Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:1-2
Glancing at my busy schedule today, I noticed that I have a strategic Planning Session coming up for the Community Pregnancy Center of Barberton. Several times each year, I get to meet with the board and plan their strategy for running this very worthwhile ministry. I couldn’t help but remember my first experience with CPC.
It was over 20 years ago and I read in the church bulletin that the Community Pregnancy Center was in need of infant formula. I inquired around and learned that they help new mothers, who can’t afford formula, get enough for their needs until they could get help from WIC or some other program.
Thinking that this was a worthwhile endeavor, I made my way on Saturday morning to the local grocery store to buy formula. It had been a long time since I bought any formula, and was surprised at how much it had gone up in price. “Wow!” I thought. “I wonder how any young couple could afford this.”
I decided to purchase five cases of formula from a check I had received for a speaking engagement earlier that week. Looking over the shelf, I remembered the name Similac from my past. I leaned over and loaded cases on the cart. They had only four. I asked the stock clerk if there was any more in the back and after looking he said no, the four cases were all they had. Glancing back over the shelf, I saw another product called Enfamil. Reading the can, I learned that it was for babies who couldn’t have regular formula. I don’t know why, but something was telling me to buy it, so I threw a case of Enfamil in the cart as well and went to the checkout.
Arriving at the Community Pregnancy Center, I never expected it to be located in a small house on the main drag. I walked up to the back door and was greeted by an elderly volunteer. I told her I was delivering some formula, and she held the door for me as I carried two cases at a time into the tiny kitchen. Then it was back to the car for the case of Enfamil.
As I entered the kitchen, Pat Shay, the former director of the center, introduced herself and said, “Is that Enfamil that you are carrying?”
“Yes,” I replied, “They ran out of Similac, so I was forced to buy a case of it.”
“Well”, she exclaimed. “The Holy Spirit must be working overtime today! You see, we have a client in my office right now whose baby can only have Enfamil and I was just telling her that we were out of it and couldn’t help her baby! Would you mind carrying it out to her car?”
As I was walking out of the house, Pat returned to her office and I overheard her say to the young girl, “it’s a miracle, an ANGEL just dropped off the formula you need!”
“An angel,” I thought. And I wasn’t going to buy any. The young girl thanked me, the volunteer thanked me and Pat thanked me as I said, “I’ll be back again!”
Coincidence, I don’t think so. And I did return many times and still do today with formula, diapers, and baby clothes.
As I look back over my life, I’ve been called lots of things, mostly negative, but there is something about the sound of the word ANGEL that makes me smile.
***This is an updated post that originally appeared on October 21, 2012***