This is a story about being careful how you treat people because you just never know...
I met an angel named Di in San Francisco, California in October of 2018. Just 3 months ago. She was my Air BNB roommate for the sum of the time I attended Black Enterprise’s Tech Connext conference as a chosen fellow. I had rented a corner of a space (quite literally) because everywhere else was booked and...well....I just needed to get there!
Within minutes of meeting, we connected on a level that would have suggested a long bond of friendship. Di’s motherly instincts kicked in right away making sure that I ate well and got a good night’s rest to be sharp for TCX every morning. I had the strongest feeling that God placed her in that unit just for me, but I wouldn’t really come to understand the magnitude of the blessing until the trip’s end.
Outwardly, Di and I couldn’t be any more different, but inwardly we were the embodiment of Hebrews 13:2 that says: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers for by doing so some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” She wasted no time being open and transparent with with me, revealing her deepest darkest secrets, and most sensitive parts of who she is now, who she was as a child, and the woman she desires to grow into. I listened intently and without judgement. Here I was on my first trip to California, sitting on the bed of an unfamiliar woman, who trusted me enough to be her naked and vulnerable self... unplanned, unconventional, unbiased....the very essence of God!
After disclosing to her that I was the author of a popular children’s book, she was eager to read it, but when she found out it was about Colin Kaepernick, she initially expressed her reservations as a service person. It was the same concerns that I had heard before from veterans who were not in support of Kaepernick’s protest in the NFL (keep in mind I have these conversations often), so my answers to her questions came naturally. Afterwards, she admitted that my approach allowed her to hear what I was saying without bias and see the other side of the argument that she wasn't seeing before, reaffirming the mission and vision of my book.
My time had come to leave San Francisco to head to Los Angeles. I was going to visit one of my best friends while I was in-state, but it did not work out the way I had planned. At the last minute, she seemed unsure about me coming, and I didn’t think it wise to risk traveling 8 hours away with so many uncertainties, but now, I had inherited a new problem that I did not account for. My room at the AirBNB was up for new booking, and I had no where to stay for the next 3 days. When Di heard of this, she laughed and called it “hardly a problem.” The stranger I had met just 3 days prior, offered her room and board to me for FREE until it was time for me to fly back home, and it just so happened that she was leaving the very next day after my departure. I don’t believe in mere coincidences, I’m far too spiritually mature to understand that all things work together. I had charmed an angel, and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was there JUST. FOR. ME.
Before leaving, we exchanged numbers, email addresses, and emotional goodbyes, with the promise that we would stay connected, and we have. She had made an overwhelming promise to me in California that she followed up on and fulfilled on December 30, 2018. I had built my business platform on Kickstarter November 14, 2018 with the goal of raising $5,000 dollars for the purpose of expanding my vision of Macnalie Books beginning with “The Hero in the Helmet: Colin Kaepernick.” 134 people relentlessly gave helping me to reach my goal 15 days before the cut-off date, and guess who was a part of that number? That’s right! Di! Not only was she apart of my success, but she made the largest contribution of $1,000.
It blows my my mind to think that a total stranger with no ties to me ultimately became my saving grace. I reflect often how any judgments, presumptions, and a holier-than-thou attitude would have kept me from fellow-shipping and communing with an angel. Di is a constant reminder that man looks on the outside, but God looks on the inside, and I am so glad I took the Christ route and not the Christian route. The difference is relationship versus religion.