An old lady does a favor for a homeless man by providing him shelter in her home, but then one night she was in for a surprise when she noticed him sneaking into her room.
Pat was a lonely woman in her 70s. Her husband, Jonas, had passed away in a car accident that also claimed the life of their son, Josh.
Dealing with their deaths was very difficult for Pat because no one knew exactly how to comfort her. The first couple of days after she identified their bodies saw her too depressed to even get out of bed.
Her friends and family members came from all over the country to comfort her; they were there for her while she planned the burial ceremony of her late hubby and son.
The day the coffins descended into the grave, Pat spent hours crying away her pain, but it never seemed enough. After some time, friends who had traveled miles to be with her left for their homes, having done their best.
It took a while for Pat to feel up to leaving her home, but when she did, the grieving widow went straight to church, where she had an eye-opening conversation with her pastor, John Sunders.
“Glad to finally see you out and about Pat,” he said with a benign smile.
The two had been friends since Pat and her family moved to Michigan. Like her, he also felt the man’s demise deeply.
“Glad to be here pastor,” Pat answered. “I never got to thank you and Sally for coming around constantly to comfort me and see that I have everything I need.”
“Don’t mention it, Pat. In fact, I’m sure Sally would be offended if she heard you thanking us for something as trivial as that,” John said.
“I miss them so much,” Pat suddenly said after they both lapsed into silence.
“I know,” John said. “But these things must needs be. God has a plan even if we can’t understand it.”
“I’ve been trying to accept that but losing them both at the same time really had me questioning my faith. In truth pastor, I am here to remedy that.”
Pat and John spent hours talking to one another, and the church quickly became where Pat could go to feel better. No Sunday passed without her sitting in the front pew, hands and mind raised in supplication.
One Sunday, she noticed a lonely guy among the usual church congregation; he had kind eyes, but he looked very malnourished, so Pat made a mental note to bring him some food each time the church had a program.
After feeding him a couple of times, Pat asked the pastor about the guy. “Oh him? He’s an orphan who’s been having trouble finding a job because of health problems,” the pastor told her.
“That’s quite sad; he is a rather good man and I feel terrible for him. If there’s more I can do, please let me know,” Pat told him.
“Well, since you’re asking. I’ve had him sleeping in the storage area this whole time, but as you know, that place is not very hygienic and is open to the elements — I’m sure he would appreciate having a warm and dry place to lay his head at night.”
“Oh John, you should have asked sooner,” Pat said. “You know I have spare rooms in my home and any believer in need is welcome to them.”
The following day, arrangements were made for the boy, who was 21 and named Joseph, to move in with Pat. They cooked food together and watched TV, something Pat and her late son used to do together while they awaited the arrival of her husband, his father.
Things were perfect, but one night Pat was woken from her sleep by an unusual noise. She laid in bed with bated breath, waiting to hear it again before she went to investigate.
A few seconds passed before she heard another creak on the staircase leading to the hallway outside her room. Then amid the darkness, she saw a man sneaking into her room — it was Joseph.
Pat was a little worried about what was happening; she was well aware that should he be after her life or property, there was very little she could do to stop him, so she laid quietly, feigning sleep and hoping that the intruder wouldn’t hear her thundering heart.
Joseph crept up to the side of her bed, where he stood motionless for several minutes, during which time Pat got very scared. Open your eyes, Pat, she told herself. What if that’s all he’s waiting for?
After a couple of minutes passed, Joseph took something out of his pocket and slipped it under Pat’s pillow. And the moment he left, Pat sat up straight, wiped the sweat from her forehead, and looked under the pillow to see what the younger man had left. To her surprise, it was a pendant that contained the painting of an angel.
“I found the pendant you left me,” she told him the following day as he crept towards the door — he was going to leave.
He froze as soon as he heard her, like a deer caught in the headlights.
“You really thought I wouldn’t figure out it was you who crept into my room in the dead of night to place this under my pillow?” Pat asked him.
“Not so Patty,” he said with an awkward laugh.
“Look at you, red as a tomato — you don’t have to leave if you can’t afford to yet,” she said. “Thank you for the pendant.
“It used to be my mother’s,” Joseph told her. “She’s gone but you remind me of her so I would love you to have it… This angel will be your guardian like you are a guardian to me, Miss Gibbons.”
Pat could not help but cry when she heard all that Joseph was saying. After she lost her only child, she never expected anyone to liken her to a mother, but there Joseph was, telling her how much she reminded him of his late mom.
Pat had truly lost her family, but in Joseph, she had found a son she could dote over. He remained with her for the better part of two years before he moved on to live his life. However, they never stopped talking.
What did we gain from this story?
Help who you can; the reward is always more than you expect. Pat helped Joseph because she felt bad for him; she gave him shelter and affection as he navigated his life, and in return, he helped her feel like a mother once more.
Remember to give as you receive. Joseph was an orphan with no means of surviving on his own, so when Pat took him into her home, he was very grateful.
To show this, he presented her with a gift that belonged to his late mother, further deepening their relationship and providing closure for Pat.
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