Love on My Doorstep

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By Laura Bradford
Walla Walla Washington,
.

She burst into my life the morning after my husband died.

Yes, I’d spoken with Brenda a few times at church, but our visits had been brief, since I’d needed to return home to my ailing spouse.

Now, John was gone, I felt alone, and a near stranger stood on my doorstep begging to come in.

“Sorry,” I said, clinging to the half-open door, “I don’t have time for visitors. My son is flying in this afternoon for John’s funeral, and I have to get this house cleaned up.”

“That’s why I’m here,” Brenda announced, pushing past me. “I came to help.”

“But . . . but, the place is a mess!” I explained.

“As it should be,” she said, “since you’ve spent every waking hour for a week at the hospital with John.”

Before I could stop her, Brenda was at my kitchen sink tackling a pile of dirty dishes stacked to the faucet.

Not knowing how to receive such unsolicited help, I argued, “You don’t have to do that!”

“I know,” she answered, “but I want to.” Turning to face me, she added, “Laurie, you’re exhausted! Please, receive this as a gift.”

How could I resist such bold, persistent love?

We worked together for an hour or so, scrubbing bathrooms, vacuuming floors, and folding mountains of clean laundry, while I kept an eagle’s eye on the clock.

“Time to quit,” I announced at noon, though we were far from finished.

“What?” Brenda asked.

“Well,” I explained, “I have barely enough time to make it to Tri-Cities and meet Dan’s flight.”

“Tri-Cities! You’re not making that long drive alone,” she insisted. “I won’t let you!”
Grabbing her cell phone, she began calling other women in our church. Finally, she reached someone at home.

“Judy,” she pled, “can you take Laurie to Tri-Cities . . . now?”

Within ten minutes Judy was waiting outside my home, ready to be my chauffeur on the two-hour drive.

As Brenda pushed me out the door, she said, “I’ll keep working until everything’s done.”
Seeing my hesitation, she flashed a reassuring wink and added, “Yes, I’ll be sure to lock up before I leave.”

When my son and I arrived home, exhausted and grieving, we were greeted by an immaculate house, flowers on the table, and a blessing still lingering in the air . . . the comfort of being loved.