Kindness to Strangers

Knock knock knock… 

What do you do when you hear a knock at your door?

I’m a bit of a paranoid android myself. Over the last few of years, there have been random break-ins in broad-daylight throughout our neighborhood, sometimes they pose as solicitors. I do have reasons for questioning & potentially ignoring who is knocking at my door.

Knock knock knock… 

But sometimes… sometimes… that knock knock knock gives you a different feeling.

Instead of freaking out, your instincts tell you not to panic.

The instinct that whoever is knocking at your door is someone in need.

Not in need of money.

Not in need of your stuff.

On a recent evening, as we got the kids ready for bed while listening to Christmas music, I thought I heard a knock at my door.

I ignored it as I usually do. Until I heard it again… knock knock knock.

So I took a peek outside, and witnessed someone sitting on our front porch bench. I could tell she was a girl, maybe in her early 20s, and she was only wearing a tee-shirt, hair pulled back into a loose bun. Was she crying? I didn’t even think to yell up to the hubs who was bathing our youngest upstairs… my instincts practically forced me to open the door immediately with confidence, without fear.

I asked her what she needed, what I could do for her.

She was sobbing and asked me if she could use my phone.

I didn’t even consider that she could’ve snagged my phone and run out the door. Fear and negative thoughts didn’t seem to exist at that moment. At all. I just felt this overwhelming need to do whatever I could to help her.

I fetched her a glass of water while she called a friend, then I sat down with her and asked her again what else I could do for her, and if she wanted to talk about what happened. She told me that her boyfriend (our next door neighbor… which is just… awesome) hit her, then threw her out of the house, physically. I asked her if she wanted to call the cops to file a report and she said that she did call the cops, but her boyfriend threw & broke the phone as she called. As I got her some ibuprofen and was about to take her across the street to our neighbor (a cop!) I saw 2 police-cars pull into our court, just as the hubs was walking downstairs with our youngest adorably wrapped in a hooded towel. The hubs was pretty confused, asking me “Who is this? What’s going on?” All I could do was shrug. Even he was in shock that I was doing what I was doing. It’s not that I’m a total cold-hearted bitch or anything, I’m just one of those paranoid Mommas. But, I am a Momma, and if someone is in need, my Momma-bear-I-will-protect-you-at-all-costs-instincts come out in full-force. I sent the hubs out to tell the cops to come to talk to our girl before they went next door to get a statement from the boyfriend.

So now we have a stranger & 2 cops in our house, while trying to maintain some level of sanity getting our daughters ready for bed. We actually did remain calm and as we went upstairs so the cops could deal with the victim in private, we simply told the girls that we help people in need. They really didn’t seem to need much more of an explanation. In fact, they seemed comforted by what we were doing.

The cops took our information before they left, and the girl had already used my phone to call a friend to pick her up. An hour after the knock knock knocks… our house was empty again, but almost warmer, thick with renewed faith & comfort. Although a bit of fear entered my brain about our relationship with our neighbors after the fact, I know in my heart that we did the right thing.

Whether it was the spirit of the season or simply me tuning into my Momma instincts, helping people in need is something we should all do naturally, and without fear. I don’t know if we’ll ever hear from that girl again, and that’s ok. We did what we could to help her in her time of need.

Have you ever helped a stranger in need?

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7 Comments

  1. Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you opened the door for her and were there for her. I can’t imagine being in her situation.

  2. Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    That is wonderful. Not that your douchebag neighbor hit her and threw her out, but your kindness (obvs :)). I’m so happy you were there when she knocked and were able to help. We, too, are very paranoid about answering our door, but have never had a caller such as yours (yet). I hope we could help as you guys did if we ever do.

  3. Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, ladies. I try not to overthink things like this, but my mind has wondered what “could’ve” happened if I didn’t answer the door, or… if I even waited another minute or two.

  4. Dave
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Kel, I can’t tell by this whether she is a stranger or your next door neighbor, or both. If she’s been living next door with this creep, tho, you can use this meeting to extend more help to her in her time of ongoing need… ditching this jerk, for example. Let her know you’re right next door and have friends in low places! 😉

  5. Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Dave, she was 19-20, and the jerk she’s dating/dated is our neighbor — living with his mother. I told her (the victim) that she was welcome anytime as she left with her friend.

  6. Posted December 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t instinct a wonderful thing? Sometimes you just know. Thank goodness y’all were home and able to help. Knowing you are there may just be what she needs.

  7. Posted December 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Mandi. I’ve never been stuck in a relationship like that, so I can’t relate to her situation, but I have a couple of awesome shoulders to cry & lean on, that’s for sure.

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    Kelli Williams

    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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