strange hospitality

Wow, it’s a scorcher Abraham. Have I been here before? And by here I mean now. This day. It just feels familiar – the way the flies are buzzing, the position of the sun in the sky, the drowsy cattle. Those three guys coming toward us . . .

It is rather astonishing, even the second time around. Three strangers, three measures of fine flour, one choice calf, and one outrageous announcement. As they sat to eat beneath the trees, I couldn’t help but feel as if the tables had been turned. I don’t suppose you’ve yet heard the phrase “entertaining angels unawares.” I think you coined it. You bustled them into your home and brought out the best of your hospitality, but it is they who served you. You became the guest of the divine.

Now Sarah is doing the dishes, alternating between silence and nervous laughter. She sweeps up the bread crumbs with wrinkled hands. The air is cooling, and you are gazing into the darkening hills with a kind of glow on your countenance. Their presence still lingers. And I am left to consider the strangers in my own camp. Who will I find in their faces? I know what it is like to feel like a stranger. So I will give the invitation, and perhaps meet Yahweh at my own table.


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