stared through the window, as each prisoner was unchained from the line to hobble over to the pump and drink his fill from a small tin cup while a guard watched vigilantly. It wasn't long before they were all chained back up again, with prisoners and guards retreating into the shade away from an unrelenting sun.

        I heard my mother call me into the kitchen, and I entered to see her bustling around with tins of tuna fish, mayonnaise, our last loaf of bread, and two big pitchers of lemonade. In what seemed "a blink of an eye", she had made a tray of sandwiches using all the tuna we were to have had for that night's supper.

        My mother was smiling as she handed me one of the pitchers of lemonade, cautioning me to carry it "carefully" and to "not spill a drop." Then, lifting the tray in one hand and holding a pitcher in her other hand, she marched me to the door, deftly opening it with her foot and trotted me across the street.

        She approached the guards, flashing them with a brilliant smile. "We had some leftovers from lunch," she said, "and I was wondering if we could share with you and your men." She smiled at each of the men, searching their dark eyes with her own eyes of "robin's egg blue." Everyone started to their feet. "Oh no!" she said. "Stay where you are! I'll just serve you!"

        Calling me to her side, she went from guard to guard, then from prisoner to prisoner---filling each tin cup with lemonade and giving each man a sandwich. It was very quiet except for, a "thank you ma'am," and the clanking of the chains. Very soon we were at the end of the line, my mother's eyes softly scanning each face.

        The last prisoner was a big man, his dark skin pouring with sweat and streaked with dust. Suddenly, his face broke into a wonderful smile as he looked up into my mother's eyes, and he said, "Ma'am, I've wondered all my life if I'd ever see an angel, and now I have! Thank you!"

        Again, my mother's smile took in the whole group. "You're all welcome!" she said. "God bless you." Then we walked across to the house with empty tray and pitchers, and back inside. Soon, the men moved on and I never saw them again.

        The only explanation my mother ever gave me for that strange and wonderful day, was that I "remember, always, to entertain strangers, for by doing so, you may entertain angels without knowing." Then, with a mysterious smile she went about the rest of the day.

        I don't remember what we ate for supper that night. I just know it was served by an angel.

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Assist me always in my desire to serve Your Children in Love and without prejudice and judgment.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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