On Wednesday, in the middle of talking on the phone with one of my columnists and tweaking her piece for this edition of Athens Now, I heard a knock on the door. Outside were three little girls, aged around 12, 9 and 7. They all began talking at once. “Our mama’s car is dead, and she sent us to get a jump for her car. She has jumper cables, and she’ll pay you,” I managed to conclude through all their dear jabbering. I thought perhaps they were visiting our neighbors on either side of us, and that I just had never met them. I looked both ways as though I was crossing the street, but no cars were parked in either driveway. I had never seen these kids, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out who their mama was, how she knew me, and most importantly, how they found me.
“Tell me where you live, and no, you don’t have to pay me.” Again, they all started talking at once, and I finally figured out that they lived way down the other end of the street, past the T in the road. I wanted to make sure that they practiced safety with strangers, so I told them, “You guys head toward your house, and I’ll follow in the car behind.” They would run hard, and then walk to catch their breath, and start running again. As I crawled down the road in the car, I thought about what an adventure this could be.
I was being led down the street by not just one child, but three, and I had a choice to make. I could either really enjoy this intrusion in my attempts to pull the paper together in a timely fashion, or I could feel stressed. There was something about the power of their innocence, and the serendipity of their choosing our house that just seemed to have the fragrance of God all over it. I have found by experience that this fragrance can be heady stuff. At the very least, I have needed a jump more times than I care to remember, and always try to pay it forward when I can. I may not know much about cars, but I have gotten pretty good at using jumper cables.
We finally arrived, the cables were applied, and the car fired right up. The young mom introduced herself, thanked me profusely, and then she began to cry. I asked her, “Honey, what’s wrong?” I then learned that she had lost a child to SIDS just a few weeks ago, and she was the one who found her child. “Oh, I am so sorry,” I said, and she went straight into my arms, while I rocked her like a child. She stayed there quite awhile. She showed me a picture of her baby, and we began to talk about a number of things, concluding that we would get together soon. She had promised to take the girls shopping, and wanted to make good on her word. So, she dried her tears, gathered up the girls, looked at me and said, “God sent you to me today, thank you.” “No, honey, thank you,” I said.
I had been led by little children straight into an adventure, a chance to help, and a friendship. How glad I am that I followed them, and Him!