The Night She Dined with Angels

She wasn't sure how she was going to feed nine kids that night, but angels came to the rescue.

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- Posted on Apr 25, 2019

The Night She Dined with Angels

I had just walked in the door after a long commute from downtown Toronto. The bus had been late, and I was tired. It wasn’t easy working three jobs and raising four active teenagers.

Mine were good kids—three girls and a boy—but they were still a lot to handle. Especially for a single parent. I had hoped to come home and find them all quietly doing their homework. That was the deal. But they were running around with the five next-door neighbor children instead. I sighed.

My oldest daughter rushed up to me. “Mom, can they stay for dinner?”

I didn’t have much planned, just some leftover spaghetti with half a loaf of bread. And only six meatballs. I was already buying on credit from the neighborhood grocer. So a quick shop to fill out the meal wasn’t an option. I put down my things. Tonight of all nights, I thought. I had barely enough to feed my four, but all nine of them?

I looked over at the neighbor children. I knew their family situation. They’d lost their mother only a few weeks earlier and needed all the warmth and support I could give. They needed a mother—if only for a night.

Other people and prayers had seen me through bad times. A medical scare. Separation from myhusband. Finding a home to raise my children in. Angels hadn’t failed me yet, so I trusted them to get me through this too. I went to the kitchen and opened the cupboard. Please, let there be enough. I had a bit of extra pasta.

“Well,” I said to the kids. “This will have to do.” They settled into homework mode while I tried
to work a miracle at the stove.

I was still worried when we took our seats to say grace. I didn’t want to send anyone home hungry. At “amen,” the table erupted in a symphony of happy chatter and clinking forks. What a group! They had me laughing so hard, I forgot to keep track of who was eating what.

By the end of the meal I felt so much better than when I had first walked through the door, burdened by my troubles. The children had licked their plates clean. We were all full and happy, and grateful for one another’s company. I moved to clear the table with my oldest daughter. My mouth dropped open. Two meatballs sat uneaten on the platter. How was that possible?

My daughter put her hand on my shoulder. “What’s wrong, Mom?”

“Did everybody eat?”

“It was delicious!” the youngest neighbor boy said. “The best meatballs we ever had. If you have any leftovers, can we take them home?”

I was astonished. How had I managed to feed everyone? Had the kids cut the meatballs in half? Maybe some of them had only eaten pasta. Or had had a big lunch. There was no logic to it. There hadn’t been enough food at the beginning of the meal, and by the end of it everyone was full. We must have had unseen company, I thought as I said goodbye to the kids. Angels had shared our dinner.

That night left me with an overflowing heart and great hope for the future. I sent the leftovers home with the neighbor children for lunch the next day. Things were hard now, but they would get better. For us. For the neighbor children. Because when you dine with angels, there is always enough to go around.

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