Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Entertaining Angels

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. New Testament Hebrews 13:2
"Good morning, you look a bit confused, can I help?" the old lady standing at the bewildering ticket machine smiled. I helped her pay for her metrolink ticket and we started chatting. I sat with her on the tram and we talked all the way into Manchester. She was a kind, gentle old lady, reminiscent of my beloved grandmother, with a soft London accent.

As it turns out she was a retired neonatal nurse, she worked at the same unit Joseph was born at some 40 years earlier!  We talked about the differences in neonatal care. She was amazed to hear about Joseph and his birth and progress, and marvelled at the changes in care now. She even knew the head sister from Fairfield when she was training, just a student.

She spoke about her work at Great Ormond Street some 50 years ago, when children with Leukemia were just given blood transfusions. None of them survived. She told a remarkable story about a little boy she met whilst on night shift who wanted to paint. She was a young nurse and her father had given her some watercolours. She gave them to the boy. The next day his bed was empty. He had died. But he had spent the previous day painting beautiful pictures.

This lovely lady was going to meet a friend in Manchester to accompany her friend for a procedure. She revealed that she herself had cancer and had been fighting for 11 years. Truly an angel.

On the way home I waited at the bus stop and along came a girl, with a shaved head, wearing a beautiful elephant skirt and a gorgeous smile on her face. Her arms were about to drop off as she carried loads of shopping.

She had moved down to near where I live to help her grandma. She talked about her hair, it turned out she had had it shaved to raise money for a charity called ActionAid.

I beamed as I give £10 a month to ActionAid. She then said she used to give £5 but had been unemployed for a while so had to stop. When I came home I increased my donation to £15. As  I chatted to the person who took my call she asked me what prompted me, and I mentioned my new friend. She was so suprised, she knew her, and about her plans but didn't know she had gone through with it! She was amazed we had met on the bus!

I was so struck by this young woman's zest for life, her humour and her compassion.  On top of the charity aspect, she donated her locks to children with cancer to be made into wigs My best friend Daniel is always saying I am a stalker. In true stalker fashion I found my new friend!

I am so glad I catch public transport, that I will talk to anyone. You never know who you might meet. Maybe an angel.


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