(This week I include my original song “The Grace In Which We Stand” for your enjoyment as you read this week’s blog)

This is our first winter in Florida, and we’re still readjusting our thinking from shoveling snow and scraping ice off cars windshields to mowing the lawn —my apologies to our friends in the north who deal with the realities of winter!

In our area, there are so many companies who compete to mow your lawn that it’s almost more affordable to hire someone than to go out, buy, and maintain a mower. Besides the fact that we gave our lawnmower away before we left Minnesota, our ministry life is so busy that we appreciate not having this job on our list.

The company we chose to mow and maintain our yard did a less-than-stellar job—and sometimes no job at all— so after several months, we had an amicable parting of the ways. We re-started the process of finding someone to mow our yard, and I asked for God’s wisdom in selecting the right person or company.

Last Friday we were going over some bills when I heard the sound of a lawnmower in our neighbors’ yard. I quickly put my shoes on, ran outside, and flagged down the young man who had just finished his work. I explained our situation and asked if we could get a quote for lawn service. He told me he wasn’t able to take more customers at this time, but would be happy to mow our lawn as he was done for the day. I asked him how much it would cost, he said, “No charge.” When I told him it would only be fair for me to pay him he said, “Sir, I can’t take your money” and proceeded to mow the lawn and trim the edging. He did a beautiful job and was done in 10 minutes.

As he was loading the mower on his trailer, I offered him a can of soda and thanked him for his generous service. We talked for a few minutes, and then he started telling me his story.

David (not his real name) made some bad choices in his younger years and spent time in prison. While there he realized that this was no way to live, and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ, who gave him a new heart and set him on a new path. He told me about his church and their ministry, and then said he is a single parent of four children since their mother passed away. I was moved by his story and told him how much I admired his work and generosity. As I spoke I wondered what I could do for this man, and God softly answered in my heart, “ You can pray for him.”

So I asked David if I could pray for him, right there in our front yard. He said yes. So we spent a couple of minutes in prayer, and I asked God to bless David and his children. It was a moment I will not soon forget. As he left, I told him to stop by anytime he needed a can of cold soda or water. As his truck disappeared down the road I thanked God for meeting this brother in Christ who blessed us by mowing our lawn, and blessed me with his heart and moving testimony. As you read this, I ask you to pray for this man who daily carries a heavy load as the single dad to four kids.

I told this story to some friends last night, and someone reminded me of a passage in the Bible:

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2

The Greek word “Angelos” translates as “messenger.” Most of the time this word refers to God-sent heavenly messengers, but in the New Testament “Angelos” also speaks of human messengers of God’s Word. As I reflect on my encounter with this man I realize that David was an angel of God sent to us and is an angel God provided for his four children.

I thank God for the angel we had the privilege of entertaining, the one who brought God’s love and blessing right to our front lawn. And I’m praying I will be attentive and obedient to God’s promptings to be an angel to someone who He puts in my path…

Just like the angel who mowed our lawn.

God bless you!
Chris Atkins