An angel came knocking ...
It was my daughter’s tenth birthday and I was in a frenzy. At that time, I also had a seven-year-old, a three-year-old, a two-year-old and a seven-month-old. Quite a handful. My daily routine seemed to include spring cleaning as well as an almost daily wash and iron - just to keep the house clean and tidy and clean clothes in the drawers.
I had willingly agreed to give my daughter the party she asked for. I was good at doing the food and preparing games and even though I’d already prepared a few things, I knew it was going to be a long day.
The older two were at school and the next youngest two were pretty good at coming along behind me undoing all the work I’d already finished. So I was thinking that I’d get the party prepared first and then tackle the housework. I knew that would be cutting it fine, and that I’d be tired. Odds were very high that the housework wouldn’t get done. And I did care about how that would look!
I’d just got into the work when I heard a knock at the door. A little peeved at the interruption, I opened the door.
“I asked God this morning who needed me,” my friend Leslie said with a smile. “And he said you! What would you like me to do?”
Honestly, how could I refuse her offer of help? I was so proud in those days. No-one - I mean not any single living person - would ever know how hard it was for me to cope at times! And when she put her offer of help like that, how COULD I refuse?
I laughed and welcomed her in. We chatted about my day and I gave her the choice of what to do and without hesitation she tackled the house - making beds, sweeping, cleaning toilets, putting clothes on the line - and all the time chatting, sharing her life experiences and making me laugh and think.
I heard how she’d asserted herself with her doctor who didn’t believe the extent of her trauma when she was going through bad PMS - she barged into his surgery one day when she was right in the middle of a really bad episode and banged on his desk and threatened to kill someone! We laughed as she recalled how quick he was to write her out a prescription right then and give her the help she’d asked for in her non-PMS state of happy equilibrium.
She showed me the few stones she said she always carried in her pocket. Each one reminded her of someone who had influenced her positively in her life - a teacher, a neighbour, someone she’d met in a coffee shop once. Each stone had a story that she could reflect on and get some encouragement in moments of need.
The children tagged along with her and kept themselves amused helping her dust. They were fascinated by her.
By the time she left, the party was all organised and the house spotless. I even had time to put the children down for a rest and have a rest myself before the older two and their friends arrived home from school.
I’ll never forget Leslie. I don’t know where she is now but I’m sure she’s still knocking on someone’s door and bringing love and cheer along with practical help. She certainly changed my life, my view of the world, and how rewarding it can be to be willing to offer and accept help. And in my own times of need, I often pull out this experience and reflect on the day an angel knocked at my door.