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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You may sit next to a millionaire angel unawares

I just had lunch with a friend, and I can't tell you WHO because of the nature of this post. Yes, it's confidential. It's also unbelievable. This is a very short story about how an ordinary man wound up with a millionaire patron simply by being friendly.

You know how you bury your nose in a book or magazine when you're on a plane, so you don't get a sore neck twisting around to talk to the person wedged in next to you? Oh wait, that's me I'm talking about. I am not friendly on planes.

Well, my friend's son (Let's call him "Sam") is an ordinary guy. Wife, three kids, factory job. Never calls in sick and never turns down a chance for overtime. He had a one-hour plane trip for work. On the jet, he sat next to an elderly lady (Let's call her "Ethel."). Sam and Ethel got chatting and had a lovely time.  She invited Sam to dinner at her home after his work was finished. He said "Sure."

After work, Sam drove to Ethel's home. It looked like a museum, he told his mother later. He enjoyed a meal with Ethel and some other family members.

If I remember correctly, I think Sam saw Ethel again the next day. At some point, Ethel told him that when her husband died, the family donated tens of millions of dollars to a certain charity.

I'm not sure when it happened - it may have been after Sam returned home - Ethel told Sam that she wanted to put Sam's high-school age sons through college.

I imagine that Sam protested, but finally he accepted the beyond-generous offer.

A week or so passed. Sam and his wife became phone friends with Ethel. In the process, Ethel learned that they have a daughter who is already in college. Ethel said, "Figure out how much you need to get her through college, and I'll take care of that too."

Sam figured out the amount and let Ethel know. She's consulting with her lawyer about how to legally set up the gift to the family.

Sam's wife told Ethel, "Don't think you can only call us when you're giving us something. Call anytime."

Sam told his mom, "I keep pinching myself." He added, "Now I won't have to work so much overtime."

Imagine Sam's joy in finding a financial angel unbidden. Imagine Ethel's joy in being able to help others like she's doing.

It reminds me of Billy Currington's song "People are Crazy." Who would ever think such things happen in real life?

God bless Ethel!

We meet many angels. Some wear the face of a homeless person or a single mother or a prisoner or a lonely child. We know now that one wears the face of an old lady who needed someone to talk to for an hour on a plane.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.                               Hebrews 13:2

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