As I sat down, a few seats from me was a USA Today newspaper. Holding it up with the bottom of the newspaper in my lap, I moved through the pages skimming the articles’ headlines. I was almost to the last section when an apple core fell out of the pages, hit my leg and then onto the floor.
At first I was a little angered. What kind of person would put an apple core between the pages of a newspaper and leave it on a chair for someone else to find? After just a second of thought, I had a resulting thought… Maybe this was a prank and someone (or two) was watching to see what would happen. I then realized I had choices to make. How would I respond to the situation?
You can come up with as many scenarios as you wish – I probably thought of the same ones as you are now. Here is what I did. I reached down and picked up the core and placed it on the windowsill in front of me. It would be out of the way there and no one else would have to deal with it. I folded the paper removing the ‘juiced’ pages. I then pulled out a book and began to read. I did not look around, I did not make any gestures or react in any other way.
Some movement caught my attention; it was my plane arriving at the gate. I waited for the flight to be called; packed up my belongings; picked up the apple core and the stained paper. As I moved toward the gate I placed the waste in the trash bin. Then on to the plane, finally headed home.
On the plane I wondered again about the apple. Who placed the apple there for me to find? Did anyone? Perhaps it was God. Maybe He placed it there to see how I would handle the situation. That paper may not have existed for anyone else who sat there. Or maybe the paper was there, but without an apple inside. Was this a situation just for me?
The Bible book of Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Could an application be, do not neglect to show hospitality in non-hospitable situations… Is this what grace is all about?
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