Friday, December 17, 2010

Angels Unawares

I delivered a package yesterday, like so many others attempting to beat the Christmas rush. While I was there, I had supplies to get, for yet another mailing. There was a separate cashier for stamps and assorted items.

"Sir, did you see that the line for mailing packages is over there?"

"Yes, sir, I was just in that line, but the guy said I could use the self-service booth over there. Meanwhile I thought I might get some of these things."

"Well, normally we take the next person in that line over there. But I suppose ..."

"Yeah, I suppose I didn't get that memo. Sorry about that. Do you have any Madonna stamps?"

"Uh, no we ran out of those, sir."

"Rats! I always tell myself every year that I'm going to buy them before mid-December, and I always forget. They're my favorite, you know? I used to use them year round."

"Yes, they're my favorite too."

"Do you have any Mother Teresa stamps? They're my second favorite."

"Why, yes we do sir. I like those too ... Let's see, cushioned mailer, shipping box, stamps. That'll be $13.68, sir."

"I'll use debit."

The postal clerk leaned closer as I was handling the transaction. He was a tall fellow, and handsome enough. But upon examination, he was just trying to hold it together, whatever it was. "Could you pray for me, sir?"

"Huh?" Now there's something you don't hear every day.

"Just a Hail Mary, whatever you can do, please."

"Uh, no trouble, really. I think we could get a rosary out of this."

"Oh, whatever you can do, sir, thank you." And I left.

I have to go back tomorrow. What will I say? He'll probably act as if nothing is amiss, which is fine with me. I got halfway through the Joyful Mysteries last night before falling asleep, and I intend to finish them tonight. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2) We meet them when we least expect it. Just as unexpected is when the task falls to ourselves.

1 comment:

Gail F said...

That was very moving David, thank you for posting it. I will pray for him too. Yesterday I was very much wishing that someone would pray for me.