By Diane Virginia
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some
people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 NIV
“Excuse me,” I said to the stranger who had leaned on my shopping cart. I thought about elbowing him, but I refrained.
I was dealing with grief. Mom had just died, so I knew my emotions were raw. Our home Bible Study group wanted me to make chicken stew. I was painfully aware I couldn’t phone Mom for advice.
Now, not only was I grieving, I had to politely deal with the stranger who was leaning on my cart. I grabbed my purse and moved the cart.
The stranger approached me again. “You need to know how to make the stew, don’t you?”
“I… uh… What’d you say?”
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Ken.”
“Ken?” My mind flashed to a time when I’d had an unusual encounter with a man named Ken. He had shown up at my office and voiced the prayer I was silently praying. I was director of a daycare and we needed money to care for the children. Ken helped me to raise the necessary funds in one weekend. How? He brought carnival equipment and the crowds came. I had asked Ken point blank if he was an angel. He avoided answering, telling me not to worry about such things and to focus on providing for the children. So, when this stranger introduced himself as “Ken” he had my attention.
“How did you know I was making stew?” I said, noticing he did not outwardly resemble the Ken I had encountered previously. And yet, he did have a similar personality—bubbly, direct, solution-oriented, and having a judicious knowledge-base I had not shared.
“You are making chicken stew, right?”
“So, how many guests are in your dinner party?”
“Eight,” I said, wondering how he knew I was fixing stew for a crowd.
“Put the skinless chicken breasts back,” Ken instructed. “The skin is the key to good chicken stew flavor.” Ken picked up five whole birds. “Not only are these cheaper by the pound, your stew will turn out better.”
“How do you know so much about making stew?”
“Does it matter?”
“I’ve made it a time or two. For work buddies. I’m glad to help you.” Ken wrote the recipe for chicken stew on a scrap of paper. Then, he addressed the underlying issue—my loneliness for my mom. He never named her. He simply met my need to consult a chef by scribbling his phone number next to the recipe. “If you have questions, call me. I’ll help you over the phone,” Ken said. He turned, waved, and confidently walked away.
I watched, wondering if he would vanish. He didn’t.
* * *
I did call Ken that night. I wasn’t sure how much milk to add to the stew and how to make sure it didn’t scald. I also didn’t know how to remove the bones. We discussed the recipe for a few minutes and I finished the stew. It turned out perfect. I never called Ken again. I didn’t have to. I knew my guardian angel was close, and that Mom was okay.
I laughed as I imagined Mom nudging Ken since she knew I couldn’t phone her. It was then that I decided it was time to praise God again. Through my tears, I determined to tell Jesus how much I appreciated Him. “Jesus, You are good. Thank You for sending Ken to me today. I’m pretty sure he’s my guardian angel, but I’m not sure. What I am certain of is that You are the One who sent him to me during this time of need.”
Later, I looked up the meaning of the name, “Ken.” Ken means “royal obligation.” I thanked God for arranging the two royal appointments with His servant, Ken.
If you are wondering how you’ll make it after the death of a loved one, think of how Ken came to me during my loneliest day. Because God met my need, I am certain He will meet yours. Your sweet Lord Jesus will find a way to assure you that you are never alone.
Lord Jesus, I thank You that even in my darkest moments, You are there, comforting my soul through divine appointments with Your servants, whether they are angels or people.
If you’ve had an angelic or people encounter you’d like to share with our readers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org You do not have to be a writer; Diane will write the story for you. Submissions deadline is August 1st. We will contact you only if your story is chosen.[Top]