Canada Trip, Part 5: The “Angel” and the To Do List

After I spoke at Doreen Penner‘s women’s conference, I rode the Canadian Via Train and the U.S. Amtrak train to come home. This man dressed in scraggly clothes and a camouflage hat was on all of my train rides, who I wondered if he was an angel in disguise. This is part 5 of my Canada Blog Series. You can read Part 4 here.

to do lists

Canada Trip, Part 5: The “Angel” and the To Do List

The To Do List

One morning this man got out some papers and a pen from his duffel bag, and I noticed at the top of the paper the words written in bold, black letters, TO DO LIST.

At this point, I almost LOST it, laughing. EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE, I create a to-do list. It was almost too much. This was not a coincidence. God knows I love to do lists! This had to be a God thing!

Shaking my head at the irony of this, I asked incredulously, “You write to do lists?” Do angels write to do lists?

He got that little smile on his face that he often had when I would ask questions or say something, as if he already knew what I was going to say. Yeah, it was freaky, but in a good way. He answered,”Yes, I do. I write one every day. Do you?”

Somehow I had a feeling that he knew the answer anyway. “Yes. I love to do lists.”

He was still smiling and then he asked, “And do you PRIORITIZE your to do list?” He then began to talk to me about priorities.

The biggest priority was doing what God says every day, to not lose our reward. Being faithful.

I really don’t know if this was a man or an angel. Only God knows.

I do believe with all my heart that God sovereignly put him on all the trains I rode on to get home, to help me during this trip and to speak truth into my life. Meeting him changed my perspective on not judging others by their appearance, viewing the poor and the homeless differently, recognizing the shortness of time we have left here until Jesus comes, and not losing our reward.

I noticed that when I walked around with him at the train station in Seattle, that people would look suspiciously at him or with disdain because of his unkempt, scraggly clothes and unshaven face. They would then look over at me with a puzzled look, as if to say, “Why are YOU with him?” (Because I didn’t look homeless or scraggly.)

I mused that probably very few people I knew, ESPECIALLY successful women online, would be SEEN walking around with him. Maybe some of them won’t even associate with me now because this whole thing is just a little too “out there” for them. They would be too ashamed or embarrassed to be seen with someone who looked homeless- yet his heart was good as gold and God was using him to speak His words of life to my heart.

One business man in a nice suit looked him up and down with an openly contemptuous look on his face. It made me angry. Then I realized that initially I had looked at him with distrust and judgment, too, based on his appearance, and was convicted to change.

I don’t think I will be the same after this trip. I hope not.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Lord, take judgments out of my heart.

When I went to say goodbye to him and thank him before I stepped off the train at Kansas City (he was going on to Los Angeles, which means “the angels,” by the way), I went to hit his hand with my fist, gangster-style, because he’d done that earlier to me. Instead, he reached out and hugged me. 🙂 He told me he had enjoyed traveling with me and our conversations.

Stay tuned for Part 6 of my Canada Blog Series, where I share about the writer.

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