When I moved into the house where I live, I knew no one. I DO know that two houses on my street are empty – right across the street, and the two young families on either side of me are seldom home, running kids back and forth to activities.

So last Friday, when I accidently locked myself out of the house (who would do that on purpose?), I had to act quickly. I had bumped the lock on the storm door into the down – locked – position while knocking icicles down with one hand, propping the door open, and holding my mail in the other hand. As I let the door close, so as not to let snow in the house, I had a bad feeling.

I've wondered about this before, and always thought I had the door-locking thing covered. Well maybe if it was the main house door that locked, but not the storm-door. There's no key for it. And I didn't have keys with me anyway. Why would I? I was just going out the get the mail for crying out loud!

So, I looked right – no cars in the driveway. Walked left, where there were cars, but no people – just the dog barking from inside the house. That should have been the give-away that they weren't home. If they were, the dog would have been outside barking at me.

One more house empty, and I spotted a man down the street on the next block, scraping ice off of his driveway. After calling from his phone and leaving a couple of messages on my daughter's phone, I asked to borrow a screwdriver. Walking back to my house I thought about the "Plan B" my friend always talks about. Thankfully, this was a quick fix. Good thing storm door frames are flexible.

The prayer on my way back to my house was for forethought. I'm usually thinking ahead, but once in awhile I get blindsided. So, I'm beginning to think a little self-care, self-awareness are in order. Make "Plan B's" for different situations. And thank God for neighbors.

Friend in Need

You know, there are times
when I think I can't find You.
Instead of sending me help
in the form of a knight in shining armor,
You give me the neighbor
who was just minding their own business.
But thank you too, for not letting me
act like one who said, "Where were You?"
Thank you for giving Yourself to me
and allowing me to see You
in the form of strangers and friends
who give of themselves so freely.

-Mary Boscaino


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