One of the things I hope to experience when I get to Heaven is getting to see the records of some of the wonderful experiences I have enjoyed on the Earth. And while only God knows when my time on Earth will end, I can say with confidence that I am looking forward to enjoying many more years with family and friends, collecting as many memories as I can. Here is one story:
In the mid 1990s, I was a young Soldier in the United States Army stationed on the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. I attended a small church there, an Ewa Beach congregation comprised of the Pastor and his wife, their children, grandchildren, and a handful of members from the area. I was very active in this small church, serving as organist and choir director.
On one particular Sunday, we had a visitor who introduced himself as “Sinclair”. He was a young man of African descent, appearing to be in his thirties, roughly 6’4” tall, with dark skin, and wearing a long flowing dashiki (please do not ask me to tell you how I remember all of this). We welcomed Sinclair to our church, presenting to him a beaded lei necklace in the traditional way Hawaiians welcome visitors, and proceeded with the service.
When the time came for testimonies (a common practice in many churches where members share their reflections on life events in relation to God’s grace, mercy, blessings, and providence), we each gave ours. But when Sinclair stood, he quoted an entire chapter in Psalms (verbatim) with clarity, intensity, and power all at the same time. It was as if a narrator stepped onto the scene to lull, encourage, and motivate us all with God’s word. I do not remember the scripture passage but, needless to say, my immediate thought in the moment was, “that was pretty cool!”
After church, we had dinner (a local tradition) and invited Sinclair to stay. He did stay, and we all ate, laughed, and talked for about an hour. But there was something peculiar about this guy I couldn’t put my finger on.
Sinclair was unassuming, non-threatening, and extremely knowledgeable of the scriptures. In the hour we talked, he must have quoted a dozen passages of scripture, and they all carried the same intensity and fervor as the passage he quoted earlier in our worship service. So by the time dinner ended, I was curious about his background. And being a single man with a car, I offered to give Sinclair a ride home. He accepted.
On the way to Honolulu, where Sinclair told me he lived, we laughed and talked some more. I asked about his background (where he was from, where he grew up, etc.), but never really got any clear answers. Again, he was unassuming, and I didn’t feel at all threatened by him, but finally I understood why he was so vague in details: Sinclair was homeless.
When we got to the place where he lived (near some factory buildings downtown), we shook hands and said goodbye. I invited Sinclair to come back to join us at church any time. He smiled and said he hoped to be able to visit again sometime soon, and got out of the car. I made a U-turn to go back in the direction I came from, looked in my rear-view mirror, and he was gone!
I doubled-back, looked all around, and could not find him anywhere. Then a thought, or more accurately a question, hit me: “Was that dude an angel???”
My retelling of this story doesn’t really do the story justice. Because of my own lack of memory of everything that happened that day, I have left out some details. But as to all the events of that day, rest assured that the complete record is in Heaven!
Of special note: Whether Sinclair was an angel or not is irrelevant to what I believe is the message behind the encounter. As I think back on the events of that day, I believe it served as confirmation that God will always be with those who seek Him in life and in ministry. May THIS message encourage us all!
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (Hebrews 13:2 NLT)
God bless you!
Author, speaker, musician DEREK E. EURALES, Jr., loves to share his faith, motivation, and music. His book, Principles of Christian Living, has become a “must read” for believers of all ages. To order your copy, click here.