For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
This is the fifth installment of my series regarding my husband, Danny, and our most unexpected "vacation." You can find the first four listed at the right side of this page under Blog Archive, April.
It is almost 6 o'clock in the evening. Danny has made phone calls to his family (not his mother as she would be worried witless) and work about our sudden turn of events, and I've reached my mom at our 5:30 daily rendezvous. She is, needless to say, in shock, and so sorry to hear of all that has transpired. It takes every ounce of will power I have not to dissolve into tears while speaking with her.
Danny notices my distress after I hang up, and takes my hand. "This has been a long day. You need dinner and rest. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
As much as I hate to leave, I know Danny's right. I really need to eat. I would love a glass of wine right about now, just to help me relax, and let the worries and pressures of this most eventful day take a back seat, if only for one evening. I kiss Danny good-bye, promising to be back as soon as I can in the morning.
And I realize, as I stand outside the hospital entrance, summoning an Uber, how vulnerable I suddenly am. A woman alone, in an unfamiliar city, relying upon the kindness and assistance of strangers, is not at all a comforting feeling. I find myself wishing with all my might that this is just a bad dream, one from which I will wake up any minute and find myself in the cabin with Danny, sitting on the porch rockers, gazing at the breathtaking mountain views.
God knows I'm on the verge of a full-fledged pity party. That is not in His plans. I've got you, Martha. Everything is fine. I'll never leave nor forsake you. Just watch . . .
I watch, but I don't see them at first. It's not until I'm about ready to turn in for the night, opening every drawer in hopes of finding Gideon's Bible, when the light breaks through. Angels! God, You sent angels, one after the other, all evening long! Have I entertained them, unaware?
- The Uber driver, who upon hearing my plight, promises to pray for Danny and me, and share our situation with the prayer group he leads at his church.
- The clerks at the Hampton Inn, where I mistakenly think I'd booked my room, only to find out it is at Homewood Suites on the same road. They, too, hear my story as tears well in my eyes, and quickly assure me that because both hotels are under the Hilton umbrella, a shuttle will be sent for directly.
- The shuttle driver, who is also a concierge at Homewood, is not just sympathetic, but guarantees me that her staff is ready to help in any way possible. "We have a complimentary buffet with free wine and beer going on right now. There's only about thirty minutes left, so don't worry about checking in until you've had something to eat and drink." Free??? Did she say free? Now I don't have to leave the hotel yet again to find dinner! "And there is a complimentary breakfast in the morning, so don't miss it." Can we say, "Heaven?"
- As I'm enjoying a savory meal and a glass of cabernet, I notice this same woman saying something to several members of the buffet staff. I think nothing of it until a young server brings me a to-go cup with its lid on right before dinner closes. Curious, I open it only to find it filled to the brim with wine! Uh-oh! This is going to be an all-evening sipper! Another miracle at the wedding at Cana?
- When I finally get around to checking in, the young woman at the desk makes me feel right at home, and will procure a toothbrush and toothpaste for me momentarily. Lifesaver!
- Once in my room, I make a few short, but necessary, calls to family, trying to conserve my cell phone's power. The conversations are comforting, but emotional. I feel I need some fresh air. Teary-eyed, I press the elevator button. When the doors open, there is one woman inside. I press the "G" for ground, but up we go! We both laugh when I admit I must have pushed the "up" button instead of the "down." Later, when I'm sitting outside on the hotel patio, this same woman shows up, introduces herself as "Claudia," and asks if she can join me. As God would have it, she is also a Christian. We talk for over an hour, and I'm so grateful for her company on an evening that was fast beginning to feel unbearably lonely.
Yes! God, in His great mercy, sends me angels this night; little do I know then that He would continue to do so throughout our stay in Asheville. But now, I understand how to watch for them, to be aware of their abiding presence.
I might not see wings, but God grants me the grace to see their hearts.