Strange and Unusual Encounter

Our granddaughter is going to a college near us, and I take her to classes. One day recently, her teacher wanted them to meet at a different location a few miles from the school and further from our home. I decided I would drop her off then go somewhere closer to where she was, to read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee, as it was very cold and windy. I figured this would be easier than going home and then back, plus it gave me more reading time! Before I left home, I had decided on a fast food restaurant not far from where I dropped her off. However, I passed one a little closer and chose to go there instead.

Now, here’s where the story gets interesting. As I was getting out of the car, my hands full with my keys, purse (have I ever mentioned how much I detest purses?) and book while struggling with a heavy, unwieldy jacket, I noticed someone coming up behind me. I quickly exited my car as I felt I could defend my self more easily that way was there a need. Also, I could hit the panic button on my car if necessary, which would alert those in the restaurant to a problem. I am always skittish when someone approaches me (even friends sometimes due to an attack), so this put me on high alert.

A gentleman with an obvious speech impediment questioned me. Trust me when I say you have the benefit of some translation which was way more than I had. Anyway, I was able to make out that he wanted some money. Now, I never carry money with me, only my bank card, so I told him I was sorry I didn’t have any money. Before I had a chance to even offer to buy him food, he asked if I would buy him something to eat. I answered, “Sure, come on with me.” He looked at me quizzically and asked, “Really?” I replied, “Really!” This went on for the few seconds it took for us to get to the door. He then asked if I would buy the most expensive item they had. I paused for a moment, while trying to open the door and assessed the man.

As I continued to try to open the door, I realized he was in a t-shirt type jacket, thin pants and was wearing no hat or coat. Feeling he had to be freezing and probably hungry, too; I told him I would.

At that point, the manager opened the door for us, and we were seated. We gave our order, with me trying to translate for the waitperson. As we waited for our food, he talked to me.

He indicated his friends nicknamed him Ice Man because he was always so cold, touching my hand to demonstrate. He wasn’t kidding! I have cold extremities year-round which become worse in winter, but his hands were much, much colder than mine.

He continued talking to me. He told me I needed to laugh and smile more, that I was a blessing to him and he was happy to meet me. I told him he was right, I did need to laugh and smile more, and he was a blessing to me. Of course, he asked me how and why he was a blessing. I tried to explain, but I teared up and couldn’t say much. He patted my hand and just talked to me. He told me that God promised that if we ask, we receive. I smiled and said that yes, the Bible promised us that. He was happy that I knew the verse and told me I needed to believe it more. He also told me I should be Santa Claus this year. I laughed and said there was no way I could be Santa! Laughingly, he agreed.

About this point, our waitperson came back with our food. As I started to add salt and pepper in preparation to eat, he called the waitperson back over. He told her he was my friend, but he needed to leave. He asked her to divide the meal into three bags to go. As he prepared to leave, he reiterated that I needed to laugh and smile more and not forget, if we ask, God gives.

I asked if he had somewhere to stay. However, he never really said, only that he wasn’t aware of any shelters nearby, nor was I.

When he left, tears were streaming down my face. I didn’t know how to help this poor, frozen Ice Man save for praying. Nonetheless, he helped me. Believe it or not, since then, I have been laughing and smiling so much more than I had been before. I’m crying as I relate this, remembering what a sweet, unconventional meeting.

I know this is sort of rambling and not well written or edited. My desire was to convey my feelings more than anything. I firmly believe I entertained an angel that afternoon, for in Hebrews 13:2 (King James Version) the Bible says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

I am thankful my fear didn’t cause me to brush him off or ignore him. For even though he may not have been who or what I believe him to be, he was a cold, hungry man that was able to have three meals either for himself or to share with other hungry people. And that, my friends, makes it all worthwhile.

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