Lenten Devotional-Day 27

Monday, March 16


Matthew 25:35 I was a stranger and you welcomed me.


Welcoming Strangers


My granddaughter, Hannah, traveled last fall from her home in Traverse City, MI to Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts to start her second year of college. Her parents had arranged a series of bus and train segments, the last of which left Union Station in Chicago at 9:30 PM.


Unfortunately, the train from Kalamazoo was very late, and she missed the 9:30 train. Union Station closes at midnight (presumably to keep it from being a homeless haven), so she found herself out on the street at midnight, with her luggage, on the phone with her parents, tears streaming down her face, and asking “what now.”  Her parents suggested going to a police station, but she didn’t want to do that.  A hotel room perhaps…but hotels won’t rent rooms to people under 21.  Finally her dad found a hotel at O’Hare airport that would take someone under 21, and fortunately there was still a taxi available that would take her to O’Hare.  So, at 3:00 in the morning she is safely ensconced at the hotel, although still badly shaken.


Meanwhile, her mother is frantically calling everyone she can think of (in spite of the time of night) who might know someone in the Chicago area. Eventually, her youngest daughter’s former violin teacher (who no longer lives in Traverse City) called to say that she had a brother who lives in Chicago, and he and his wife were willing to pick up Hannah the next day and take her home.  They did, even though they didn’t know her or my daughter. Then they took her back to Union Station the next day and made sure that she got on her homebound train at 9:30.


Jack Turnbull


Prayer: Gracious and loving God, we hear often in the news of the mean things that we do to one another, so we give you thanks that there are still many people in this world who see a stranger, and welcome her.  Amne