We were saddened to see the moving van in our backyard neighbor’s driveway. We had never been close to her, but, since she had been widowed shortly after we moved into her neighborhood, we’ve tried to keep an eye on her. She was very independent and really never needed anything. Now she’s off to North Carolina to be closer to her children.
There was one occasion in which she was glad we lived in her neighborhood. It was the Saturday before Easter a few years ago. We had been receiving soaking rains for a couple of weeks. The ground was completely saturated, but heavy rains continued to fall. As I stood drinking my morning coffee and looking across our neighbor’s backyard meadow, I noticed that one of her towering pine trees was leaning against the side of one of her storage sheds. If there was any more loosening of its root system, it would come crashing down on her sheds and likely damage most of the expensive equipment they housed. At the least, it would be a big mess to clean up.
My wife called her and let her know what we had noticed. We didn’t learn until later on, that she had already noticed the potential disaster. More about that in a moment. Upon receiving my wife’s call our neighbor started asking what we thought she should do. We both told her that since this was such a potentially dangerous job (the trees are really tall in Delaware), she needed the service of professionals. While I made a call to a Christian man who owns a tree service business, my wife met our neighbor in the backyard to survey the damage.
The tree man was just getting ready to leave town for a family vacation over the Easter break (our children attend the same Christian school). After I explained the circumstances, he said he would come right away and take a look at the situation. He said that he would make some calls en route to see if he could get some of his workers to come in that afternoon (on their day off) and get this lady back in business (or something like that).
Well, he was there in the backyard within thirty minutes. He and our neighbor pointed and gestured for a few minutes and then he was gone. Within a couple of hours he and his crew showed up with their massive boom truck. Birds took to flight and saws started buzzing, within a few short hours they were done.
After we noticed that they were gone my wife called our neighbor just to make sure that all was well with her. She was so grateful for the tree-man that showed up to help her. She said that he hardly charged her anything. The amount that she reported sounded to me like he had charged her just enough to cover his labor expenses.
Then she shared with my wife that she had noticed the leaning tree before she had called earlier. In fact, she said that at the very moment that my wife called she was walking up the stairs from her basement crying out to God for help. She said that she was literally asking out loud to God, “How can I possibly find someone to come remove this tree on Easter weekend?” Then the phone rang. By my way of thinking, that’s a God sighting.
Before we move on I’m wondering: Does anyone else have a similar story to share?
© Bill Williams, October 18, 2006