"There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met." - William Butler Yeats, poet
While God was busy kicking the Apostle Paul off a donkey on the road to Damascus to get his attention, God was also speaking to Ananias through a vision. A vision where Ananias was to go and meet a stranger named Paul and pray for him. I've read this story a million times but just recently while preparing to teach I was awestruck at what God had actually done. He had spoken to two men who were miles apart so that their paths would meet.
How many times have we come across a stranger and something unusual or out of the ordinary happened?
A chance meeting? Fate? Or an on purpose meeting orchestrated by God?
They say God works in mysterious ways, and the story of Paul and Ananias is just one of many stories that brings out the supernatural of God.
On August 14, 1945 a chance encounter in Time Square happened that would live on for years and decades to come. A photographer snapped a picture of a nurse welcoming home a sailor from war. A kiss between two strangers that would soon become iconic, first appearing on the cover of Life Magazine, and years later sculptured into a 25 foot statue which stands off the harbor in San Diego.
The sailor's story of that chance encounter:
"I was so happy. I ran out in the street," said McDuffie, then 18 and on his way to visit his girlfriend in Brooklyn.
"And then I saw that nurse," he said. "She saw me hollering and with a big smile on my face. ... I just went right to her and kissed her."
"We never spoke a word," he added. "Afterward, I just went on the subway across the street and went to Brooklyn."
This statue depicting a chance encounter is aptly named Unconditional Surrender.
When you stay in the presence of the Lord, God can make any chance encounter with a stranger more memorable than you could ever imagine. That is why it is important to use unconditional love within your fellowship with others, yep, even on strangers. You'll never know what may become of it.