Angels Passing Through Our Room

2 Minute Read

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: in prison and ye visited me.

Matthew, Chapter 36, Verses 25 & 26

40 years ago today, my wife Kari and I were looking forward to spending a simple Christmas with our three-year-old daughter Sarah and her baby brother, Timothy. I had just completed some postgraduate training and taken a job whose first paycheck would not arrive until after the holidays. It was a week before Christmas and money was tight. 

That night we were visited in our small apartment by a good-hearted bishop, who, knowing the touch-and-go timing of our cash flow, had purchased for our daughter a Fisher Price parking garage at the local Thrift Shop. His dear wife had hand knit beautiful ornaments we would hang with gratitude on next year’s tree. As Sarah hand-cranked her instantly favorite new toy, its bell clanging every ten seconds, the bishop pulled me aside to reprise a conversation from earlier in the week.

“Are you sure you have all you need? Enough food? Is there a bill you need help with?”

Knowing where this conversation might lead, I assured him, with more confidence than I actually possessed, that I thought we’d be OK until the paycheck arrived.


Not an hour after our virtuous and clean-shaven bishop visited us that night, leaving us to ponder the impression of an angel passing through our room, a second angel, this one unshaven, disheveled, smelling of tobacco smoke, a trace of alcohol on his breath, knocked on our door. After acknowledging he did not know us nor we him, but that he was sent by someone else—although he refused to name names—could he please come in?

Permission granted, he carried into our home several wrapped gifts and a laundry basket filled with an immense Cratchit-family turkey and all its trimmings. As he did so, he let slip the only clue we would ever discover of his connection to us. When our daughter Sarah shuffled into the living room to discover the cause of all the commotion, the stranger smiled at her and said, “You are as cute as they say.”

After he left us, we wept.

Looking over the beautifully wrapped packages, and in wondrous awe that someone who knew at least our little girl had been so thoughtful, so kind, our curiosity got the best of us. Inside the packages, we found warm, comfortable clothing for Kari and me, and beautiful gifts for each of our children. To this day, 40 years later, we still have no idea who led that second angel to our door.

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