Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Early Morning Encounter

I crawled into bed at 2:30 in the morning.  After a long weekend of  four Christmas presentations at church, doing almost all my Christmas shopping in one day and baking the 5th round of cookies in 3 weeks, I was dead-dog tired.  I had the next 3 days off and was looking forward to sleeping in on Christmas Eve day.

 Until the urgent ringing of the doorbell ripped me out of a sound sleep.

It was still dark in my bedroom and in my sleep-induced haze I struggled to focus on the clock.  5:25 am.  What on earth?  The doorbell continued.  Someone was trying hard to get my attention.

Thoughts raced through my mind...did someone hit my car and want to alert me?  Was the house on fire?  Who could it possibly be and what did they want at this ungodly hour?!!

I ran down the stairs, my heart beating hard...no smoke...no fire...so far so good...but in my stupor I had to think hard to act responsibly once I got to the door.  "DON'T OPEN IT!  Look out the window" I silently instructed myself.

There was a man pacing on the porch.  He was small in stature...maybe 5'6"...slight build...with a beard.  He wore a sweatshirt, jeans and hat - but no gloves or coat. 

"What do you want sir?" I yelled through the door.

"Ambulance" he said in broken English.  "Call an ambulance" and he put his hand on his lower back in pain.

I ran back up to my bedroom and grabbed my cell, my fingers shaking as I punched in 9-1-1.

"Where is your emergency?" answered the voice.

"On my front porch.  There's a man I don't know on my porch who says he needs an ambulance.  I'm a little freaked out."  By this time, I'd made it back to the door and could see the stranger still pacing on my porch.

"We'll send a police officer and an ambulance."

Once again, I yelled through the front door..."I called for an ambulance!"  "God bless you" was the reply.

It was bitter cold outside...there was frost on the cars.  I knew my unexpected visitor had to be freezing, but letting him inside wasn't an option.  Then I remembered a man's coat hanging in the hall closet.  I'm not really sure where it came from, but it was like new and my son never wore it.  I took it off the hanger and went back to the front door to see an officer had arrived.

The man was talking to the officer, so I unlocked the front door, and placed the coat on a chair.  "Here's a coat" I called out to him..."put it on".  I went back to the closet to look for a pair of gloves.

Not finding any, I returned to look out the front door, and saw somehow, he'd reversed the jacket and put it on inside out.  He was struggling to zip it.  I unlocked the door again and said to the officer "he's got it on backward...can you help him?  And he can keep it."

By the time she'd helped him off with the coat and got it back on right side out, the ambulance pulled up and helped him inside.

He was gone, but the encounter left me a little shaken and filled with questions...chief among them was why did he come to my door?  

With all my community outreach involvement this month, there had been no time to decorate my house for the holiday.  Almost every other home on my block was cheery and inviting, decked out with wreaths and bows and twinkling lights.  In sharp contrast, there were no candles in my windows, no greenery on the railings or door, no lights inside or out.  But he came up on my porch and rang the bell over and over and over again. 

I have to wonder...would someone else have called for an ambulance?  When they saw him through the window, would they have pretended not to notice?   Or maybe instead of heading back to bed, would they have chased him off their porch and back into the early morning cold?  Did God bring him to me because He knew I had the coat this stranger needed?

Hebrews 13:2 (NLT) says "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!"

I don't know if he was homeless or confused or an angel, but it really doesn't matter, does it?

Luke 6:31 (NLT)...says "Do to others as you would like them to do to you", and that's the bottom line.