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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