Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.~Hebrews 13:2 NIV
“Excuse me,” I said to the stranger who had leaned his full arm on my shopping cart. I thought about elbowing him, but I refrained.
I was dealing with grief. My mother 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, and I had never made it.
Now, not only was I grieving, I had to muster up the resolve 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 Ray.”
My mind flashed to a time when I’d had an unusual encounter with another man who was also 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 full attention. And “Ray”–like in beam of heavenly light? Perhaps…
“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.
“Don’t worry about how I know. You are making chicken stew, aren’t you?”
“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. Ken 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. “In fact, I’ll help you with any of your recipes. Feel free to call anytime.” He turned, waved, and confidently walked away.
I watched, wondering if he’d 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–or a human who served as one–was close, and that Mom was okay.
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 didn’t know at the time if he was a guardian angel or a kind stranger. What I was certain of is that God sent him to me during a 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 servants named Ken.
Friend, if you’re wondering how you’ll make it after the death of a loved one, let me assure you that you will. God met my need, and He will meet yours. Our sweet Lord Jesus will find a way to assure you He is with you. He walks beside us at all times. And, if you need a servant, whether it is earthly or angelic, He will supply.
Lord Jesus, thank You for comforting my soul through divine appointments.
Royal Appointment is a true story. It is a tribute to an earthly servant named Ken. The author learned years after her encounter, that “Ken” was a real person, now deceased. As a result of a home break-in, at the hands of someone he had mentored, he was killed. Ken served people well, in love, including on the evening of his tragic demise. Truly, he laid down his life in service to King Jesus.
Copyright 2016: Royal Appointment: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved