The guys were bent over puzzle pieces at the kitchen table, and we girls were enjoying the cozy evening, Christmas tree lights, and a Hallmark movie, when we saw headlights in the driveway. I peeked out the front window, to scope out the unexpected guest, and saw an elderly woman got out of her car. After unlocking the deadbolt on the front door, I stepped out onto the front porch to greet her.
“I’m lost,” she said. “I was praying for help, when I saw your nativity scene in the front yard. I thought to myself, These people will help me.”
In the dark of the December night, I stood on the porch and listened, as she poured out her story to me. Her husband had been gravely ill and in the hospital for a month, and she was just able to bring him home that day. I could sense the tone of weariness in her voice.
“But my great-granddaughter just had a baby,” she said, “and I was trying to go visit her. I accidentally turned into your neighborhood and can’t find my way out. I’ve been driving around in here, hopelessly lost, for a very long time.”
And her cell phone had died.
Poor thing. We live in a very large subdivision with no street lights, and I could imagine how, in her fatigue and distress, she had gotten herself onto our streets but couldn’t find the exit. She needed to go farther west, and she asked for directions. I started to try to give them to her but realized I didn’t know the area well enough.
“Let me call my husband to help you with directions. He’s a pastor,” I said. (I don’t know why I added the pastor part, except that it felt an important qualification at the time.) Her relief at finding God-fearing folks to help her was obvious.
Matt tried to give her directions for how to get out of the subdivision and to her granddaughter’s house, but the place where she needed to go was out onto pitch-black, farm-to-market roads. It was easy enough to get turned around out on those roads during the day.
“Why don’t I hop in my truck and you can follow me out there?” he said.
She was glad to accept that arrangement. Matt got her granddaughter’s phone number so that he could lead this poor, lost woman straight to her. My daughter and I practically melted when he left our warm home to be a guide on a cold night.
Heroism looks good on a man.
This year, we made sure the vintage nativity scene got set up in the front yard again. We went to Home Depot to replace the light socket for Mary, and Matt put new, brighter bulbs in the figures. Because apparently even a plastic baby Jesus has some kind of power to bring peace and comfort to a lost soul.
So think, my friends. Think about your holiday decorations. The lights and the nativity scenes and the guiding stars. The décor that sparkles and illuminates. The world is pitch black, and there are folks driving ‘round and ‘round in circles just looking for help and maybe even an unexpected hero to help them find their way.