“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2
That original post (and a few others, I find) were largely about my propensity for, and love of, four-legged strays. And of the fact that, of the dozens and dozens of needy creatures who’ve ended up on my doorstep over the past six decades; who’ve fallen, wounded, desperate and alone, into my life; who’ve been referred to me by other, equally foolhardy and good-hearted, citizens; and who’ve more than once prompted my long-suffering veterinarian to look at me and exclaim, “For heavens sake! Don’t you have any normal pets?”–of the fact that all of them have returned love for love one thousandfold, and that none of them has ever let me down, none of them has ever turned on me, and none of them has ever abandoned me. I ascribe this to the fact that animals are, in the main, more humane in their treatment of each other than are people, and that emotions such as ingratitude and spite just don’t occur in them. (Well, there was Pookie. He may have been the exception who proved the rule. Ungrateful and spiteful little beast. Or so it sometimes seemed to me. He’s long gone, but I’ve still got the scars to prove it.)
Along the way, I’ve occasionally entertained two-legged strangers as well. Mr. She never tires of telling new acquaintances that we bought this property, and we built this house, primarily as a special place for Michael, his second son, who was critically head-injured in a bicycle accident in December of 1981. Michael loved animals, loved farm life, and was always completely at home here. In fact, he and his dad moved into a field in out little tent-trailer in the Summer of 1986, and were here for the foundation excavations, the well drilling, and the start of it all.
Michael was killed when the car he was driving was broadsided by a pickup truck in 2002.
But the idea of this house as a “refuge” has stuck. For my late stepson Sam. For his younger sister, when she was marooned in-between college and job, and wasn’t quite sure what direction her life was to take. For generations of college students finding mentorship and peace among the Shes (Mr. and Mrs.) and the creatures.
And for innumerable other new acquaintances and strangers, many of whom have become lifelong friends.
I’d be misleading you though, if I didn’t say that my batting average (RWKJ deploys a sports metaphor, perhaps even somewhat appropriately and effectively: DRINK!) isn’t quite as good for the human contingent. Humans are a wayward and contrary bunch, and although some of our unexpected and treasured visitors, have become and remain, a part of our lives forever, I won’t deny that we’ve lost a few along the way. And that a few of those hurt. Still, We Persist, as they say.
Because, after all, isn’t that what we’re commanded to do? Keep an open heart? I think so.
Do you have a special ‘entertaining angels’ story (bipedal or quadrupedal?) Oh, wait, we’re all about inclusion here, I forgot about little Tripod, the kitten with three legs who showed up in my driveway one day. He lived for years, and used to guard the side door. Tripedal, too. Any number of legs at all, actually. Woolly Bear Caterpillars, even.
If so, please share.