“I was a stranger and you did not invite me in…” Matthew 25:43
Stephen rang our doorbell at 4 a.m. We had never met this person who was soaking wet, beaten up, drunk and asking for help. As my husband, Tom, debated assisting him, the words of Matthew 25:43 came to mind, “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in…” Despite his instinct not to trust strangers, Tom felt led to help Stephen.
While it is difficult to reach a drunken mind, my husband was able to offer Stephen a memory of Christian love. Any other home on our street would have held a different welcome for this person. We wondered whey he knocked on our door. We mused whether God was updating our “sheep” status (Matthew 25: 35-46).
A few days later, while driving to Michigan, we found ourselves in Iowa City with car problems. Immediately I thought of the local CPC director, Donna Phillips. When I called Donna, she and her husband, Ken, offered shelter to us (strangers) for the night and a comfortable place for Tom to work on the car. Our time together was delightful and anointed. The next morning we were back on the road and felt blessed.
As we drove along the road I thought about the whole week and wondered if Donna would have been home if Tom had not opened the door to Stephen?
Welcoming strangers is something you do every day in your ministry life. Remember that if you are ever stranded in a foreign city, the local pregnancy care center could be a place of refuge for you as well. After all, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!