Strangers

He phoned his neighbor, who spoke Spanish. The neighbor translated: “Her husband left her. She says she’s been living in the woods...”

The Christmas season. A desolate road. Georgia. It was late. Cold.

He was driving home from work. Windows cracked, smoking a cigarette. He was a lonely old man. No kids. No family.

He was a rough man. He lived in a lonely house. His lonely lawn was overgrown. He’d been married once, long ago. It didn’t work out. In his younger days, he had his share of problems with a bottle.

He heard hollering through his window.

He pulled over. He walked into a dead field, following the sound.

It was a girl, brown-skinned, holding a baby. She was delirious. She moaned. She was burning hot with a fever. The baby was screaming.

He carried them to his vehicle. He drove them home. He laid her in his bed. He held a cold rag to her forehead. He gave her red Gatorade.

She mumbled in a language he didn’t understand.

He phoned his neighbor, who spoke Spanish. The neighbor translated: “Her husband left her. She says she’s been living in the woods…”

“Husband?” the old man remarked. “She doesn’t even look eighteen.”

More Spanish.

“She’s sixteen.”

Her husband had been fired from a factory job. Times got hard. He left. She was homeless overnight.

She’d moved into a tent made from a blue tarp. She was living in the woods, eating food from garbage cans—which had made her sick.

For nine days, the old man stayed beside her bed. Mornings, afternoons, nights. He made chicken soup. He spoon-fed her. He bottle-fed the baby.

He prayed aloud. And when he was done talking to God, he would tell her stories—though she was half-delirious, and unable to understand him.

She was weak. He helped her use the restroom. He cleaned her accidents. He changed the sheets. He kept fluids running through her.

And one afternoon, while warming baby formula in the microwave, balancing a baby on his hip, the girl wandered into his kitchen.

She looked healthy. Refreshed. She spoke, then pointed to her mouth.

“Food.”

So, the old man made a breakfast of colossal proportions. The girl ate so much she had to take a nap. When she awoke, it was to an even bigger supper.

That night, she fell asleep on his sofa, watching TV. He covered her cold feet with a quilt. He watched her sleep and asked God to help her.

And even though they shared no common words, even though he was a fallen man, it only took weeks to become good friends.

And before she left him for Texas, her words were translated to him:

“I believed God had forgotten about me. I thought I would die before anyone ever found me or my baby.”

Then she saw headlights and heard a voice in her delirium. A gentle voice from heaven. The voice said, “It will be okay. Here comes one of my angels.”

They hugged.

He kissed the baby and told them how much he would miss them. He gave her a handful of cash. He watched the bus drive away until the taillights disappeared.

That was a long time ago, but he still thinks about her. He still prays for her.

And he probably always will.

That’s just what angels do.

21 comments

  1. Sandi in FL - December 17, 2017 8:05 am

    OH! This story touched my heart to the very core. How I wish their paths would cross again.

    Reply
  2. Susan Hammett Poole - December 17, 2017 8:11 am

    WOW. Just wow. Beautifully told story. Reading the translation of the words God spoke to this young mother made me tear up at the words about “here comes one of my angels.” God is faithful and always on time.

    Reply
  3. Vickie - December 17, 2017 10:50 am

    Beautiful. We all need angels sometimes.

    Reply
  4. teachenglish67 - December 17, 2017 11:53 am

    Hebrews 13:2 says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” I believe they were both angels put together by God to help each other. I do hope they see each other again someday. This story brought tears to me and a smile of gratitude. Thank you, once again, Sean.

    Reply
  5. ponder304 - December 17, 2017 12:14 pm

    God uses us when we let him. Sean, I sincerely believe you are an angel to many people. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart! An Angel indeed!

    Reply
  6. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way - December 17, 2017 12:18 pm

    Doggone but I hate sniveling in my coffee! I believe angels — fallen or otherwise.

    Reply
  7. Robin Patchen - December 17, 2017 12:58 pm

    I read your posts every day, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I just wanted to tell you this morning that your words encourage me. They often make me cry. They always make me thank God for good people. Have a lovely Sunday.

    Reply
  8. Pam Bishop - December 17, 2017 1:45 pm

    So sweet!

    Reply
  9. Pat Byers - December 17, 2017 3:04 pm

    ‘Then she saw headlights and heard a voice in her delirium. A gentle voice from heaven. The voice said, “It will be okay. Here comes one of my angels.” ‘

    and THAT was what got me. I do believe that there are angels. I have been in their presence. Thank you for these words this morning.

    Reply
  10. Marcella Messer - December 17, 2017 4:34 pm

    You make my day with your stories. Down to earth and touching. Thank you God for the gift you have given Sean.

    Reply
  11. Bob Hubbard - December 17, 2017 5:34 pm

    Angels unaware…..they are everywhere….

    Reply
  12. Janet Mary Lee - December 17, 2017 7:06 pm

    Very touching. Very right for every day. And Amen…

    Reply
  13. Linda H - December 17, 2017 8:24 pm

    I believe that angels walk among us. Every. Single. Day. We need to open our hearts and minds to their words … we can be serve as a conduit for His goodness. God bless you for sharing this story. I look forward to reading your words. Every. Single. Day.

    Reply
  14. Jody - December 18, 2017 1:52 am

    The tenderness he displayed toward her and the baby truly touched my heart. Thank you Sean for the powerful message you share.

    Reply
  15. Jennifer Sekella - December 18, 2017 3:30 am

    Beautiful.

    Reply
  16. Marty from Alabama - December 18, 2017 5:22 am

    Oh my goodness, what a beautiful story. Thank you.

    Reply
  17. Cindy Dawson - December 18, 2017 2:44 pm

    I love this story!

    Reply
  18. Michael S Smith Sr - December 19, 2017 1:23 am

    Wow!

    Reply
  19. Deena - December 19, 2017 3:43 am

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  20. Beth Thrift - December 20, 2017 3:34 pm

    Would you explain the title of this beautiful story?

    Reply
    • Lisa - December 24, 2017 12:01 pm

      It is a beautiful story but I am curious about the title as well.

      Reply

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