The Stranger Within Our Gates

I am in Virginia with my parents, visiting my brother and his family.  I left Georgia Monday evening around 6 or so and was blessed to have avoided most of the rain and horrible weather until after I got past the Virginia state line.  Then I hit pretty hard rain for about an hour and then just drizzling and intermittent rain until thankfully after I got my stuff out of the car at my mom and dad’s.

 I got to their house around 2:30 in the morning and pretty much brushed my teeth changed into my pj’s and went straight to bed.  Almost as soon as my head hit the pillow the monsoon hit.  Remember the guest room at my mom and dad’s has that tin roof?  Yes, it was deafening but also oddly comforting.  It was about 63 degrees outside still so I had turned on the ceiling fan.  Then the electricity went out.   At least it wasn’t freezing cold or suffocatingly hot.

I awoke this morning about 7:30 and there was still no electricity.  Good thing I had taken a shower right before I left Atlanta!  We headed to my brothers with plans to spend the night somewhere there.  I ended up getting a fairly inexpensive hotel room for my parents and myself and was thinking to myself that it surely wasn’t the Waldorf, but it would do for the night. 

I’ve been feeling a little “blue” lately with everything that has been going on and was exhausted from the drive from Atlanta and then no sleep and I happened to notice this placard on the bedside table.  I normally don’t even pay attention to those little “welcome” guests letters but for some reason I read this one and I am so glad I did.  This is what the placard in the room said:

***To Our Guests***

In ancient times there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within Our Gates”

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your “second” home.  May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.  Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy.  When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers.  From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities.  May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

As I’ve so many times previously said, I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. So if I hadn’t picked this “dump” to stay in, I would not have stumbled across this little “prayer” just at the time that I needed it.  I guess I need to pay attention to my own rule of not judging a book by its cover, huh?


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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9 Responses to The Stranger Within Our Gates

  1. Ron says:

    “I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. So if I hadn’t picked this “dump” to stay in, I would not have stumbled across this little “prayer” just at the time that I needed it.”

    You said it, Peg! I too believe in everything happening for a reason. Isn’t it something how we often get supportive words when we really need them?

    “We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.”

    What a beautiful prayer.

    Sending ya a BIG cyber hug from Philly, dear friend….

    (((((( Peg ))))))


  2. SuziCate says:

    What a treasure! That is how ordinary moments turn into extraordinary ones! Love you!

  3. Spot says:

    What an amazing thing to put in a hotel room. If I ever open a B&B (yeah, it’s on the bucket list somewhere) I’m definitely putting that in guest rooms. I wonder if they realize how much that may have meant to so many? Everything does happen for a reason.

    Big hugs and warm thoughts to you and your family.


  4. terrepruitt says:

    How lovely.

    I have never read or heard of such a nice thing left in the rooms for guests. I do read the notes every once in awhile. This is a good one.

  5. Bob says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful welcome. I had also found this message in a motel room. I brought the card with me when I continued my travels. I came across it just now and decided to type up the message and send it to my daughter. I think it’s a deeply meaningful message and although I received it quite a few years ago, I’ve never forgotten its impact upon me.

    I also visited Das Essenhaus in Middleburry Indiana a few years ago. I was heading home to Ohio to visit my father who had just survived a heart attack. There on the menu was this wonderful prayer which brought tears to my eyes:

    Give thanks for the fulness of days spent together,
    The friends that we pray will be with us forever,
    The feelings we’ve shared, the food and good fun,
    With faith that God’s blessings have only begun.

    May this prayer be a blessing to your readers as well.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you so much for sharing the prayer. The one I found in the hotel had a profound impact on me. We were in the process of losing my brother to cancer and it just really touched me. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing this.

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