You just never know.

It’s become a tradition for us to host our Asian friends at our home for Thanksgiving.  Last year, it was Ken & Miho, Richard, and Jack & his family.  I know those names don’t look Asian, but everyone except Miho has taken a Western name to spare us the embarrassment of trying to pronounce them.  Anyway, this year, Jack’s family couldn’t make it, so we invited the new Yamagata chef, Lewis.  Lewis is a native of China.  He actually lived near Marco and Kat.  Lewis and I were talking and it turns out his mom is from the city where we have gone for the last several years.  He was excited to meet someone who has experienced the Night Market!

Anyway, as they were leaving around 3 on Thursday afternoon, Miho stayed behind while the guys all piled into the car.  She stayed behind to tell us that Lewis’ dad had passed away on Monday, and getting to share a family meal had meant the world to him.  She thanked us profusely, and then made her exit.

We never would have known of Lewis’ loss if she hadn’t told us.  It reminded me that every moment is an opportunity to impact someone’s life.  We never really know what’s going on with them.  By simply being hospitable, polite, or even generous, God can do things that we remain unaware of.  The author of Hebrews (I lean towards it being Luke, btw), wrote, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Heb. 13:2)  To do that means making the most of every encounter.  And to do that means laying aside yourself and your agenda for a higher purpose.  Our daily mantra needs to sound similar to what Jesus told His disciples in John 4:  “My food is to do the will of my father.”  Especially in this holiday season, learn to breathe that simple phrase of obedience.  In doing so, the least you may accomplish is passing a test to see how you would treat a stranger.  The best you may do is to be Jesus in the life of someone who is hurting and desperate for hope.  Either way, you express the great love for Jesus that we say we have for Him.

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