(Jensi’s pastor continues to tell the story of his encounter with a stranger.)
“He stepped out of his van, and began a long, rambling conversation, the logic of which I could not follow. It went something like this.
“He tried to guess my nationality, but spent more time talking about his own.
“He told me about his mother’s death.
“He said he had left his wife. And that she was waiting for him to come back, but he wasn’t going back.
“He complained about popes past and present.
“Then he said, ‘Do you know anything about Jesus?’
“I wanted to reply, ‘That’s really a stupid question to ask a pastor.’ But I held my tongue, and simply said, ‘Yes.’ To which he said, ‘I can tell. I can see Jesus in your eyes.’
“The rambling continued. He claimed to be the winner of the first baby beauty contest. And he said his granddaughter was as beautiful a baby as he had been.
“Then he said, ‘Let me tell you something about yourself.’
“‘What’s that?’ I asked.
“‘You’re a nice guy.’ To which he quickly added, ‘And so am I.’
“I almost replied, ‘Nice, maybe. But definitely weird,’ But I stayed quiet and simply listened.
“On and on it went, one disconnected thought after another.
“Finally I was able to break away. And as I crossed the street, the verse from Hebrews popped into my mind, ‘Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that, some have entertained angels without knowing it.’” (Tomorrow: the gifts this strange man gave.)
Compassionate God, give us patience when listening to others. Amen.