Unexpected Angels

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Mary Sue and I had been married for exactly six days. 
I wanted to do everything right to let her know that I was a person she could trust for – well, for the rest of her life.
It was the last day of our whirlwind honeymoon road trip to Florida.  Her childhood best friend would be married the following day in Indianapolis, and we were eager to get home.  It was late on a Friday afternoon – rush hour – and we made one final pit stop just outside Nashville, Tennessee. 
I had been the designated driver on this trip.  But every mile I was fully aware that this was really her car – a beautiful silver 1974 Chevy Malibu Classic.  She had bought it even before we were engaged.  Therefore I kept reminding myself to drive carefully, secure everything inside, and avoid all manner of scratches and dents.
I filled the tank and locked the doors, and we both made quick bathroom stops.
When we returned however, there was a problem.  The keys weren’t in my pocket.  I could see them sitting on the front seat – right where I left them when I locked the car doors.
We tried everything we could think of to get back inside.  How hard could this be?  Someone gave us a coat hanger, which I cleverly used to lacerate part of the foam insulation designed to waterproof the driver’s side window – something that got us no closer to springing the latch.  Other folks came by and said semi-encouraging things like, “Oh, I did that once.  Frustrating, isn’t it?” 
After about 40 minutes, the owner of the gas station suggested that we call the local Chevy dealership.  Perhaps they could triangulate with the Chevy dealership in Indy where Mary Sue had bought the car, get the serial number, use that to create a new key, and deliver it to us before they closed within the hour.  This was 1975 – eons before cell phones, Uber, websites, and keyless entry to automobiles. 
While I stood at the gas station pay phone talking to the local Chevrolet reps, Mary Sue remained by the car. 
Seemingly out of nowhere, a man who looked like he could have been an extra in The Godfather approached my wife.  Gaudy rings adorned his fingers.  “Having a problem?” he asked.  She explained our predicament.  Feeling a twinge of insecurity, Mary Sue excused herself to see if I was having any luck on the phone.  Minutes later, when she returned to the car, the door was standing open.  They keys were still sitting on the front seat.  The stranger was nowhere to be seen.
Looking back, several thoughts occurred to us.  We felt overwhelmingly grateful we still had our car.  And we wondered if God had actually blessed us with an angel. 
If so, I realized I would probably have to revise my theology of angels.   
What seemed clear is that God loved us so much that in answer to our prayers he had sent a professional. 
In truth, God loves the world so much that he is almost always pleased to work through “amateurs.”  Whenever we are in spiritual need, he typically sends those who have never seen the inside of a seminary or received special theological training. 
If you know someone this holiday weekend who will need a word of reassurance, a compassionate hug, a gift of food or money, or a reminder of God’s love and grace, who do you think he might send?
Get ready.  He will be thrilled to send you
With our hugs, gifts, and words of encouragement, we all get to be God’s angels.