Words of Worth

Strangers in the Night

July 8, 2011

I was young when I started taking piano lessons and I continued with them for about 6 or 7 years. It was not something that came very naturally to me at all. I had to work at it. Every week night from 7 – 7:30, I practiced my piano scales and lessons (I had weekends off). Exactly at 7:30 I hopped off the piano bench, tucked my music away in the piano seat and then moved onto something I preferred doing, like watching TV.

I never really progressed much further than an intermediate player even though I can play a mean rendition of Dan,Dan the Piccolo Man, and I never took a liking to waiting until I was enough of a sophisticated player to play the kind of music I wanted to play instead of the piano teacher imposed music. I wanted to play movie theme songs from The Sting and not Here We Go in a Row to a Birthday Party. And my Dad wanted me to be able to play something else too so he would often select some Frank Sinatra sheet music and ask me to learn how to play it. One of his favorites? Strangers in the Night! It was quite a difficult piece but I so wanted to please my Dad and he so enjoyed Frank Sinatra that I worked most diligently on that piece and after much blood, sweat, and tears, I managed to pull it off! To this day I can remember my Dad whistling and singing along each time I played the song and then get annoyed any time I flattened a sharp!

What sparked this memory for me was a recent flight I was supposed to take to Brazil via Washington, Dulles International airport. Long story short, my flight from Philadelphia to Washington was canceled leaving me with little options and time to connect with the Brazil bound plane. Not one to get pulled into the lure of “Amazing Race”, I surprisingly embarked on an amazing auto race of my own making with three Portuguese speaking complete strangers who all happened to be Brazilians heading my way to South America. Necessity compelled me to break the childhood rule of “Don’t talk to strangers let alone get into a car with them” and suggest to them that all four of us should rent a car and drive to our connecting flight. This was not a good thing to tell my Dad, who was quite comforted thinking I was on a plane headed to Dulles, until after the fact, and once I was safe at my final destination, I emailed him about my adventure! He wrote back and simply said, “Do you remember the song, ‘Strangers in the Night’ because that’s what your adventure was like?”

Of course I remembered, but I had come to view my complete stranger friends as angels sent to me from a loving God..angels who I was to entertain!

Hebrews 13:1-2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” The word angel here is Greek for messenger and it is referring to people and not angelic beings and the words “entertain strangers” means to be hospitable or friendly to those who you do not know. They are God’s chosen messengers to whom we have the opportunity to show God’s love. Who knows what effect our lives can have on others? I just hoped that in the midst of this “out of character” adventure for me, I might not only introduce them to “me” but also to God’s love.

Who knew that all those week nights practicing Strangers in the Night would translate into an opportunity to offer the hospitality of God’s love to three people who are strangers no longer to me, and hopefully no longer to Christ! (SV)

%d bloggers like this: